ASICS GEL-Contend Running Shoe Review

Ratings by Runner's Choice
  • Stability - 8.8/10
  • Comfort - 8.7/10
  • Design - 8.6/10
  • Cushioning - 8.8/10
User Rating 0 (0 votes)

We Like

- Good sole cushioning when compared to similarly priced running shoes.

- Well-functioning mesh upper to allow airflow and cooling.

- Contoured insole for support.

- Flex grooves in the outer sole for enhanced shock absorption.

- Decent price point for quality.

We Don't Like

- Heavier than comparable shoes.

- Fitting issues for non-standard sizes.

- Stiffness in the heel and overlays.

Bottom Line
The ASICS Gel Contend 3 is a shoe that does what it sets out to do, which is provide a good level of running performance at a comfortable price point. Its design offers more features than your traditional inexpensive running shoes. The mesh overlay provides breathability, and the foam sole gives a solid base for the contoured cushioning and namesake gel inserts. It is not the most stylish design on the market and there are some fit issues that should be considered before purchasing. For more experienced runners, you’ll find these shoes a little basic and lacking compared to higher spec shoes. However, overall the ASICS Gel Contend series is a strong, durable model for an entry-level or casual runner.


ASICS Gel Contend 3

The ASICS Gel Contend 3 is a budget-friendly shoe that focuses on running stability and comfort, making it a good choice for an entry-level athlete. It combines contoured insoles and gel cushioning for shock absorption.

The shoe also features targeted padding and breathable mesh for ultimate foot comfort. They are somewhat heavier than other shoes on the market, but this is due to its durable design and concentration on cushioning. They are gives good and solid performance from a trusted brand.

Size and Fit

They are available in sizes 7-14 for men and 5-11 for women. This is pretty standard for the ASICS line when it comes to size and fit. The Contend 3 come in widths D and B which should be noted as the fit can be slightly off for wider or narrower feet. The medium-sized heel and toe box are again standard for ASICS and of decent quality. If your feet are between sizes or widths you may experience some toe brushing on the uppers, but otherwise the toe box is a good size.

Upper Construction

Talk about the upper, a pair of shoes are very impressive. The mesh layer provides breathability, letting hot air escape and cool air enter the shoe chamber. This prevents uncomfortable overheating. You’ll find that the stitched overlays give the shoe a snug fit and additional durability.

Removable sockliner gives you more flexibility for your running style, while reflective materials on the sole add an element of safety and comfort for evening runners.

Sole Construction

The foam soles are of very basic construction; they get the job done but an avid runner may find them a little simplistic. The foam and rubber are standard for a budget shoe, but one noteworthy feature of the ASICS GEL-Contend is the patented gel insert at the midsole which is designed to act as a shock absorber.

For inexpensive running shoes, these have a lot of science and research packed into them to minimise the stress of running on your joints. The outer sole also has grooves in both the heel and forefoot for further shock reduction and traction.

The insole has been noted by many runners for for its unique contours, which follows the curves of the underfoot for cushioning and support.


This is a great shoe for beginners and casual runners. While the addition of the gel inserts is a nice feature for comfort and stability, they just cannot fully compete with the performance offered at higher levels of the market.

Things are not good thought is slightly heavier and more simplistic than its more expensive competitors. Because of the price mark, you do sacrifice some high quality features; however, they are not a bad pair of shoes at all.

For the budget conscious, they do offer good value. Because of the simple sole design, you’ll find they are better attuned for road running. The flex grooves, gel inserts and sockliner should provide adequate comfort and flexibility for the average run.


The design focuses more on function over form. While they won’t be winning beauty contests any time soon, there are design features you’ll be pleased to see. The mesh upper, now synonymous with running fashion, is sleek and sporty.

There has been a positive response to the wide variety of color schemes available to choose from. The decision to give extra padding to the tongue and collar, again, is based on comfort rather than looks. However it seems to have worked out nicely, providing the shoe with a good solid aesthetic.

As mentioned above, if you are a night time or early morning runner, you’ll also enjoy the addition of light reflective materials for enhanced road visibility.

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