As the carbon race heats up, all eyes flick across each brand to see what they will bring to the table. In the case of ASICS, we had our answer earlier is this year and its name is METARACER. This ultralight racer will favor shorter distance runners given its lower cushioning level, but make no mistake ASICS is just beginning to play here. We expect to see higher cushion versions of this shoe from them in the coming year, so 2021 is going to get very interesting. Until then we are left with just an amazingly performant race shoe.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- One of the best 10k (and under) carbon plated racing shoes you can buy.
- Weighs in at 6.7oz or 190g for a US Men’s 9, 5.9oz or 167g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 24mm of cushion and has a 9mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $200.00 USD and comes in 2 colors for Men and Women.
First off, the METARACER feels different from most ASICS you have probably tried before. The majority of their shoes from the Cumulus to the Nimbus to the Kayano all have various elements, whether it is cushioning or support and stability, that people love and keep going back to. The METARACER is really something all new and feels more like a racing flat from years past, at least at first glance. It maps well into the new era of ASICS and we have seen a number of these newer shoes emerging like the Novoblast which throws off what we might think of the brand, so it is something to be excited by.
On the foot, the METARACER feels like a second skin from the mid-foot back meaning it stays nice and snug and close to the foot and holds you while in place. From there it opens up a bit in the toe box giving you a bit more room, but still staying on the narrow side given it is more of a racing-focused shoe. The feel underfoot is definitely going to land on the firmer side given the lower stack height and the addition of the carbon plate. However, it does a good job of cradling the sides of your foot feeling like you’re held in place really well.
When the rubber hits the road literally things get really fast really quick. The shoe is a straight-out monster for shorter distances and this is where we think it will play best. We liken it more to a shoe like the Skechers Speed Elite where it still has that track like feel, but with a touch of cushioning and then of course the addition of carbon. Very very strong Runners will be able to use them at half marathon distances, but going past that it’s probably a bit more than the shoe really should do. Our guess is we will see something with a higher stack down the road with the same format.It does provide that same energy turn we are seeing from other carbon shoes meaning expect to see your times drop pretty dramatically, but also make sure you are cross-training your legs are prepared to handle that level of increased turnover.
Bottom Line, if you are looking for a 10K or under racing shoe, then the METARACER is an awesome choice. Yes of course people can take it longer and we won’t begrudge them that, but we think it is better designed for these shorter distances. We definitely look forward to seeing another version of this which takes the stack height up a bit and allows for better distance. It is a hot looking shoe and definitely should draw the attention of even those who aren’t necessarily fans of ASICS.
The upper on the METARACER is utter simplicity and harkens back to the road racers of yester-year. It features a multi-directional engineered mesh which breathes extremely well and provides a very small amount of side to side stability.
The midsole on the METARACER is composed of three core elements. First, ASICS is using their FlyteFoam technology which is showing up across their entire lineup. This is a foam that is all about responsiveness with a bit of cushion. Next, we have the GuideSole technology which you can see in their curved sole design as well as the stiffer forefoot. This is designed to provide better shock absorption and reduce fatigue. Lastly of course we have the card and plate which provides not only structure but also the propulsion that everyone is looking for.
The outsole on here is something they call ASICSGRIP but it is essentially a rubber blend that should help with durability and traction on what are surfaces. Given this is a race shoe durability is typically not a huge issue, but the grip is very solid here.
Style & Aesthetics
As we said earlier, the shoe looks like something from yesteryear that has been modernized. The Tokyo colorway is obviously super fast looking and eye-catching and again it just feels like something we’ve seen in years past, but in a good way. We would love to see some additional color variations in the future.
The ASICS METARACER is a really really solid 10K and under race shoe that can really knock down your times. It competed directly with shoes like the Skechers Speed Elite where they coupled lower cushion with the carbon plate. This does mean they run a bit firmer which is why we put them in this distance category, but inevitably even really strong half marathoners will dig these as well. What excites us most is really what is next from ASICS on the carbon front. If this is their first pass, then it’s clear they are here to play.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.