There are a few shoe brands lately that continue to do releases within their standard lineup, but at the same time are performing some level of magic behind the scenes and ASICS is a shining example of this right now. While they still release another Cumulus or Kayano, they have also been building something game-changing shoe with their new MetaSpeed. They threw out much of what makes other ASICS work and started from scratch using new materials, while also improving on existing, and then tested this with real runners and used data to match the right shoe to the right type of Runner. The first shoe to be born out of all this work is the MetaSpeed Sky with the MetaSpeed Edge to follow later this summer.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Incredible levels of data-driven thinking and biomechanical thought put into these shoes.
- Weighs in at 7.4oz or 210g for a US Men’s 9, 6.3oz or 179g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 33mm of cushion and has a 5mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $250.00 USD and comes in 1 color for Men and Women.
Let us just first applaud ASICS on the work that has gone into this shoe. We can imagine they went back into their design phase and were planning on coming out with their first high-stack carbon plated shoe. At some point, somebody said, “hey people run differently, maybe we need to do two versions of it”. A bunch of people probably laughed at that thought, but then they tested out and realized, that’s exactly what we need to do. This is not a one-size-fits-all game. From that work, we get the MetaSpeed Sky and Edge, two very different shoes that are also very similar in almost every way.
As the MetaSpeed Sky was coming out first, we had our chance to test it out before the Edge. We can also say that after running in it and understanding the differences between the two, this is probably the correct shoe for most of us here based directly on our run style. The MetaSpeed is a very cool-looking shoe and while it still feels like an ASICS, it also feels very modern. As we start up top, there is not a lot going on with the upper… it is really simple. The way they handled the engineered mesh makes it breathes very well and while there is no definitive heel counter, once you get it laced down you truly don’t move all that much.
The midsole is where it’s all at and it has a nice level of softness to it, but with almost zero flex. This thing just wants to go and as soon as you get it going, it does not back off. The MetaSpeed wants to turn over and keep you in motion and also because they really angled the midsole out from the upper, you get a feeling of stability we find only in one other carbon shoe, the RC Elite 2 from New Balance. While this is a racer, it also feels like you aren’t running in a track shoe. The outside grips well and boy these things are enjoyably fast. We would expect to see them lining up against the other titans in carbon racing on starting lines everywhere this Summer and Fall.
So you are probably thinking, how do you decide between the MetaSpeed Sky and the Edge? ASICS referred to the Sky as the “Stride” shoe and the Edge as the “Cadence” shoe. So if you have a shorter faster cadence, then you should lean toward the Edge. For normal to longer striders who run at a normal cadence, then you will look at the Sky. The difference between the shoes is the midsole thickness, the drop, and the forefoot curved angle. The Sky will have 4mm of additional cushion, a 3mm lower drop, and a sharper more aggressive curve on the forefoot. We are not sure if that makes it clear, some of this will come down to how you see yourself as a runner, and you probably need to do a little of your own testing to figure out what works for you.
The upper is a fully engineered mesh and is made from 100% recycled polyester. ASICS has added diagonal reinforcement strips that air with stability while also allowing for maximum airflow. They have added internal support structures around the toe, laces, and heel for a little extra comfort and to minimize rubbing. The non-gusseted tongue is millimeters thin, the collar is only slightly padded and then while there is a pseudo heel counter, there truly isn’t much back there. This definitely feels like a racing /speed-oriented upper.
The midsole is truly where all the tech is in the MetaSpeed. It starts with their FLYTEFOAM BLAST TURBO cushioning, one of the lightest and most responsive midsoles they have constructed. It is designed to be bouncy, but that full-length carbon plate makes it incredibly rigid and those two forces together create a tremendous amount of forward acceleration. The idea was to make the shoe fast but also work for your foot and support it. The sky also features a very sharp curbed forefoot which is designed to reduce ankle flex and improve efficiency overall.
ASICS included a very thin layer of their ASICSGRIPS compound, a proprietary rubber that extends from the forefoot all the way down the lateral side to the heel giving you ample traction throughout your run regardless of where your foot lands. Running these in wet weather gave us no issues so expect them to handle a variety of climate and road conditions really well.
Style & Aesthetics
The MetaSpeed Sky is a great-looking shoe. It looks bright and fast while also not being overly in your face. It does feel like ASICS went back to some of their color roots but then modernized the whole thing so while the Metaracer felt nostalgic, this feels like a take on modern nostalgia. The gradient orange/red to black on the test Tokyo Edition looked sleek and even the midsole lines come into play.
The ASICS MetaSpeed Sky is a really beautiful shoe. It ticks all the boxes to make it a very strong competitor to every other carbon racer on the market. We think it is interesting they went with a 2 model version and the real complexity in this is going to be them determining how to sell these two models to two different types of runners. Many people don’t know if they have a long or a short stride or if they have a quicker cadence or not, but either way you fall, we think people will still be pleasantly surprised with the shoe. We could easily stick it right next to a Vapor fly or the RC Elite 2 as one of the top carbon shoes on the market right now.
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.