New ASICS Metaspeed Sky
Which runner are you…
A Stride-style runner or Cadence-style runner
ASICS Metaspeed Sky & Metaspeed Edge: the new super shoes tailored to your style.
with Steve Manning “The Footman” – Coach & Podiatrist at intraining Running Centre
Asics have made a big move into the Supershoe space with three new models.
The popular Metaracer is no more and has been replaced by two racers:
- Metaspeed Sky and
- Metaspeed Edge and by a Racer/Trainer the
- Magic Speed.
All three utilise Carbon Plate technology but with very different goals in mind. The Metaspeed Sky and Magic Speed were released in early April while the Metaspeed Edge is due to launch in June.
The Metaspeed Sky has already had some great success when US runner Sara Hall ran 2:22:01 in the London Marathon to place second. She was as far back as 10th at around 30km before running down most of the field and passing the 2019 World Champion in the last few strides. More recently UK triathlete Beth Potter surprised everyone including herself when she wore a pair of Metaspeed to run a world best 5km road race in 14:41. Closer to home, Lisa Jane Weightman ran the fastest 10km time by an Australian in Australia while trialling this shoe.
TWO TYPES OF SHOES FOR TWO TYPES OF RUNNERS:
Before designing these shoes, Asics first had a look at running biomechanics and identified two distinct types of runners. To run faster you have to either increase your cadence, strides per minute, or increase the length of your stride. When going faster Asics believe some runners increase their stride length while maintaining their cadence while others increase both stride length and cadence.
The Metaspeed Sky is designed to help the Stride-Style runners while the Metaspeed Edge is designed for the Cadence-Style runners.
HOW YOU CAN TELL WHICH SHOE IS BEST FOR YOU:
You can identify what shoe is best for you by looking at what happens when you increase speed. Stride-Style runners take less steps per minute, have more vertical oscillation, run with higher hips and strike the ground closer under their body than the Cadence-Style runners. You could say that Stride -Style runners are bounders and Cadence Style runners are shufflers.
Both shoes look identical but there are subtle differences in the design which give targeted support for each style of running. Asics have conducted research that is still to be published which shows the Metaspeed Sky increases stride length while the Metaspeed Edge increases cadence.
They believe that these shoes can reduce the number of steps you take in a marathon and improve running economy by 3%. I will be eagerly awaiting the release of the Metaspeed Edge and the research behind these shoes that can explain how they have achieved their separate properties.
One big difference you can tell immediately between the Metaracer and the Metaspeed Sky is the midsole. The new FLYTEFOAM BLAST TURBO™ seems lighter and softer. This allows for a significantly increased stack height, especially in the forefoot. The heel to toe drop is 5mm, down from 9mm in the Metaracer and the forefoot stack height is almost doubled from 15 to 28mm. In fact, the profile of the Metaspeed Sky is very similar to the GlideRide and utilises a similar curved sole design to enhance running efficiency and toe-off. A full length, lightweight Carbon Plate is sandwiched in the midsole creating significant stiffness and adding even more to efficiency. The result is a very soft bouncy ride that creates a real pop off in propulsion. The middle of the midsole is flared on both sides of the foot which may help with a common problem in most super shoes which is stability in propulsion.
The outsole is the new ASICSGRIP™ Technology. It has a very similar outsole profile to the Metaracer that uniquely has limited coverage in the heel. The Metaspeed outsole appears to have half the thickness of the Metaracer and it is further lightened by about half with circles cut out of the whole forefoot. Only time will tell how well the new outsole material holds up.
The upper in the Metaspeed feels seriously strong and light. You can easily breath through the material but I think it will hold up under plenty of use. The Engineered Mesh Upper is sculpted around your foot with a narrow rearfoot and wider forefoot. There is no heel counter but the collar around the top of the heel is generously thick. The other missing item is a removable insole although the soft midsole looks to have filled that void in some respects.
My FOOTMAN RATING
The Metaspeed Sky on the first feeling is the bounciest super shoe available while not losing much instability. The snug midfoot and rearfoot make it a comfortable addition to the super shoe category. Making two versions of the shoe for two distinct types of runners is an innovation that may start a revolution in how we select our shoes in the future.
Similar Shoes available:
ASICS Magic Speed – a less expensive more durable shoe for training and racing (Review to come)
ASICS Metaspeed Edge – due June 2021
Brooks Hyperion Elite2
New Balance Fuelcell RC
Hoka Carbon X 2
Saucony Endorphin Pro
Come test run our range of Super Shoes at intraining Running Centre on our 20m in-store track.
535 Milton Rd, Toowong