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Road Running Shoes • June 4, 2023

Asics Magic Speed 3 Review: Third Time’s a Charm

white asics shoe with red and white midsole on pavement with trees in background

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What You Need To Know


7.7 oz. (218 g) for a US M9,

6.5oz. (184 g) for a US W8

Stack Height/Drop

36 mm in heel, 29 in forefoot (7 mm drop), 35/28 for women

Best For

Tempo/speedwork, budget race day

Key Features

Full-length carbon plate, Flytefoam Blast+ on both top and bottom layers, Motion Wrap upper

On The Run

🟢 Blows the last two versions out of the water

🟢 Snappy and responsive, with good cushion

🟢 Breezy upper is race-day like

🔴 Some irritation in heel counter



The Intro

MEAGHAN: To say I didn’t love the Asics Magic Speed 1 or 2 would be putting it nicely. I even opted out of reviewing v2 because I didn’t want to put 20 miles on it. So now that I’ve sufficiently bashed the Magic Speed (if you want more bashing read Thomas’ comments below), let’s talk about the latest iteration– v3. While it doesn’t look like a huge departure from v2, it truly is.

The most apparent (and favorable) update might be the full-length carbon fiber plate sandwiched between two layers of Flytefoam (FF) Blast+. The previous iteration featured a TPU plate and a bottom layer of FF Blast, a firmer version of the foam. Asics also added a couple millimeters to the midsole on this go-around, giving the shoe a 36mm/29mm stack but keeping the 7mm drop. 

The upper is now designed with Motion Wrap material, the same stuff you’ll find in the Metaspeed Sky+ and Edge+. All of these changes also brought down the overall weight, my women’s size 8 came in at 6.5oz. 

So how do all these updates feel out on the road? Let’s get into it. 

THOMAS: In early 2021, I got a text alert informing me that a plated racer was coming from Asics. This was big news. Unfortunately, the only plated race day shoe Asics had put out was the Metaracer, which fell short of being an actual “super shoe.”

We had seen prototypes of a higher stack Asics race day shoe during the rainy, Covid-amended London Marathon in 2020. In that race, Sarah Hall put together one of the most spectacular finishes in U.S. women’s marathon history, running alone for the whole race before closing in over the last 100 meters to secure second place. The shoe she was wearing looked to be a legit contender. (If you haven’t, take a minute and watch this finish.)

I had high hopes my incoming shoe would be a version of the one Sara wore in London. Unfortunately, the shoe was the Magic Speed. There wasn’t any nylon-based foam (i.e. Pebax), or a full-length carbon plate. The Magic Speed was a FlyteFoam Blast midsole with a forefoot TPU plate. Sounds nice on paper, but really there was no magic to the method. I was disappointed and a little confused. Asics reassured me that the “real” race day shoe was coming, the MetaSpeed Sky.

The second version of the Magic Speed, with a design that very much resembled the Metaspeed, arrived about a year ago. Again, I got my hopes up. Again, I was let down. It was one of the few shoes we gave a red rating in 2022. Needless to say, I wasn’t super excited when the Magic Speed v3 arrived at the office.

Nevertheless, I reluctantly gave it a shot. Turns out, the third time is the charm. This time the magic was there.

white asics shoe leaning against a wall outside

Now with a full-length carbon plate

heel area of white asics shoe

Full Flytefoam Blast+ midsole

The Good

MEAGHAN: As you may imagine from the introduction, my expectations for this shoe were not very high. I felt the previous versions were just too firm, so I was pretty happy that the step-in feel provided a softer, bouncier feel. It doesn’t hurt that the shoes look amazing. The white colorway with red accents gives you those classic Asics vibes.

The upper is very reminiscent of the Metaspeed Sky+. which I love. It’s really light and breathable, but still provides the structure you want for fast running. There isn’t a ton of padding around the collar and heel (more on that below), but the shoes feel comfortable overall. 

While I typically love a ton of stack, I didn’t feel like this shoe lacked anything in the midsole. The FF Blast+ is soft, but paired with the carbon fiber plate, gives you a nice pop. I didn’t do any real workouts in this shoe, but the post run strides felt great. I also found myself naturally picking up the pace on easy runs.  

THOMAS: This shoe looked so good I had to try it on. It fits like an uptempo shoe should. The Magic Speed 3 hugs the arch and just looks like a tiny Porsche for your foot. I was immediately intrigued with the full FlyteFoam Blast+ midsole, and was happy to find the harsh underfoot feeling from the previous models was gone.

The cushion dialed in for fast miles that won’t tear up your legs. Even though the trainer feels low to the ground compared to most shoes today, there is still enough cushion. I was nervous it wouldn’t be enough stack for Meaghan (she loves cushioning above all other traits), so when she liked the ride I was certain the shoe would have wide appeal. The full carbon plate feels snappy. Overall, I have no complaints about the ride of the Magic Speed 3.

The one-piece upper is a screen door. You can feel the breeze flow over your toes. I can’t believe Meaghan didn’t mention the gusseted tongue. It has one. The insole is glued down, so it will be a tight fit if you need custom insoles. Once I had the right size, the Magic Speed 3 fit like a glove. 

There is plenty of rubber on the outsole and I did not experience any issues with traction. My size 10.5 weighs 8.1 oz./232 g.

white asics shoe from above on pavement

Motion Wrap upper is the same material used in Asics’ race day shoes

The Bad

MEAGHAN: I don’t really want to blame the shoe for this because my feet are really jacked up, but I did have some rubbing on my heel that caused a blister/bleeding. After the first run, I made sure to wear higher socks and that fixed the issue, but something to note. 

I also had to size up in this shoe. I typically wear a women’s 7.5, but as with all Asics race-style shoes, I went with a half-size large (women’s 8). 

THOMAS: Meg mentioned it and I will as well. The sizing in Asics shoes varies from daily trainers to race day shoes. I normally wear a size 10.5, but in all of Asics daily trainers including the Superblast, I wear a US size 10. In the Metaspeed Sky+ and Edge+ and the Magic Speed I wear a 10.5. You will need to factor that in when trying the shoes.

outsole rubber on asics magic speed 3

ASICSGRIP outsole rubber

MEAGHAN: I always felt that Asics was missing a solid option for fast training days, and the Magic Speed 3 fits the bill. It’s the perfect companion to the Metaspeed Sky+, and honestly– a possible replacement for it. You can’t beat the $160 price point. I would easily lace this up for the half marathon distance and below. And certainly use it for workouts and faster training days.

THOMAS: This shoe can handle a lot of different runs. While getting miles on the shoe, I used it for easy runs and uptempo runs and liked how the shoe felt for both. The most frequent question we got about the Magic Speed 3 was how does it compare to the Saucony Endorphin Speed. The Magic Speed gives a softer feel and the carbon plate is more noticeable. When you get going in the Magic Speed 3 you can feel the plate flex.

I would recommend the Magic Speed 3 to the runner that likes a closer to the ground feel and a crispy ride. If you’re a diehard Saucony Kinvara fan, maybe give the Magic Speed 3 a shot.

You can pick up the Asics Magic Speed 3 for $160 by using the shop links below.

Shop The Shoe

asics magic speed 3 - shop photo
Shop Asics Magic Speed 3 Men
asics magic speed 3 - shop photo
Shop Asics Magic Speed 3 Women

Closer look at the Flytefoam Blast+ midsole

Watch The Review
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Asics Magic Speed 3 | Carbon-Plated Speedster


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meaghan nyc marathon
Meaghan Murray
Boss Lady
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Meaghan signed up for her first marathon three weeks before the race, because it was $10 more than the half she planned to run. She learned everything in running the hard way. Now a USATF & UESCA certified run coach, she loves encouraging friends to go for big goals as she continues to chase faster times. She enjoys a hot cup of coffee, a cold martini, and making bagels for friends and family.

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Thomas Neuberger
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As the founder of Believe in the Run, Thomas’s goal is to help runners pick the shoes and gear that will make their running experience the best that it can be. 

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