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Road Running Shoes • April 20, 2021

ASICS Magic Speed Performance Review

asics magic speed - feature

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 7.9 oz. (224 g) for a US M9.0 / 6.6 oz. (187 g) for a US W8.0
  • FlyteFoam Blast midsole with half-length carbon-fiber plate
  • Guidesole rocker geometry and full ASICSGRIP rubber outsole
  • Really great tempo/race shoe at a lesser price point than the competition ($150)

ROBBE: If you’re gonna throw ‘magic’ into a shoe name, I need to know a couple of things first. One, are muggles allowed to wear this, and if so, how can I unlock the magic inside of it without breaking Ministry of Magic rules? Unfortunately, none of those details were on the spec sheet we received, so I had to do a little hillbilly wizardry to figure out how this shoe works.

Turns out, you just have to put it on.

MEAGHAN: At this point, you’ve probably jumped on the ASICS plated shoe hype train. If not, here’s another option for you – the Magic Speed – a ‘budget friendly’ option from ASICS. It’s got similar qualities to the MetaSpeed Sky but costs $100 less. Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s talk about the details.

asics magic speed - lateral

The Good

ROBBE: I’m gonna be for real, when I first put this shoe on, I was disappointed. Mainly because I thought this was supposed to be their “super shoe,” but of course, it isn’t (that’s the Metaspeed Sky). So it actually took me a couple weeks to come back to, just because I was disinterested. But then I put them on for a 4-mile run and found them to be quite enjoyable. Like, really, really enjoyable. In fact, I love this shoe.

The FlyteFoam Blast midsole is not the soft, bounce marshmallow that you’re gonna find in the Novablast. Instead, you get a pretty firm ride with a snappy propulsion of the toe on account of the half-length carbon-infused plate in the forefoot. I’m gonna guess Meg probably doesn’t love this shoe because she tends to favor high-stack, softer midsoles, which I’m generally not a fan of. The Guidesole rocker rolls everything straight through.

Let me tell you, I love a good rocker. Van Halen (not Van Hagar), Led Zep, pre-Napster Metallica. Regarding shoes, to date my favorite tempo trainer is the Saucony Endorphin Speed, and this reminds me a lot of that shoe, especially in its fluidity through the stride and its tempo-to-racer-like feel.

Full ASICSGRIP rubber on the outsole gives plenty of traction. It also looks great and comes in a pretty nice $150 price point compared to other shoes in its class. I mean, it’s cheaper than the GEL-Nimbus.

And last but certainly not least, I’m floored that someone was able to keep a shoe name under 15 characters in the year 2021. Take note, literally everyone else.

MEAGHAN: The ASICS Magic Speed is a neutral, ‘fast day’ carbon-plated shoe. The midsole is designed with a full slab of FlyteFoam Blast. It’s pretty dense, but is fairly responsive. You don’t get the big stack like you do with the MetaSpeed Sky, but there is a decent amount of cushioning (women’s is 28 mm in the heel, 23 mm in the forefoot, for a 5 mm drop). The plate runs from the midfoot to forefoot, for some added pop, but not quite the bounce of a full-length plate.

The Guidesole technology gives this shoe that really nice rocker feel and it’s probably my favorite quality. I love that roll-through feeling that just keeps your legs moving. There’s plenty of rubber on the outsole so you’ve got great traction and durability. Even with all the rubber and cushioning, the shoes are still pretty light. My W7.5 came in at 6.8oz (193 grams).

The upper is a simple, breathable mesh that’s comfortable with some decent support. There is minimal padding in the heel and collar to give you that light, race day shoe feel, but you still get a nice secure lockdown with the laces. I didn’t have any issues with rubbing or hot spots.

Shop ASICS Magic Speed – Men Shop ASICS Magic Speed – Women asics magic speed - upper

The Bad

ROBBE: A lot of people have said they found the upper to be quite snug, but I know Thomas and I thought there was too much room. I just could not get a great lockdown no matter how hard I tried. Adequate? Sure. Good? Maybe. But not great. I don’t think it’s a dealbreaker, but I felt the lockdown on the aforementioned Saucony Endorphin Speed was so much better. I do have a narrow foot (Meg’s is wider), so keep that in mind.

MEAGHAN: I could use a little more room in the toebox. I felt like my feet were pretty snug in this guy, especially on a longer, 10+ mile run. I also didn’t love the underfoot feel. The midsole felt pretty dense and I didn’t get that ‘pop’ that I expect with a plated shoe.

Shop ASICS Magic Speed – Men Shop ASICS Magic Speed – Women asics magic speed - tongue

ASICS Magic Speed Conclusion

ROBBE: If someone’s looking for that plated, rockered racer at an affordable price point, I think you’ll love this shoe at $150. Note that you should favor a firmer, rockered ride, though not as rigid or firm as a full-carbon-plated shoe like the ASICS MetaRacer. This could also work great as a tempo shoe for burning up some faster-paced miles. Especially if you’re trying to outrun a death eater.

MEAGHAN: The Magic Speed is an accessible carbon-plated shoe from ASICS that could be used a couple ways: a) for the runner looking for an entry into the carbon plated shoe world or b) to be used in training, paired with the MetaSpeed Sky or Edge for racing – similarly to the Nike Tempo NEXT% which could be used for training and the Alphafly for racing.

You can pick up the ASICS Magic Speed for $150 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop ASICS Magic Speed – Men Shop ASICS Magic Speed – Women


Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Andres Rincon says:

    I been running for about 5 years now and have used brands like New Balance, Nike and Brooks. Last December I was given a pair of Asics GT1000 nice looking shoes for $130 on special. After about 10 miles the shoe ripped I contacted the store and they said it was my fault because the way I wear them… Well trust me I wear all my shoes the same, I put my feet in them and tie them up 🤣
    Save your money and always buy Brooks or atleast a brand that is willing to stand behind their product.

  2. Patrik Jonsson says:

    I already have the Fuelcell Rebel V2, could I pair those with these shoes or should i rather pair them with the Carbon X2 that i’m also thinking about getting? Also, what would you guys say about using these for marathons?

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