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Road Running Shoes • March 11, 2019

ASICS MetaRide Performance Review

The hardest reviews to write are the ones where you don’t have a strong opinion either way. This is where the Asics MetaRide lands, in the middle. The running shoe equivalent of the “friend zone.”

asics metaride

The Good

I will give the Asics team an A for effort here, at least they are trying to innovate in a market that is going to be saturated with knit uppers and carbon plates. The MetaRide achieves a unique ride with its Guidesole- Asics’ term for their rocker midsole. Their mission behind the design is to create less fatigue for the runner by focusing on “the three main elements of efficiency, cushioning and fit… to help you run further, in ultra-premium comfort.” Their FlyteFoam Propel sole is intended to preserve energy (as is the goal of most midsoles); the curved outsole is designed to give a smooth transition through the heel to toe.

Those are lofty goals that sound great. Run further without getting as tired. Who doesn’t want to be able to do that? After running in the shoe, I can say it feels different from most shoes; the MetaRide forces you to land midfoot and then has an extreme toe spring with a fulcrum right on the ball of your feet. The landing feels springy and then launches you forward in your stride. There is a bounding sensation when you first put them on that settles as you get into your mileage. The sticky Gripsole outsole rubber is close to what I imagine Spider-Man has on the bottom of his feet. Loads of traction.

The upper is pretty close to what you expect from Asics. The Circular Knit upper fits well, is breathable, with no hot spots, and runs true to size.

Shop Asics MetaRide

asics metaride

The Bad

The MetaRide is a bit awkward when walking around; the shoe needs to be running to feel somewhat normal. It is heavy at 11.70 lb/331 grams for a size 10.5. That isn’t egregious, but with a price tag of $250 I want part of the running efficiency to come from a lower weight shoe. For starters, I would recommend losing the Gel in the heel. The cushioning isn’t necessary cause you can’t land on your heel with the zero drop. The elaborate plastic on the heel counter can be 86’d too. It is as useful as camouflaged golf balls, and it adds weight. Take a look at the original Vaporfly upper or the Reebok Floatride Run Fast upper as inspiration.

Shop Asics MetaRide

asics metaride

Asics MetaRide Conclusion

Initially, I thought the MetaRide was going to be fun to run in. It has a bounce to it, and the toe off feels lively. The more I ran in the shoe, the more my feelings were ho-hum. The MetaRide is comfortable, but performance-wise, it doesn’t offer enough of an upgrade from a traditional trainer to merit the $250 price tag.

The MetaRide seemed unique until I got deja vu midway through a run; the ride feels similar to the Airia One, a shoe that claimed it was more efficient as well. You can check out another review of the Airia One on Minneapolis Running. The set up of the MetaRide also feels like the footbed is designed to feel like it has a carbon plate without actually having one. I did easy runs in the MetaRide and striders, the shoe performs well at various paces.

My last run in these my calf started to hurt. I took the shoes off and switched to a different trainer and the pain went away. Maybe my muscles aren’t ready for the zero drop rocker sole.

Shop Asics MetaRide




Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Frans Koning says:

    The metaride is an absolute disaster. WARNING TO ALL BUYERS! It is a killer on your calves, and pain under your foot bridge. Had to rip out the Voltaren after just one run. Feels like wearing sand bags on each ankle, and not just the weight I am talking about. What a costly disappointment. I hope they made their money already so that they can stop production on this one.

  2. Alex Ch says:

    Hello everyone. May be it is a little bit late but Metaride is still in production here in Japan (May 2021) and there is no price cut. That must be for a good reason. I ordered my third pair of Metaride yesterday. The first pair clocked about 900 kilometers. In Japan we have OEM (ASICS) recommendations for Metaride target speed. According to ASICS – Metaride is a daily trainer with a design pace of 5 MINUTES PER KILOMETER OR SLOWER. If you want run faster next recommended model is GlideRide (4 min/km or slower) and after that Evoride or Metaracer.

    Metaride shines at slower speeds. The idea that one can run forever but at slow pace (energy saving concept). It is not designed for a fast run. That is where probably the pain comes from – a runner exceeds the design speed.

    I have run up to 25 kilometers non-stop in Metaride and usually after the first 10 kilometers with a pace around 5 minutes 40 seconds per kilometer the unique soft rolling sensation becomes more and more evident.

    I have tried to enclose a reference from ASICS with my translation, but it has not worked well. Anyway it is available.

    My personal opinion – Metaride is a slow speed trainer which has made a quality leap forward in terms of comfort, health benefits and duration of slow running. My Achilles tendon problem which haunted me for many years has disappeared. Yes, one has to pay a premium price for Metaride, but it offers most comfortable run, lasts around 900 kilometers and preserves Achilles tendon.

  3. Joris Kiestra says:

    I’m running 3 to 4 times a week, 10 km. I’m 57 years old and my speed on Asics Kayano 26 has an average of 9 km/h. I bought my Asics Metaride for 4 weeks and it changed everything. I’m running faster, my pace has come down and my strides are longer and more dynamic. My trainer said I’m running the same way I did for 30 years. Now, what other runners write can be true, but you can’t say the shoes are a disaster. Yes, it only works when you land on your heel, mid-foot, or toe-landers won’t have the effect of accelerating energy that the sole can give you. The Metaride shoe has giving me more satisfaction in running and inspired me to make longer runs. Another pro is that I don’t need inlay soles anymore to prevent bending on the inner foot (overpronation). The way I unroll my foot feels very natural and balanced, although I had to find my balance in the beginning. Who cares about weight? I prefer a Stabil construction over weight and it won’t effect my PR. It’s the same discussion that my friends have about the weight of their race bike and not looking at the weight of their own body. I’m looking forward to my next run on my new shoes!

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