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Asics Metaspeed Sky review

A speedy shoe for race day to go toe-to-toe with Adidas and Nike's super shoes

Asics Metaspeed Sky
(Image: © Michael Sawh)

Our Verdict

The Asics Metaspeed Sky is made to keep you quick over short and long distances, and is does deliver on that front. It feels like one to reserve for when PBs are at stake – a lightweight racing shoe that offers a great cushioned feel and can make going quickly feel pretty effortless at times. It’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for a great alternative to what Nike and Adidas currently have to offer in the performance shoe realms, don’t rule out the Metaspeed Sky.

For

  • Speedy and cushioned on long runs
  • Grippy rubber outsole
  • Spacious upper for wide feet
  • Lightweight design

Against

  • Question marks over durability
  • Not one for easy runs
  • Not cheap

Two-minute review

The Metaspeed Sky sees Asics lay down the gauntlet to Nike and Adidas and prove that it can make a running shoe that’s built for going fast and helping maintain that speed over the course of your run or race.

Announced alongside the Metaspeed Edge and the Ride shoes, the Sky has been shaped by research from Asics that suggests when some runners run fast, they increase their stride length. The Sky is the shoe for that particular type of runner, and help extend that stride and get you to the finish line quicker.

Asics Metaspeed Sky

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

It sees the debut of Asics’ new FF Blast Turbo midsole foam that’s combined with a full length carbon plate to create a soft, durable cushioned ride, while still giving that feeling of being propelled forward.

Asics keeps things light too thanks to a thin mesh upper, minimal padding in the heel collar and a skinny tongue to match that light, midsole foam. It’s spacious too, making it a good fit for wider fit, though we weren’t a huge fan of the braided-style laces and we’d have opted for an upper that offered a more locked down fit.

It’s a shoe that feels best running at speed where you can really reap the benefits of the nicely responsive cushioning and the spring forward you get from the carbon plate and the curved sole design. It doesn't feel as enjoyable when you ease off the pace and pretty much rules this out as one to put in some easy miles with.

Asics Metaspeed Sky

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

The rubber outsole won’t let you down though and feels great on dry and wet flat roads and pavements. Though the noticeably exposed foam near the heel means it’s one you wouldn’t want to do all of your sessions in.

The Metaspeed Sky certainly isn’t cheap and comes in pricier than the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 and the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro. If you’re after a shoe, which feels light to run in, spacious and enjoyable going fast, then you’ll have a lot of time for the Metaspeed Sky.

Price and release date

The Asics Metaspeed Sky was launched in March 2021 and costs $250 / £225 / AU$330 from Asics.

Design

The Metaspeed Sky comes just in the one colourway and sees Asics continuing the sunrise red theme it introduced on the Metaracer, which certainly makes this shoe stand out for the right reasons.

The first thing you’ll notice when you whip these out of the box is that they really don’t weigh a lot. The men’s shoe weighs 210g and the women’s comes in at 180g, putting it around the Vaporfly Next% 2 in weight terms.

Asics Metaspeed Sky

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

It’s a clear sign this shoe is designed for racing, as Asics has sought to shave off weight wherever it feels it can – from the braid-style laces and the short tongue to keeping padding in the heel to a minimum. The engineered mesh upper is made from 100% recycled polyester, which gives it quite a coarse feel to touch, but keeps things breathable and cool and offer some protection when the rain comes calling.

For those key shoe specs, there’s a 5mm heel-to-toe drop, a 33mm stack height in the heel and 28mm in the forefoot. That's not quite as stacked as the Vaporfly 2 or the Adizero, giving you a slightly more 'close to the ground' feel than those rival shoes.

Asics Metaspeed Sky

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

The big talking point here is the new FF Blast Turbo midsole. The cushioning technology is made up from a nylon-based foam designed to be light, which compresses at foot strike then quickly jumps back into shape to make it a responsive shoe to run in.

That’s joined by a full length carbon fiber plate, which is a departure from the one placed in the midsole only on the Metaracer. Combined with the overall curved look of the Sky, it’s made to offer a more controlled and stable feel as it seeks to propel you forward.

Underfoot, you’ve got an AsicsGrip rubber outsole, which spreads that rubber a little more densely at the forefoot clearly with a view of efficiently adding that rubber in the most effective places and keeping the overall weight of the shoe down.

Performance

We ran a variety of different sessions in the Metaspeed Sky. Short 5k runs, interval track sessions, tempo runs. We managed a 10k race in them and put them to the long training run test too. Our overall feeling about them is that they feel best when you want to run your quickest.

It’s almost as if as soon as you up the pace, everything just seems to click into gear. The midsole foam does exactly what Asics promises it’ll do. It’s soft, but not overly so, and springs back into shape to keep you running consistently quick in quite an effortless way. That full length carbon plate gives you that nice push forward, but you always feel in control.

Asics Metaspeed Sky

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

It felt best on longer runs closer to our marathon pace, where you can almost feel like you’re coasting at that quicker pace, and it just didn’t feel taxing on the legs as we expected it to be. It worked for those interval track sessions too, and we put in a decent 40-minute 10k race in them.

When you ease off the pace though, it’s almost like you’re disengaging everything that makes this shoe special to run and it can start to feel a bit clunky as soon as you do that. This isn’t a shoe that feels built for easy miles.

The upper is an interesting one for us. It’s not the best upper we’ve tried on a shoe, but it’s not an uncomfortable one either. We’d prefer more of a tongue and the laces just don’t feel like great quality either.

Where you can’t fault it is that it's particularly spacious up front and in the toe box, so if you have wide feet, you’re in luck here. For our narrow feet, we’d have preferred something that fitted a little closer, but that space makes it a good fit for long distance runs and marathons.

Asics Metaspeed Sky

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

As with the the Metaracer, Asics doesn’t disappoint in the outsole department. We mainly pounded dry pavements and roads and had to tackle some rainy runs too and the shoe gripped well in both those running conditions.

We’ve mentioned that the rubber isn’t spread evenly across that outsole leaving some of the foam exposed nearer the heel area. That’s immediately a concern from a durability point of view, and there are already signs of wear. It’s one you want to save for races and when you want to run your quickest.

Overall though, it’s a shoe that feels great to run quickly in and while we don’t absolutely love the upper, you can’t fault it from a comfort point of view. Asics promised us a super shoe and it’s certainly delivered that with the Metaspeed Sky.

Buy it if

You want something to run fast in
The Metaspeed Sky is built for speed and if you like the idea of something that can help you do that in a lightweight, spacious design, then this is for you.

You want a spacious upper
The engineered mesh upper offers ample room for bigger, wider feet and the kind of space to make it well suited when you need to up the mileage.

Don't buy it if

You want a do-it-all shoe
This isn’t a shoe to pick up as a daily trainer or to wear for 'pressure’s off' runs. It’s one to save when you want to be at your quickest.

You like a more narrow upper
While most will appreciate the spacious mesh upper, some might prefer something that sits closer to the feet or go for a smaller size.