This weekend in Malaga, as a worldwide launching, the new Asics Metaspeed Sky+ and Metaspeed Edge+. Two events were held: on the one hand the presentation to the media where they explained the new features of the shoes (on Saturday), with official competitions of 21k, 10k and 5k to look for records and personal bests with the new shoes.
But let's move on to the shoes. Asics has revamped its top-of-the-line model, the Metaspeed. With the new model they have simply added a + or "Plus" to the end of the name, but the changes would have been worth a Metaspeed Sky 2 or Metaspeed Edge 2.
And why two models? Asics is the only manufacturer that has two different models of its top of the range that are focused on different users. The Metaspeed Sky are aimed at runners who increase stride length by increasing pace, while the Metaspeed Edge are for runners who increase speed by increasing cadence.
This was already the case with the original model, and Asics continues to maintain it with the new renovated models. In both cases there are changes and innovations, both in the common aspects such as upper and outsole and in the specific aspects regarding the midsole, which is where the differences between Metaspeed Sky and Metaspeed Edge are.
Asics Metaspeed Sky+ and Edge+ new products
The original Asics Metaspeed was one of the most outstanding models of the first batch of super shoes that came to compete with the leading models of Nike (Vaporfly and Alphafly). It was already a winning shoe when it was launched, especially because of its Flytefoam Blast Turbo foam.
For the revamp of the range Asics has collected data from its competitive athletes, processing it directly in its own ISS (Institute of Sports Science) laboratory to see how podían improve its product.
For starters, there is now more foam, especially in the Metaspeed Edge+ which gets 16% more Flytefoam Blast Turbo. The Metaspeed Sky+ has 4% more of that FF Turbo foam that is giving such good results.
This added foam is located in the central area, which is the area where we are going to perform the tread. So there is more cushioning, more rebound and more comfort than before.
But that's not the important part of the renovation. At their sports science institute they were giving the placement and use of the carbon plate (which is full size) some thought, coming to two different conclusions depending on the type of runner using the shoe:
- The runner who increases stride length in order to gain speed benefits from a carbon plate placed in the upper part of the midsole. This allows more foam to be placed underneath it when applying force in the stride, compressing it and thus obtaining a greater amount of rebound.
- On the other hand, the runner who increases cadence does not exert enough force on the stride to compress so much foam. So in this case what Asics is looking for is a plate that makes it easier to maintain a high speed, using a much more curved plate that is placed closer to the bottom of the sole.
This is something that you can perfectly appreciate in the exploded view of the shoe below.
How do you know which shoe is right for you? Easy, just look at your training data. If you maintain a stable cadence and increase your stride when you do series or race rhythms (either of these two data will provide you with most watches), you are a stride runner. However, if you increase your speed by taking more steps of the same length, then you are a cadence runner.
The shape and location of the carbon plate is the main difference between the two models, although there is more. The stack and drop is different: While the Metaspeed Sky+ has a 5mm drop with forefoot and heel heights of 34mm and 39mm respectively, the Metaspeed Edge+ have an 8mm drop because the forefoot height is 31mm.
It also changes the shape of the toe cap to facilitate toe-off. In the Asics Metaspeed Sky+ the toe cap is rounder and more curved than in the original model. This is due to a change in the shape of the carbon plate, which now "faces upwards".
In the Edge+ the toe cap is spiked and positioned lower than in the original model. This, together with the specific design of the plate helps stabilize the stride and assists with the forward displacement of the runner.
The upper is different from the original model. There are not many changes, but Asics says it is lighter and more breathable. And I can attest to this, as the air intake in the shoe can be felt as soon as you put it on.
The laces are new. Gone are the basic flat laces and now Asics has opted for a ribbed laces, similar to those of the Alphafly and Vaporfly, which make it difficult to untie the shoe while running.
The outsole has changed its design. It is still made of Asics grip compound, but it has been reduced in the middle area of the shoe while increasing the amount of material in the area under the midfoot, which is where we will need more traction.
By the way, in this image you can see how the toe cap of the new Metaspeed Sky+ is much more aggressive, but a direct comparison will make it much clearer.
In short, many small changes to make a shoe that as I said at the beginning would well deserve to get a 2 after the name, because as you can see after this last image the sum of the changes make a shoe that ends up being quite different.
As for opinion and sensations of the new Asics MetaSpeed Sky+, that will come later. At the moment I've only used them in the 5K race of the Asics event (with MMP, by the way) and in the continuation of the training I did afterwards with just over 14 additional kilometers at a rather gentler pace.
They have a half marathon coming up this Sunday, so it's a great opportunity for poder to use them in their most appropriate use (although it's perfectly valid for short distances). And I also want to compare it well with other models of fast running shoes and assess at the time the feel and thrust of the Flytefoam Turbo foam from Asics which, in my opinion, is what most resembles the ZoomX from Nike with the advantage of being noticeably more stable.
So the full analysis and opinion will come in the next few days in a new day. Until then... thanks for reading!