Like most running shoe brands, Asics launched a carbon plate racing shoe in 2020. However, the Metaracer was not designed to go head to head with the reigning champ Nike Vaporfly NEXT%; instead, it offered a middle ground between traditional racing flats and modern super-shoes, with a relatively modest stack and a carbon plate under the forefoot only.
In 2021, Asics is evidently ready to take its shot at the king by launching two high-stack shoes with full-length carbon plates. The Metaspeed Sky and Metaspeed Edge are designed to suit different running styles to provide even greater benefits for amateurs and elites alike.
The two running styles in question are labelled “stride” and “cadence”, and refer to how runners increase their speed during a race. Stride runners have a loping gait, keep their cadence the same and increase their stride length, while cadence runners shuffle more and increase both their cadence and stride length when running faster.
Asics says that the carbon shoes currently available best suit stride runners, and the different options in the Metaspeed range will help both types of runners hit their full potential.
Both shoes will feature a new midsole foam called FF Blast Turbo, a light and bouncy foam that appears to be a souped-up version of the FF Blast material used in the Asics Novablast. Both will have a full-length carbon plate too, unlike the Metaracer.
The Metaspeed Sky is the first shoe to arrive on 31st March, while the Edge will launch on 4th June. The Sky has a higher stack of 33mm at the heel in the men’s and 31mm in the women’s, while the Edge is 29mm in the men’s and 28mm in the women’s. The Edge has a bigger heel-to-toe drop at 8mm compared with 5mm for the Sky, and is the lighter shoe, listed at 188g (men’s) and 160g (women’s), while the Sky is 199g (men’s) and 165g (women’s).
The Metaspeed Sky is on the Asics website now and costs £225, making it one of the more expensive carbon plate shoes – only the Nike Alphafly NEXT% costs more at £259.95.