Asics has launched two new race shoes, designed for runners with different stride lengths. The Metaspeed Sky is made for those who increase their speed by taking longer strides, while the Metaspeed Edge is built for those who extend their stride length, but also increase their cadence.
To find out which type of runner you are, check out the Asics Innovation Summit, where you can answer a questionnaire to help you pick the right shoe for you.
Both models have the same components, with a full-length carbon plate to conserve energy (a feature that's become commonplace in race shoes over the last couple of years) a curved sole unit to help your foot roll and reduce ankle flexion, and a bouncy foam midsole.
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Both new shoes have engineered mesh uppers made from recycled polyester, helping reduce the use of virgin plastics. Asics began working recycled materials into its shoes while designing sportswear for the Tokyo Olympic Games, and it's now begun incorporating reclaimed textiles into its consumer products too.
Earlier this year, the company released the Sunrise Reborn pack, containing a distance training shoe and a hybrid street/technical shoe, both made from old clothing gathered in Japan. The material for these shoes was processed and solution dyed – a technique that involves adding color to the plastic before it's made into filaments, and uses far less water than dyeing it later.
One (not so) small step...
The differences between the two Metaspeed models are all down to construction and geometry. The Metaspeed Sky has a thicker sole than the Edge, for better cushioning as runners increase their stride length
There's also a difference in heel drop: the Sky has a 5mm height difference between heel and toe, while the Edge has an 8mm difference. Finally, the Sky has a sharper curvature at the forefoot than the Edge, enabling runners to push off further with each stride.
Prices are yet to be announced, but the Metaspeed Sky will be available from March 31, and the Metaspeed Edge will go on sale on June 4.
With so many carbon running shoes now on the market (plus more affordable designs with stiff nylon plates like the Saucony Endorphin Speed), it's good to see more variety in styles rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. We'll be putting the new Metaspeed models to the test, and bringing you a full review soon.
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