Asics Magic Speed review

A firm daily shoe that’s made for fast tempo runs and speed sessions

Asics Magic Speed running shoes
(Image: © Michael Sawh)

TechRadar Verdict

The Asics MagicSpeed is a good value shoe that’s light and enjoyable to run quickly in and is a great fit for tempo runs and speed sessions. The cushioning is a bit on the firm side compared to some daily trainers, and it’s not one that works well at easier paces, but it’s responsive and you can reap the benefits of the half length carbon plate and Guidesole curved rocker sole design, which helps to give it that snappy feel.


  • +

    Light, breathable upper

  • +

    Snappy feel at speed

  • +

    Grippy rubber outsole


  • -

    Firmer than similarly priced shoes

  • -

    Medium to narrow fit

  • -

    Not one for easy miles

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Two-minute review

The Magic Speed is a neutral running shoe that Asics says is made for racing and a go-to for training runs. Unlike the Asics Metaspeed Sky and Edge, the Speed is a more affordable option that grabs some of the characteristics from those pricier performance shoes and still gives you that quick, snappy feeling.

Asics uses its FF Blast midsole foam to offer a responsive and lightweight cushioning, with a half length carbon fibre plate and curved Guidesole rocker design to offer that forward propulsion feeling without feeling taxing on the legs.  

The engineered mesh upper has a ventilated design to keep things breathable, with flat laces, a thin tongue and a minimal heel collar keeping the overall weight of the shoe down. Underfoot, the outsole is made from two types of rubber to make sure it’s durable and is built to excel in both wet and dry roads.

Asics Magic Speed running shoes

The Asics Magic Speed feels best at quicker paces (Image credit: Michael Sawh)

It’s a shoe that feels nicest at quicker paces, and while cushioning is a little on the firm side, it’s nicely responsive and it still feels like a controlled and stable shoe to run in too. 

Combine that with a light, thin upper that delivers a locked down fit, and it’s a well priced shoe that holds up well against other quick daily trainers like the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 and the Puma Velocity Nitro.

Review sample provided by SportShoes.

Price and release date

The Asics MagicSpeed was launched in March 2021m and costs £145 / $150 / AU$250 from Asics.


The Magic Speed see Asics continue its love-in with a sunrise red and white colorway that started on the Metaracer, and we have zero complaints about it sticking around for the Speed. This is another great looker that feels made for racing.

Aside from its eye-catching look and curved silhouette, it’s a pleasingly light shoe as well, weighing in at 187g for the women’s shoe and around 230g for the men’s option. It’s not quite as light as the Metaspeed Sky, but it’s around the same weight as similarly priced shoes like Saucony’s Endorphin Speed 2.

Asics Magic Speed running shoes

The mesh upper is lightweight and breathable (Image credit: Michael Sawh)

A lot of that is down to the mesh upper, which is thin and perforated to keep things ventilated and breathable. There are flat laces to get a good locked-down fit, and there’s very little to the tongue, which after some small playing around sits snugly against the top of the foot. Asics has gone minimal on the heel collar too, but look inside the shoe and you'll see there's just a little padding to prevent that thin collar from rubbing into the back of the heel.

The fit definitely veers more on the narrow side, so some with wider feet might find it snug. Our UK size 8 was fine with our narrow feet, with enough room up in the toe box, but it’s undeniably a shoe that you might want to explore your size options with.

Specs-wise, it has a 5mm drop like the Metaspeed Sky, with a slightly higher 29mm stack height in the forefoot and 34mm stack height at the heel. Asics’ EVA-based Flytefoam Blast cushioning is planted in the midsole, keeping the weight of the shoe down but also ensures it's durable. This is a shoe built to withstand regular pounding.

Asics Magic Speed running shoes

The Magic Speed's grooved outsole makes it nimble on tricky routes (Image credit: Michael Sawh)

There’s a carbon plate here too, but it’s not a full length one. Instead, it covers the curved forefoot to give you that forward propulsion feeling that carbon can help to deliver.

In the outsole, Asics is using a combination of rubbers to offer strong abrasion resistance to make sure it doesn’t quickly wear down and offer plenty in the way of traction. It doesn’t fully cover the outsole, with some foam exposed at the heel, but the grooved design in the forefoot follows that curved sole design to make it a nimble shoe when you’re twisting and turning around trickier routes and courses.


The Magic Speed runs very differently to the Metaspeed Sky, but that’s not a huge surprise when that shoe is really Asics’ answer to Nike's Vaporfly and Alphafly shoes. There are also some noticeable differences in the upper, cushioning and the distances they seem to excel at.

Asics Magic Speed running shoes

The Asics Magic Speed rewards you when you want to run fast (Image credit: Michael Sawh)

In a 10k race, the overall feeling was that when you want to run quickly in this shoe, you’re rewarded. Asics’ Flytefoam Blast midsole foam feels firmer than the Flytefoam Blast Turbo foam used on the Metaspeed Sky and foams used in rival shoes like Saucony’s Endorphin Speed 2. It’s responsive at speed though, and that half-length carbon plate and Guidesole rocker mean it offers a noticeable forward push without being aggressive.

It was a similar story for tempo runs and interval track sessions. When you pick up the pace, this shoe feels snappy and enjoyable to run in, but never gives you that unstable feel like you can get on some high stacked, full length carbon plate shoes.

On longer training runs, it’s an overall comfortable shoe, and one that can lend itself to those bigger stints. When you drop the speed though, or even walk, it simply doesn't feel like a good fit for those slow, easy paces.

While that upper is pleasingly light, comfortable and goes minimal with the heel collar, the strategically placed padding inside means it's stable to run in, too. The rubber outsole offers satisfying grip on dry and wet roads, and feels more durable than the Metaspeed Sky.

Asics Magic Speed running shoes

The outsole provides plenty of grip in wet conditions, but we'd recommend not straying off-road (Image credit: Michael Sawh)

When we ventured off road the feeling underfoot wasn’t great, so it’s one to definitely stick to road and track running if you want it to go the distance on the durability front.

If you compare the Magic Speed to what else you can get in at around this price, you’re looking at the likes of the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2, the Hoka One One Carbon X2 or even the cheaper Puma Velocity Nitro.

The Speed 2 and Velocity Nitro definitely feels more versatile in terms of working at a range of paces, while the X2 has more spacious, accommodating upper and plusher cushioning too. The Magic Speed is in good company here though and is overall a shoe that’s been enjoyable to run quickly in.

Buy it if

You want a speedy daily shoe
If you’re looking for something for tempo and interval sessions, that’s where the MagicSpeed really excels.

You want a light, supportive upper
Asics has kept the weight down, but does offer support in the right places to offer a stable and controlled ride.

Don't buy it if

You want a softer ride
The cushioning on the MagicSpeed is a little on the firm side, which won’t be for everyone.

You want something for easy miles
The clue is in the name. This is one that’s built for speed and isn’t really a do-it all shoe.

Michael Sawh

Michael is a freelance journalist who has covered consumer technology for over a decade and specializes in wearable and fitness tech. Previously editor of Wareable, he also co-ran the features and reviews sections of T3, and has a long list of bylines in the world of consumer tech sites.

With a focus on fitness trackers, headphones, running wearables, phones, and tablet, he has written for numerous publications including Wired UK, GQ, Men's Fitness, BBC Science Focus, Metro and Stuff, and has appeared on the BBC Travel Show. Michael is a keen swimmer, a runner with a number of marathons under his belt, and is also the co-founder of YouTube channel The Run Testers.