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I ran the Paris marathon with Asics’ new METASPEED Paris trainers

Of all the crazy tests I’ve done for products, this one’s got to be up there. To try out Asics’ new METASPEED Paris running shoes, I signed up to run the Paris marathon. It’s not something I could say I was adequately prepared to run, but I signed up anyway. It’s the perfect performance and endurance test for a pair of top-tier running shoes.

So, I followed our marathon gear guide, prepared myself as best I could, and set off to Paris. To run a marathon. Yep, really. Here’s how the new Asics METASPEED Paris running shoes fared over the 26.2 mile event.

About the Asics MetaSpeed Paris shoes

The METASPEED Sky and METASPEED Edge were created for the “stride” and “cadence” running styles, respectively. As Asics explained to me during its Festival of Running in Paris, a stride runner is one that takes longer strides to speed up. Whereas, a cadence runner is someone that takes more steps to go faster (the traditional type of speeding up). I, unlike most casual runners, seem to fall into the stride runner category. Apparently I like to be difficult! The new METASPEED Sky Paris and Edge Paris follow suit, but with some nifty upgrades. They’ve got this trick up their sleeve where they help you maintain your ideal posture and foot strike angle, even when you’re knackered. Since they’re Asics’ flagship shoes, they’ve got a flagship £220 price.

These new METASPEED Paris shoes have shed about 22g off their predecessors, which is a big deal in the running shoe world. They’ve achieved this weightless feel with a new Motion Wrap Upper 2.0, making the shoe’s upper lighter and more breathable. Plus, there’s the introduction of a new FF Blast Turbo Plus midsole foam. This isn’t just a mouthful to say; it’s also lighter, softer, and bouncier than before. The METASPEED Sky Paris has widened its full-length carbon plate in the forefoot region. While the METASPEED Edge Paris sets up the carbon plate position ideally for cadence runners with something that’s more curved. It’s all about getting that perfect toe-off and bounce from the foam.

Asics actually took apart a METASPEED Paris shoe so you can see the foam and carbon plate. Another difference between the two shoes is where the foam actually goes. To match the plate’s curve and to provide more bounce, the Edge shoes have more foam at the front. While the Sky shoes have more foam on the back to support how stride runners plonk their feet down. The carbon plate gets sandwiched between two halves of foam.

Asics isn’t just throwing tech at these shoes willy-nilly. Some clever folk behind-the-scenes have ensured that every tech bit is validated by the Institute of Sport Science and real-world athletes. The feedback? Vincent Kipkemoi Ngeitch and Michael Somers, two rather speedy marathoners, have already given these shoes two thumbs up for their lightness, bounciness, and speed. But what would I think to them while running the Paris marathon? There’s only one way to find out – and that involves putting the shoes on and plodding along the pavement.

How did they fare on the marathon?

As I mentioned earlier, I (apparently) don’t like to do things easily, so am a stride runner. It doesn’t actually make running harder, but it’s the less common style of running. So, I aptly opted for the Asics METASPEED Sky Paris, as they’re the new running shoes from the range designed for cadence runners.

Design-wise, these shoes certainly stand-out with their neon pink/orange colouring. I got quite a few looks while wearing them around Paris. As for how light they are, Asics’ description doesn’t do the shoes justice. You have to wear them to feel just how light they are. You can really feel this with the upper mesh of the shoe, which is very thin. The foam is, as promised, just as light and bouncy. The result is a running shoe that’s comfortable, lightweight, supportive, and springy. So the only thing left to do was, you know, run the damn marathon.

With the shoes donned, I headed to the Arc de Triomph for the marathon’s starting line. Walking in the shoes is a little more unnatural than running in them, if you’re used to flatter soles. As the marathon began, I set off in the shoes. The bounce from the foam felt like it really helped to propel me along, especially at the beginning. Perhaps some of it was placebo effect, but it felt like my feet were getting a nice push every time they hit the ground.

Over the course of the marathon, the shoes stayed comfortable and lightweight. Best of all, they’re breathable, as nobody likes getting hot toes while running. Having not run a marathon before, I can’t compare the performance when it comes to speed or time. But they’re a very comfortable running shoe, supportive, and they feel like they help to push you along. If you’re running a marathon, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Asics METASPEED Paris.

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