Asics Metaride – The ultimate long distance running shoe?

There has been a lot to do about the Asics Metaride. That is mainly because of its price point, it costs $250/€250. When asked on social media why this shoe was so expensive, Asics replied, because Nike does it too. Which doesn’t really seem like a legitimate reason to me. It’s like Apple getting away with asking ridiculous prices because they make good products and then other producers upping their price because Apple gets away with it as well.

So, what do you get for that price? A neutral, maximalist, road running shoe, which has a weight of 252 grams. So far, so good. But then comes the surprising part: it has a 0 mm drop. It has a 30 mm forefoot stack and a 30 mm heel stack. But the 0 mm drop is not what strikes you most about this shoe. It’s the Meta-Rocker shape. Now, I like my running shoes with a rocker shape, but normally that means it is tapered in the forefoot as well as the heel. In this case the rocker shape starts underneath the midfoot and extends throughout the forefoot. There is no real rocker shape at the heel.  

First impressions

When I opened the box I was a bit worried it wasn’t the right size, because they looked a bit small, but they fit perfectly. They probably just looked small because the upper is black. 

The knit on the toe box is really stretchy, something I like, since I prefer a roomy toe box. The Asics overlay on the lateral and medial side of the shoe is thin and very flexible. It provides less support than you might think. The support mainly comes from the plastic heel cup that wraps all the way around the heel of the shoe and even past your ankle. 

The rubber outsole doesn’t really look like rubber, more like a smooth layer of plastic. It is a bit sticky and squeaky when you walk on a smooth surface, like bathroom tiles for example. 

The shoes actually come with a care instructions label attached to it. The care instructions are the same as those for any running shoe, like don’t expose them to too much heat or sunlight and be a bit careful if you want to clean them, in case you were planning to throw your €250 shoes in the washing machine or dryer, don’t do it. All those instruction make sense, but I’ve never actually seen a pair of running shoes with a care label before. 

Could this actually be my next marathon shoe? Could it be that Asics designed a shoe that I actually genuinely like? Wearing the shoes for the first time is a bit of a weird experience, because the shoe is designed to move your weight forward and make you toe off. That makes it a bit difficult to wear them and walk down the stairs, since this shoe is sort of trying to move your weight and throw you down the stairs, so be careful. 

Upper

The Asics Metaride has a circular knit upper. The upper on the toe box is really stretchy, which I always think is a plus. The tongue and collar are really padded, which I personally prefer. 

But the space where the laces and the tongue go, isn’t that wide, which means that the medial side of where the laces go, ends up being on top of my arch. Which creates a hotspot for me. The overall size of the shoes is fine, but on top of my arch they are too tight. 

The shoe has a large heel counter that stretches all the way past your ankle to provide stability and it does so pretty well. There are also thin overlays on medial and lateral side of the shoe, but they are very flexible and don’t offer any extra stability. 

Midsole

The Asics Metaride combines several of the Asics technologies. It has some GEL in the heel area for shock absorption. The midsole has two layers of Flytefoam, the top layer is a bit more firm while the bottom layer much softer. This layer of Flytefoam Propel is a bit bouncier foam that can also be found in the Asics Nimbus.

Outsole

The outsole looks like it’s a thin layer of plastic, but it is probably rubber. The traction isn’t bad, but the outsole is squeaky on smooth surfaces.

Instead of the regular guidance line that Asics has on the outsole of their shoes the Asics Metaride has a 3D guidance line. Which is cut out of the midsole of the shoe and creates holes in the heel and sides of the midsole. I’m not entirely sure it really serves a purpose besides looking like an interesting gimmick. 

Performance

The shoe does propel you forward, which helps you with your running, but my calves did need to get used to this shoe. The first few runs I really felt my calfs afterwards. 

A downside of the Meta-Rocker shape is that it makes it harder to run up a hill, because running uphill shifts your weight to your heels and the curve in the front of the shoe is working against you a little bit while toeing off while you are trying to get up a hill. But it will obviously work with you while running down hill. 

Conclusion

I do like this shoe, I do find it really comfortable. This is a good shoe for heel strikers, because it will help you toe off by rolling you forwards. I do think this shoe can help you run longer, since it makes it easier for you to toe off, even when you’re running on tired legs, but it will not make you any fast. 

The main downside of this shoe is its price point. Yes, it is comfortable and a well made shoe, but I wouldn’t pay that price. There are a lot of comfortable running shoes out there that are good for longer runs. Not sure I’d be willing to pay that amount for any shoe to be honest, but at least with the Nike Vaporfly you’re paying to get faster and if you’re lucky, you might be paying to qualify for Boston through that shoe. The Asics Metaride is nice, but it won’t make you any faster.

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