When we first got serious about running, Asics were our go-to shoes. We’ve discovered many different brands for running over the years, but Asics will always have a place in our hearts. They are a good solid choice for running and, like a good dependable friend, they’ve never let seem to let us down too much.
You can read all our reviews of Asics here, but one style of shoes we haven’t tried from them recently is a “speedy” pair. Thus we were super stoked to try the carbon plated Magic Speed 3 to see what they can do.
The Magic Speed 3 is a gorgeous shoe. While there are three colorways available (black/white and blue/yellow), but the white style with a ring of salmon around the bottom edge is beautiful. I don’t traditionally choose white shoes because they get dirty so fast, but these are worth the risk. They just look slick and fast.
The upper is made with a lightweight and breathable mesh material that allows for maximum airflow. This MOTION WRAP tech has a barely-there feel and provides ultimate breathability to the top of your foot. The material is so thin, you’ll be able to see the pattern of your socks through the shoes.
The winged tongue connects to the inside walls of the shoe to gently hug the sides of your foot for extra support. There is also ample cushion around the heel to keep the lock in place.
If an eco-conscious shoe is your jam, you’ll be happy to hear that at least 50% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled materials.
The “Magic” in Magic Speed 3 is probably due to the midsole. This shoe is light shoe that begs to be run fast in due to the full-length carbon plate. The plate, as most in this category, offers that little extra bounce and propulsion to push you forward.
For us, carbon-plated shoes can be interesting. Their benefit is evident (and they are all the rage nowadays), but we sometimes we feel that they can only reach their potential at certain speeds. We would probably echo this here, while the plate allows for a smooth and quick transition from heel to toe while running, if you aren’t pushing the pace it doesn’t feel like the shoe is doing it’s job. Maybe that’s ultimately the case, but we would recommend this midsole for those who are looking to PR and not as a daily runner.
We don’t have much bad to say about the outsole. It has a durable and grippy rubber material that provides excellent traction on different surfaces. This is strategically placed on the outsole to reduce weight. I will say that we found there to be surprisingly substantial amount of ground contact – which still keeping the shoe light. Impressive.
Fit & Function
This is the third iteration of this shoe and, while we haven’t personally tried the previous versions, there is a general consensus across the interwebz that this one is an improvement. The Magic Speed 3’s are some of the lightest shoes in my closet currently, but don’t feel minimalistic. With increasing heat this summer and consistently sweaty feet, this is a welcome benefit.
One challenge many of us at Run Oregon have felt in carbon-plated racers is a level of rigidity that comes with that plate. It is why we encourage, like with any new shoe, that you ease into your wear. It can be a weirdly odd transition to just dive straight into plated shoes when you are used to foam.
For some of us, this transition really leaves the fit and ride of those shoes to feel too firm. With the Magic Speed 3’s, Nikki highlighted that you’ll feel significant bounce as soon as you put these on, especially in the midfoot and that they definitely have some serious energy return. These are “go fast” shoes. Toeing off in these on your feet make you feel like a rocket. These aren’t super-cushioned shoes (there is still a pretty good road feel), but it isn’t as punishing as some plated shoes can be.
The addition of the full length FF Blast Plus cushioning really help in softening the blow and providing some support to the bounce and propulsion.
We felt like the breathability and lightweight feel is off the charts with the Magic Speed 3. If these shoes don’t make you feel like you could fly, we don’t know what else could.
If you’ve never explored a carbon plated shoe, these are worth easing into. Like with most new shoes (especially those with plates), we probably wouldn’t take these shoes out for a long run, but that’s not really what they are for. They are meant to be light and fast, and that’s exactly what they offer.