In the world of running shoes, The ASICS Magic Speed 2 might be the best balance of speedy performance and price.
This fancy piece of footwear is designed to go fast, get you to the finish line first, and keep your feet from feeling the unforgiving concrete underneath.
With a carbon fiber plate sandwiched between two layers of cushion, there is an astonishing propulsive sensation with every stride.
The performance of this shoe compares closely to the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3, Altra Vanish Tempo, and Hoka Carbon X 3.
This review will dig into the exciting features that make the ASICS Magic Speed 2 a great option for any runner.
ASICS Magic Speed 2: First Impressions
I immediately noticed some great changes that were introduced with the update to the Magic Speed model.
The Magic Speed 2 comes with padding in the heel collar that tremendously outshines its predecessor.
The original Magic Speed gave me heel blisters on tempo runs while the Magic Speed 2 produces long-lasting comfort.
The double layer engineered mesh upper is more reinforced and gives the impression that the Magic Speed 2 is of higher quality than last year’s model.
A slighter thicker midsole and full length carbon fiber plate induces a soft, yet energizing ride.
The performance is noticeably better than the 3/4 length carbon plate in the midsole of the previous model.
ASICS Magic Speed 2: About the shoe
ASICS, a brand founded on the philosophy “Sound Mind, Sound Body”, has been making impressive strides in the running industry these past few years.
Additions to the ASICS lineup like the Magic Speed 2 are what make this company stand tall amongst the rest of the great contenders in the market.
The ASICS Magic Speed 2 has an abundance of new features that help it soar to new heights. Starting from the bottom is the improved outsole construction.
ASICSGRIP outsole increases durability and improves gait efficiency with greater traction on running surfaces. Filling most of the space between the foot and the outsole is the midsole cushion.
Constructed with FlyteFoam Blast, the cushion of the ASICS Magic Speed 2 is soft, light, and propulsive.
Sandwiched between a top layer of FF Blast Plus foam and a bottom layer of Flytefoam is the hidden gem of the Magic Speed 2; a full-length carbon fiber plate.
Last year’s model had a 3/4 length plate that didn’t offer much excitement. Having run in both the Speed and Speed 2, I can confidently state that there is a stark improvement in footwear performance with this new model.
The additional length of carbon plate in the Magic Speed 2 seems to allow the shoe to operate more efficiently than its 3/4 length counterpart.
Read this article to learn more about how carbon plates improve running economy.
The top of the foot is nestled underneath a double-layer of engineered mesh that offers breathability and reinforced material for long-lasting durability.
The weight of the ASICS Magic Speed 2 is a few grams heavier than its predecessor. This is likely a result of the added 2 millimeters of foam in the heel of the shoe along with the extra padding in the heel.
The increase of foam in the heel generates an extra plush landing pad along with a raised heel-to-toe ratio. This 7 mm offset puts runners a little more forward on their toes, thus promoting an efficient running form.
Intended for tempo runs and racing, this shoe checks off every box on the list. The shoe is soft, light, and propulsive.
The only minor downside to this shoe is its limited lifetime. Like most high-performance shoes, the ASICS Magic Speed 2 doesn’t typically last the standard 300–500 miles of most daily trainers.
Runners using the ASICS Magic Speed 2 might experience reduced shoe performance after 200-300 miles or earlier.
ASICS Magic Speed 2: Colors and Widths
Most carbon plate running shoes come in a very limited variety of color variants. Fortunately for ASICS lovers, the Magic Speed 2 has a decent variety of options to accommodate a range of race day outfits.
Men have 6 different colors to choose from. Most of the available options are bright and exciting. That being said, there is a black option for the less expressive individual.
Ladies have 5 options that offer a range of flair and subtle taste. Arguably more important than the style of the shoe is the fit.
The ASICS Magics Speed 2 comes in a relatively full list of size options for men and ladies. Men’s sizes span from a size 6 up to a size 15 while women’s sizes are listed from 5 through 12.
Although the Magic Speed 2 is not offered in half sizes, many ladies seeking a wider fit should be able to use a sizing conversion to achieve a wider fit.
Ladies looking for a wider fit can usually find accommodation by selecting a men’s shoe and reducing the size by 1.5 sizes. For example, a woman in need of a size 8 wide could get the desired fit by trying on a men’s 6.5.
ASICS Magic Speed 2 Road Test: How Did It Perform?
The ASICS Magic Speed 2 performed beautifully on the road. The FF Blast midsole foam is soft, yet delivers a reactive bounce. The carbon fiber plate offers energy conservation and elevated performance at higher speeds.
For me, any pace slower than 6:00/mile seems like a bad combination for the Magic Speed 2. Quite frankly, I stand by that claim for any carbon fiber racing shoe on the market today.
Running at slower paces than the one mentioned above seems to negate the performance offered by the carbon fiber. That being said, if you feel faster in the Magic Speed 2, then wear the Magic Speed 2.
The rubberized outsole feels more durable than that of most other racing models. Accumulating 200-300 miles feels attainable in the Magic Speed 2.
It is worth noting that the outsole is mostly non-existent in the heel portion of the shoe. Runners with a heavy heel strike might not reach the 200-300 mile threshold.
The shoe is stable on the pavement but felt a little unnerving at times when transitioning through gravel or uneven dirt roads. I definitely would not use this shoe in any form of trail running/racing.
The Magic Speed 2 is not the softest or lightest shoe on the market, but it makes for a well-rounded option for tempo runs and races at just about any distance upwards of a marathon.
Key Takeaways: Should You Buy The ASICS Magic Speed 2?
The ASICS Magic Speed 2 is a great option for anyone that incorporates speed work or races into their running schedule.
The retail price of the Magic Speed 2 is far more appealing than other comparable shoes on the market. A cost that was once difficult to justify is now made easier with a price similar to that of most daily trainers.
I would not recommend this shoe to the runner that thrives off having a single pair of shoes in their rotation.
This shoe is designed to run fast; something none of us should do every day. Make sure to have a standard trainer in your arsenal for those easier runs.
I thoroughly enjoy running in the ASICS Magic Speed 2. There isn’t much to criticize! If you’re looking for an incredible shoe that will take you to new paces, the Magic Speed 2 is a great option.