Review: Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris

One of the lightest carbon-plated shoes ever created. And it's fast. Really fast.

Review: Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris 1
Review: Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris 2

On March 4, Asics released the Metaspeed Paris: a new super-shoe meant to give their athletes the edge at the upcoming Olympics Games. It was a characteristic move for the shoe brand: they’ve been releasing Olympic-themed shoes as early as 1966, when they graced us with The Mexico.

Despite being overshadowed by Nike’s exclusive and high-profile release of the Alphafly 3 the month prior, the Hyperion Elite 4 has quietly gained credibility as a top product on elite start lines all over the world.

The Metaspeed Paris is the fourth iteration in Asics’ Metaspeed line: the family of sneakers that pulled the company out of the darkness and thrusted into the thick of the shoe wars with Nike and Adidas back in 2021.

Asics has dubbed the Paris as the top super-shoe they’ve ever created; it’s also the lightest available road racer on the market (save for the one-use-only Adidas Pro Evo 1; which is nearly impossible to find.)

Like its predecessors, the Metaspeed Paris comes in two versions: the Sky and the Edge. The Sky is made for what Asics calls “stride runners”, who build speed by taking longer strides. The Edge, conversely, is made for “cadence runners”: those who get faster by increasing their stride frequency.

I, a self-diagnosed “stride runner”, thoroughly wear-tested the Metaspeed Paris Sky, and share below how it varies from the Edge and previous models, how it feels on the run, and why I think Asics managed to create a special breed of super-shoe. 

The TL;DR – What You Need To Know:



Love it. Packs an incredible punch for its size and weight. 

  • The Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris is a rare hybrid: It has all the power and pop of a Nike AlphaFly 3 while providing a close-to-the-ground, quick-turnover feeling that huge super shoes cannot physically achieve.
  • Less cushioning than other carbon plated racing shoes, which is a pro and a con.
  • Its hidden talent is that it doubles as a comfortable workout shoe, whereas those other powerhouses can feel too mighty for a tempo run. The AlphaFly 3 has one gear: The Paris will meet you at your effort level. 
Review: Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris 3
  • All of our shoe testers are died-in-the-wool, experienced runners with a broad experience of the sport. They’re typically running 30+ miles per week.
  • We put each pair of shoes through a battery of tests: a typical review will involve several test runs on a variety of distances and terrains, designed to identify any snags or issues.
  • We talk to experts in the shoe industry and gather advice and insights from other runners, to best understand the shoe and how it suits the end user: you, the runner.

The Deets: Tech Specs For Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris

  • MSRP: $250
  • Release date: March 4
  • Stack height: 39.5mm 
  • Weight: 6.5 oz (men’s size 9)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 9mm 

The Pros: 

“Minimalist” super-shoe: The Metaspeed Paris has far less extra bulk on its contour than bulky competitors like the Nike AlphaFly 3, which results in more of a naturally-feeling stride and quicker turnover.

Lightweight: Weighing in at 6.5 oz, the Metaspeed Paris is lighter than the vast majority of supershoes. They’re the lightest carbon-plated racers that us non-pros can buy without special connections.

Natural “on-your-toes” feeling: The curved lower thrusts you – but does not force you-  onto your toes.

The Cons: 

They trend small and narrow: I  found myself curling my toes mid-workout, and had a few sore spots at the end of my run.

Less cushioned than an AlphaFly: If you’re into plushness and cushioning, you may want to look elsewhere than the Metaspeed Paris.

Dense upper: The top is less meshed and breathable than those of its competitors, though an improvement from past Metaspeed editions.

Review: Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris 4

Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris: First Impressions

I came into this weartest with high hopes. Asics has shown over the last three years that they can do more than make walking shoes for your dad.

The old Nimbus and Cumulus lines were becoming so tired that it typecast the brand as a single-gear proponent of LSD: long slow distance.

But their Metaspeed line, while more understated than AlphaFly or Saucony Endorphin families, have been nothing but boring.

Look around: last fall, Cam Levins became a Metaspeed-wearing man and set a new North American marathon record of 2:05:36 in Tokyo last fall. And just this year, Clayton Young cruised to an Olympic berth at the US marathon trials in a Paris prototype.

I wondered, however: is the Paris really an improvement upon the Metaspeed +? And if so, how?

Here are the Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris’s key specs:

Difference from the Metaspeed Edge Paris: The main specs of the Speed end Edge –  stack height, weight, and heel to toe drop – are the same.

The main difference is in the carbon plate placement: the plate in the sky is higher in the shoe’s midsole, meant to create more vertical energy return and extend your air time.

The Edge’s carbon plate, meanwhile, curves near the toes in a way to propel the runner forward, promoting a faster cadence. 

Both versions (the Sky and the Edge) include the specs below:

Flytefoam (FF) Turbo: The Metaspeed Paris features Flytefoam (FF) Turbo Plus cushioning, which is Asics’ own version of PEBA foam, the energy-returning cushioning that makes super-shoes super.

This edition’s foam is bouncier and more energy-conserving than that of previous models, and combines with a carbon plate to create a more aggressive feel.

MOTION WRAP 2.0 upper: The shoe’s upper is designed for better breathability and comfort than previous models, which instead came with Jacquard mesh.

Curved sole: Conceived for energy conservation, the shape propels you onto your toes in a natural, not overly aggressive way.

ASICSGRIP outsole rubber: The outer layer of the shoe is grippy, but less dense than in the Metaspeed+, which cuts a bit of weight.

Fit: The Metaspeed Paris fits a bit small and narrow: I suggest you test them out before buying, or consider going up half a size if purchasing online.

Overall difference between the Metaspeed Paris and its predecessor, the Metaspeed +: The most noticeable difference is weight: in the world of racing shoes, 0.7oz is enough to raise eyebrows.

Review: Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris 5

Road Testing The Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris

My first run with the Metaspeed Sky Paris was a fartlek workout and, despite sucking air for most of it, I finished it with a giddy smile on my face. The Asics Metaspeed Paris are special, and here’s why.

The classic super-shoe right now is Alphafly-adjacent: bulky and spring-loaded, meant to carry your body through a fast marathon and somehow save it from falling apart on the next day.

Yes, these foot clouds are technological marvels, but they are not for everyone. For those people who don’t care for the cushioning, there is an alternate class of super-shoes that look more like 2015 racing flats (like the Brooks Hyperion Elite 4 or the ON Cloudboom) that aren’t so freaking huge.

But here is the tradeoff: less crazy foam, less bounce. 

I think the Metaspeed Sky Paris is a rare hybrid: it has all the power and pop of a Nike AlphaFly 3, while providing a close-to-the-ground, quick-turnover feeling that huge super-shoes physically cannot achieve.

After my fartlek, I tested the Paris on hill sprints and, despite wearing the shoe’s “stride” – and not “cadence” – version, I felt like their relatively small size and traction under the toes encouraged a snappy turnover.

Overall, I was impressed with their versatility.

Review: Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris 6

Asics Metaspeed Paris Takeaways

Spring 2024 is a good time to be in the market for super-shoes: the top sneaker brands have now shown their cards for the Paris Olympics.

Among them is forming an elite class: the Nike AlphaFly 3 and the Adidas Adizero Pro Evo 1 are emerging as two world beaters. I do not hesitate to place the Asics Metaspeed Paris with them, though as the group’s only publicly accessible, minimalist-in-comparison shoe.

Bargain-hunters won’t want it, and cushion fans might not love it, but it packs an incredible punch for its size and weight. 

The Metaspeed Paris’ other hidden talent is that it doubles as a comfortable workout shoe, whereas those other powerhouses can feel too mighty and forward-thrusting to wear for a tempo run. The AlphaFly 3 has one gear: The Paris will meet you at your effort level. 

So, whether it be for tempos, fartleks, or goal races, I highly recommend this shoe to those who want all the pop of a maximalist sneaker, with a lot more ground feel, and without the extra flubber.

Photo of author
Alex is a Toronto-based journalist who writes mostly about health, sports, culture and people.

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