Tuesday, February 27, 2024

ASICS Metaspeed Edge Paris Review: 6 Comparisons

Article by Ryan Eiler

ASICS Metaspeed Edge Paris ($250)


With the Paris editions of the Metaspeed Edge and Sky, ASICS brings to the Edge and Sky a new FF Turbo + PEBA foam that is 8% lighter, has 8.2% greater energy return and is 6% softer. This new foam is said by ASICS to increase the volume of foam that can return energy by 12% in the Sky and 20% in the Edge with the Edge getting 3mm more forefoot cushion than the earlier plus version. 

The approach of a higher placed (and now wider) carbon plate for “stride” runners in the Sky and a lower more “cadence” or rolling location stride for the Edge is unchanged. 

Metaspeed Paris

Top; Edge   Bottom: Sky

Both racers are now 39.5mm heel 34.5 mm forefoot in stack height.  They weigh a much lower approx. 6.5 oz / 185 g US9 for the Edge (-25g) and 6.2 oz / 176g for the Sky, so the Sky comes in below the weight of the Vaporfly 3 and the Edge at its weight, with both having 3mm more front cushion than the Nike. 

Race on? Let’s find out as Ryan Eiler a 2:17 marathoner put the Edge to the test with Michael Ellenberger comparing Edge and Sky in his video first impressions review HERE


Softer and more forgiving - Ryan

Weight reduction / very low inertia - Ryan

Comfortable, spacious, yet strong upper - Ryan


Midsole changes sacrifice stability - Ryan

More ventilated and voluminous upper sacrifices on lockdown - Ryan

Firm ride  Peter

Most comparable shoes 

Nike Vaporfly 3 - Ryan

Adidas Adios Pro 3 - Ryan

Please find the testers full run bios at the end of the article after Comparisons.


Approx.Weight: men's 6.5 oz  / 184g (US9)

  Samples: men’s  6.3 oz / 179g US8.5 ,  6.70 oz / 190 g US9.5

Stack Height: men’s 39.5 mm heel / 34.5 mm forefoot ( 5 mm drop spec) 

Platform Width: 74mm heel / 56mm midfoot / 100mm forefoot

    Nike Vaporfly 3: 70mm midfoot / 50mm / forefoot 105mm 

Do same for Sky + if you have it

Platform Width: mm heel / mm midfoot / mm forefoot

$250  Available now at our partners at the end of the article.

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Ryan: By looks alone, the Metaspeed Edge Paris doesn’t look radically different from either of the preceding Edge models. But given how well those shoes delivered no-nonsense, straightforward speed, I’m glad to see that ASICS didn’t feel the need to throw away a great playbook. We’re told that this Paris version of the Metaspeed Edge has been under wraps for a couple years now, so it’s clear that this isn’t a rush-job, but rather a calculated attempt to release the best piece of marathon weaponry just a couple months before the Olympics.

The fit still nicely contains the foot and is true to the usual ASICS proportions, but this version has noticeably more volume. This isn’t as apparent in the heel which stays at 39.5mm and maintains a nice amount of structure, but rather in the forefoot, where the toe box feels much taller and a little wider. Their move to increase the amount of perforation in the upper material also adds to the feeling of added volume, and of course improves breathability. 

I like how they decided to maintain a tighter weave on the medial side of the toe box, which helps with control and big toe wear — a feature not even found in the highly-engineered, and even baggier-feeling upper of the Nike Vaporfly 3.

The upper material itself is a more mesh-like version of previous Edge uppers. For that reason, lockdown isn’t quite as good, but it is still more than adequate for its intended purpose. Thankfully, the heel construction hasn’t changed all that much. We still get a smooth, rolled heel collar which is more structured than the competing products from Nike, Adidas. 

The tongue is also a minimal, suede-like swatch that causes no drama, and the serrated laces hold a knot securely in place.

I will say that while I wore the original Metaspeed Edge for track workouts because of its stability and lockdown, I might have second thoughts about doing the same with this version.

Fit is true to size and consistent with other ASICS models.


Midsole & Platform

Ryan: While the previous Edge midsoles were on the relatively firm side, ASICS made this version a decidedly marathoning-specific shoe by significantly softening the midsole by 6%  and maxing out the stack height, adding 3mm to the forefoot. We even manage to shave 25 grams from the Edge+, despite this beefier stack which has 20% more foam volume than the Edge+. Since the stack now comes in at 34.5/39.5mm (31/39 previously), we have 3mm less of a heel to toe drop, but this wasn’t really noticeable to me given the softness of the forefoot and the plate’s position.

It reminds me of the Vaporfly 3 in many respects — one being how soft and narrow the heel now feels. The rear of the shoe feels more like an energetic little button trying to propel you forward, as opposed to a stable and responsive platform. However, the shaved weight from the midsole seems like it may have sacrificed a smidge in the energy return department. I feel like I get more rebound from the latest Adios Pro or Alphafly, with their girthier midsoles. I also worry about a heel this narrow feeling a bit wobbly in the later stages of a marathon.

I’m not in love with how tall and narrow the heel now feels, but wow, does this new midsole feel light on foot. I think the turnover on this Edge Paris might be the best I’ve tested, feeling much lower inertia than an Adios Pro 3, SC Elite V4, Hoka Cielo X1, and Hyperion Elite 3 — and it certainly rivals the Vaporfly 3, which comes as no surprise given their nearly identical weights.

The much softer midsole is very apparent, and delivers impact and rebound characteristics which I find very similar to that of ZoomX foam. It has more of an airbag-like softness when compressed, and a controlled release — as compared to something like Adidas’s Lightstrike Pro foam which feels more rubbery and deliberately bouncy to me. ASICS says the new Turbo+ foam here is 6% softer,  8% lighter, and has 8.2% more energy return. 

The plate on the Edge drops significantly as it travels from the heel to the forefoot, which sets it distinctly apart from the Sky whose plate sits closer to the foot as illustrated below. The Edge’s plate sits in the same location as before but has a new shape.

Metaspeed Paris plate location and toe spring: 

Left: Sky: Right Edge

Fun fact: you can tell the Edge from the Sky by differing black and yellow bands on the outside of the midsole and also with the Sky has a red outsole and the Edge a black one . 

Top: Metaspeed Edge Paris Bottom: Metaspeed Sky Paris

Where the black meets yellow is consistent with where the plane of the plate runs through the foam.

As marketed, the Edge caters to more ‘cadence’ style runners, which I’ll leave it to ASICS to fully explain — but which essentially means that it’s a shoe for those with a relatively short, choppy stride. I can see and feel the intent here, as the deeply cushioned forefoot and low location plate allows you to plunge down into the foam if you’re the type of runner that tends to strike the ground when your mass is over your foot. This is meant to contrast with the Sky, which is meant for those runners with a more loping stride who strike further in front of their center of gravity.


Ryan: No major changes to the outsole here, which I’m happy about. The rubber continues to be a simple and effective patch covering all of the front half of the shoe and extending back onto the lateral side of the heel. There are again oval-shaped punchouts in the rubber to save weight, but these don’t seem to detract from performance. 

Another small patch of rubber protects the medial side of the heel. Nothing fancy here. It makes for a smooth ride and a very predictable transition, with as much grip as you can reasonably ask for.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Ryan: ASICS’s marquee marathoning line has taken a big step toward embracing midsole softness and aggressive weight savings. Without a doubt, the Edge Paris is calling out the Vaporfly 3, and is arguably as talented in its rebound, build, low inertia, and high quality upper. And it even undercuts its price tag by $20. This Edge’s turnover is now second to none among its competitors, yet manages to retain a significant percentage of the foot containment that I admired in previous generations.

It’s not as stable as previous generations, and some runners may find that the weight savings at the rear of the shoe may have gone a touch too far. However, for those folks that appreciate a more dynamic ride, this newly upgraded Paris version is sure to put a smile on your face. Another admirable quality here is how smoothly the shoe transitions. I find that ASICS tends to keep midsole geometries on the simpler side, without any of the crazy pods, rods, rockers, or cutouts that we see from other brands. Despite its wily nature, this shoe doesn’t really take any getting used-to, and handles the heel to toe cycle with aplomb.

I think most people will love and embrace the softer ‘Paris’ version of the Edge. It brings the shoe into more direct competition with most of the other marathon ‘supers’, and instead of relying on vanity to impress, it remains laser focused on letting its performance do the talking. The shoe’s upper is about as good as it gets, and has gained some volume. The midsole has a marathon-specific softness to it, although it’s now riding the line of being too minimalist in its weight saving efforts. This is a serious contender that is now firmly in the same echelon as the Vaporfly, Alphafly, and Adios Pro.

Ryan’s Score: 9.7/10 

(Deductions for heel stability and midsole narrowness, as well as reduced foot containment)

Smiles Score: 😊😊😊😊1/2

6 Comparisons

Nike Vaporfly 3 (RTR Review)

Ryan: This is undoubtedly the closest competitor to the Edge right now. Their weights are practically identical, they ride in very much the same way, and they both excel at being ultra-lightweight marathon-focused (but very capable of ripping a 10k) shoes. If you’re a Vaporfly fan, I’d encourage a try of this new Edge. I’m not sure that the Edge’s energy return quite rivals that of the VF3, but it’s darn near close. I also prefer slightly the lockdown and containment of the Edge’s upper to the VF3’s more open mesh in the toe can feel a bit baggier than I prefer. In shaving weight, both shoes have what I’d call a somewhat narrow feeling in the heel, making them both better suited for midfoot strikers who can quickly roll off of the toe using their very stiff plates.

Adios Pro 3 (RTR Review)

Ryan: The Adidas feels like a bigger, beefier wild child as compared to the Edge. It has slightly more inertia on foot, but it also feels like there’s more midsole underfoot to work with. Where I think the AP3 outclasses the Edge is in the department of energy return. The Edge, while delivering a delightfully lightweight turnover, doesn’t return back the same amount of energy as the Lightstrike Pro midsole seems to. I prefer the upper of the Edge, as the Adidas is both tricky to get on and needs to be laced exactly right to prevent hot spots and blisters. If you like a more minimal, approachable, and feather light marathon shoe, the Edge is probably the way to go. However, if you’re fine with some wilder, bouncier energy return, the Adidas is the better choice here.

Nike Alphafly 3 (RTR Review)

Ryan: The biggest difference here is that the AF3 feels more mechanical, whereas the Edge is a smoother, minimalist shoe that integrates onto your foot more naturally. I think most people will have a solid preference for one or the other, given their very distinct ride styles. To me, the Alphafly almost feels clunky when I compare it to the ride of the Edge as it’s loud, its geometry feels much less natural, and you really need to property strike atop the ‘pods’ in the midsole to get the most out of the shoe. The Edge is simpler and easier to ‘figure out’, although its heel may feel narrow to some. That said, energy return of the ZoomX feels superior to that of the Edge, and the Nike doesn’t feel like its sole focus is on shaving weight but rather returning as much energy as possible. Personally, I prefer the ASICS, as the AF3, while likely the best one yet, feels overly meddling in my stride.

New Balance SC Elite 4 (RTR Review)

Ryan: While these two shoes both aim at delivering a world-class marathon experience, they go about their business in quite different ways. The NB is noticeably heavier, by over 1.5 g, and doesn’t feel as snappy or effortless as the ASICS. However, the depth of cushion and bounciness of the SC Elite v4 are drastically greater than that of the Edge. The NB feels like a shoe that can handle more of a rearward bias/heel strike, with its girthy chunk of grin-inducing foam underfoot. I think of the SCEv4 as a more approachable super shoe which sacrifices just a drop of speed in order to deliver more fatigue reduction and pure enjoyment. By contrast, the Edge shaves energy gram of weight possible and feels leaner and faster, but less bouncy. The ride of the Edge favors more of a midfoot pop-and-roll foot strike, whereas the NB is soft and rockered, allowing you to roll more deeply through your stride. I prefer the lockdown and containment of the Edge’s upper, although the upper of the NB is more casual and impressively comfortable. Two very different, but very capable choices here.

Hoka Cielo X1 (RTR Review)

Ryan: This comparison is going to sound a lot like the comparison of the SC Elite v4 just above. The Cielo X1 doesn’t have nearly the focus on weight reduction and low inertia that the Edge does, and that is apparent on foot. The Hoka delivers a deep, rockered depth of cushion that has a ton of ‘fun factor’, but isn’t as racy as the ASICS. I also strongly prefer the upper of the Edge over that of the Hoka, as the Cielo’s material feels a bit too thick, stiff, and not as ergonomic. Lockdown on the Edge is definitely better as a result.

If you really prefer a fun, springly, rockered shoe above everything else, then give the Hoka a shot (just be ready to swap out the laces as they’re bad), otherwise, the Edge is definitely the ticket for going fast over anything from 10k to the marathon. I strongly prefer the Edge as it feels far quicker on foot with much better engineering than the fun, but not as fast, Cielo X1.

361° Furious Future (RTR Review)

Ryan: This brand has been cranking out some sneakily high quality, relatively-affordable shoes lately. The 361 FF is a fiercely capable and fast marathoner, although it’s far more exotic than the Edge. Its midsole is both propulsive and fatigue reducing, incorporating a very rigid plate to make the Furious Future a fairly aggressive choice. Because of its disjointed midsole, its ride and transition isn’t as fluid as the Edge’s, and it takes some time to get the feel for it. Its upper material is tenacious and well crafted, although the sizing is off a bit and it doesn’t feel as refined as the upper of the ASICS. Comparatively speaking, the Edge managed to be the more approachable of these two without sacrificing any speed. It’s lighter on foot, and doesn’t take any getting used to (or risk hotspots, as disjointed geometries as this can sometimes do). Both shoes have a very soft heel which encourages you to mash the midfoot, load the plate, and spring off the toe off as opposed to rolling through in a more rockered fashion. I prefer the ASICS for its level of refinement, minimal inertia, and better fit. The 361 runs long as compared to the Edge.

Read Michael Ellenberger's Review of the Metaspeed Sky Paris HERE

Michael Ellenberger compares the Metaspeed Sky and Edge Paris (7:00)

The Metaspeed Sky & Edge Paris is available now at our partners

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Tester Profiles

Ryan Eller A hopeless soccer career led Ryan to take up running, and after taking a decade-long break from competing, he is back racking up mileage whenever he can.  He calls the 2018 Boston Marathon the hardest race of his life, where he finished in 2:40, barely remembering his name at the finish line.  More recently he solo time trialed the 2020-2021 super shoes, often sub 15 minutes for 5K. Ryan has a PR of 2:17:16, an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier from the 2023 Philadelphia Marathon after two other 2:18 efforts in the last year.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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a small world cup said...

Thank you for sharing your insights and impressions of the Metaspeed Edge Paris. It's interesting to hear about the design and fit of these running shoes.

Brian said...

Cadence style runner aren't runners with a "short choppy stride". The distinction between Stride and Cadence is how you add speed - do you go faster by taking longer strides or do you go faster by turning over faster - increasing you cadence. I wish I could find the chart, but ASICS published the scatterplot chart from their research and their test runners really clustered in two groups. One group barely increases their cadences even as they speed up greatly - they cover ground faster by taking longer strides - these are "stride" runners. Other runners do a combination but it is just modest stride length increased but greatly higher cadences as they speed up. There weren't many people in-between. I am 6'4" and I am 53 now - running just under 17:00 for 5k until I got injured in August. I was a 14:52 5k/1:08 Half Marathon runner when I was younger and I am a classic cadence runner. My cadence is only in the 150s even at like 7:30 pace, but at say 5:30 pace my cadence is 20+ spm faster but my stride length only goes up a little bit. I am also a pronounced heel striker. I do better with carbon shoes where the curve down starts earlier and is more gradual in the upward toe spring. I can only run in carbon plated shoes because I have bi-lateral hallux ridigus and my big toes don't bend more than 10 degrees even after surgery and I quit running from 2012 until carbon plated shoes came out for that reason. If you have hallux rigidus, carbon plated shoes are a miracle and plate geometry is crucial.

Patrick said...

i think asics need to provide a bit more info on stride vs cadence determination. i know i increase both stride length and cadence when i increase my pace. thanks to garmin i can even put some stats to this. however i don't know how to compare the changes - should i use % difference or what?
eg would a 5% increase in cadence but 10% increase in stride length make me a stride runner?
and at what speeds? presumably the faster should be target race pace, would the slower be easy, tempo, what? i can see the changes being non-linear - i know i really ramp up the cadence for short efforts but much less so for even 5km pace

Sam Winebaum said...

@patrick @brian has it right. I think the distinction is more about do you roll through your stride or do you land midfoot and "bounce" up and forward leading to a longer stride vs rolling and "maybe" greater cadence. I personally think few are true "stride" runners
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

No comparisons with other super shoes? I think Edge should be compared with Vaporfly and Endorphin Pro at the minimum because of similarity of plate position.

Also, the fit did not address if this is a TTS fit (which I mean it would leave a thumb-width space in front) or not. It would be great help in ordering if length is clarified.

Anonymous said...

Review is updated with 6 comparisons!

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if there going to be an update on this review, others reviewing the shoe too? Thanks