The Asics MetaRide is the result of 2 years of research and development including 7 prototypes and 70 samples, by a team of scientists and designers in Japan. The MetaRide sole design is meant to promote this idea of effortless coasting. The standout feature is the bright red rocker shaped guide cell with a stiff forefoot design, made to cut down ankle movement and save energy.
This shoe is visually striking with its black and red and also because of the curved midsole that is quite a throwback to the MBT shoes popular a decade ago. The makers of this shoe promise a ‘“completely new running sensation” and we can agree as the rocking motion of the shoe is quite unlike anything you’ve experienced in an Asics shoe.
-Great fitting performance knit upper
-Unique propelling ride
-Visually striking with red and black shades
-Heavy in comparison with similar long-distance running shoes
The layer closest to the ground is the Flytefoam Propel that claims to be more responsive and bouncy so that when you’re propelling off the ground, you get a little more of a kickback.
We can see linear support lines that follow the length of your foot, keeping it pressed down on the midsole. The tongue of the shoe is not attached, unlike the one-piece upper trend which is the case with many other shoes. Still, the laces go through the tongue and prevent it from moving around too much. It is a little old-school but workable. The tongue is also standard in size, soft but not too puffy.
If you prefer minimal shoes with a lightweight body, the MetaRide may be very different than what you’re used to. It’s certainly not the heaviest shoe on the market but there is quite a lot of padding here. It’s designed to help you run for longer yet not fatigue easy so cushioning is imperative to the shoe and Asics have no plans of removing this feature anytime soon.
Comparable to Adidas’s Boost midsole, the Asics MetaRide relies on the bouncy Flytefoam which gives it the softness of a daily trainer and the minimal weight needed in a marathon racer. Combined with the patented gel cushioning, the midsole ensures that your foot is protected from shock from heel strikes and superior comfort. As a bonus, the ‘Metaclutch’ proprietary heel counter is light and flexible enough to cushion your heel and keep it in position.
Asics intention behind the shoe is to make it easier for runners to go long-distance and speed isn’t the goal. Nevertheless, the 3D guidance lines help the shoe with smooth transitions and move the foot towards the front rocker. These lines begin at the rear, travel through the midsole and the midfoot to reach a wide decoupling groove in the front of the shoe.
When you run in more flexible shoes, you have to use your calf muscles more to propel your foot forward and push off your big toe. But the MetaRide does most of this work for you because of its rigidity and curvature. You can keep the angle of your foot and the shin the same throughout the course of your run.
-Flytefoam Propel for a supreme boost
-Circular Knit Upper
While we have no way to test the statistics, we will go ahead and recommend this shoe for neutral runners who are looking for the ultimate in cushioning with good support and stability. This is a good choice for fast runners and overpronators who are rough on their outsoles and midsoles. Another segment can be runners looking for recovery shoes because they can help you stay consistent with your stride.
This shoe does get polarizing opinions due to its price and the extremely curved sole. Seeing as years went into its making, we can definitely appreciate every piece of ASICS proprietary technology that has been added to the shoe.