Article by Peter Stuart, Bryan Lim, and Sam Winebaum
ASICS Metaspeed Edge+ ($250)
Peter: Asics came roaring into the super shoe game last year with the Metaspeed Sky and the Metaspeed Edge. The Sky (which I tested and reviewed) was intended for runners with a longer stride and the Edge was intended for runners with a faster cadence–and less time on the ground.
ASICS has now iterated on the Sky and Edge and given us the Sky+ and the Edge+. Both have been tweaked in various ways based on feedback from elite runners. I’ll stick with a review of the Edge+ here, but if you want a great explainer on the differences between the two, check out Sam’s article here with Nils Scharff review of the Sky + here
In a nutshell, the Edge+ sees changes in the plate position, moving ti towards the bottom of the shoe as well as the shape of the plate. It moves up to a 39mm heel / 31mm forefoot, 8mm drop platform adding 4mm of cushion stack front and back. It now matches the heel stack of the Sky + but has 3mm less forefoot stack.
The Edge+ is the “cadence” version of the Metaspeed and the changes are therefore intended to encourage the motion of rolling forward off of the toe.
Bryan: Peter’s introduction has got it all covered, but I would like to further explain who Asics classifies as the “stride” runner (suited for the Metaspeed Sky and Sky+) and the “cadence” runner (suited for the Metaspeed Edge and Edge+). This concept was introduced when the previous versions of Metaspeeds were released, where Asics advised that “stride” runners gain speed by increasing only the length of their stride, and “cadence” runners increase both their step frequency and stride length. In the Edge+ and Sky+, they’ve enhanced and accentuated the differences between the two variants, and as Peter mentioned, they now spot distinct toe springs as well as plate position (vertically within the midsole), while maintaining the same drop as their predecessors. The Edge+ has also been updated to feature a higher 39mm stack height. They appear to be calculated and sensical updates. Let’s see how they go!
Please note that whilst I am an ambassador for Asics, I strive to provide my honest opinion and commentary when reviewing all shoes. The Metaspeed Edge+ was provided to me at no cost by Asics Australia. I do not receive any remuneration or financial benefit from Asics and Asics Australia.
Very stable, consistent feeling ride, back to front Sam, Bryan, Peter
Superb simple and effective upper Sam, Bryan, Peter
Dynamic ride, can really feel the plate working at pace Peter
Great gripping outsole Peter
Toe spring encourages faster transition Peter
Not terrific at slower paces, definitely a workout and race shoe Peter/Sam/Bryan
Foam could be somewhat softer and bouncier at the front of the forefoot to allow more toe off drop in roll: Sam
Toe spring is not that accentuated (firmer foam/plate to front and geometry) and could deliver a sharper or longer softer final toe off roll Sam
Laces like to untied, highly recommend a double knot Peter
Increased weight Bryan
Estimated Weight: men’s 7.25 oz / 206g (US9)
Samples: men’s 7.03 oz / 199g US8.5, 7.37 oz / 208g US9, 8.08oz / 229 g US11
Full Stack Height: men’s 39mm heel / 31mm forefoot, 8mm drop
Underfoot platform width: 77mm heel / 60mm midfoot / 106mm forefoot ( US8.5)
$250. Available now including at our partners at the end of the review
First Impressions, Fit and Upper
Peter: The Asics MetaSpeed Edge+ jumps out of the box with its lime green and lemon yellow colorway. It’s a sleek and efficient looking racer with a decently high stack that manages to look like a pretty normal racing flat (on steroids). The upper is a nice, snug fitting mesh that holds the foot very well. The laces are ribbed, but have a tendency to come untied.
The tongue is just thick enough to secure the laces without much pressure on the top of the foot and the padding in the heel collar is just right too. Overall a great looking and fitting upper. They run true-to-size for me.
Sam: The upper is simple and elegant. A thin single layer mono mesh type material with very small but an easily see through grid pattern is stitched with varying patterns of outer threading for support. That’s it. No overlays, no gusset tongue with only a sueded layer below the lightly padded heel and achilles collars lining the rear from lace up towards the rear. The overall feel of the upper is not as soft on the foot as say the Vaporfly’s more pliable thinner mesh but I find it more secure and locked down with more toe box room. The upper is plenty breathable..
The toe box is broad and is nicely rounded at the front, no pointy toe box here. The toe boz is on the low side to help lockdown the otherwise unstructured mesh up front and through the midfoot.
It all works very well. No question I am true to size here and more comfortable than in Sky 1 with its somewhat denser less pliable mesh.
The heel counter is real. This is not a lightly reinforced pliable counter. Rigid down low at the sides and at the far rear with a pointy element seen on the outside the foot sits back into that rear cavity. Rear hold is impeccable and very secure. No sloppiness standing or running, no side to side collapse on the run, never any heel slip. A bit too much counter from a weight standpoint?
Bryan: Any Australian could not be happier with the launch colourway of the Edge+ and Sky+. Green and gold all the way! Whilst I miss the unique sculpting of v1’s midsole, the redesigned mono mesh upper in the Edge+ steals the show. As you might know from my reviews, I love an effective but simple upper. This is one of them.
As Sam has mentioned, there are no overlays, no gusseted tongue, and a fantastic heel cup and collar. It is possibly the best racing upper I’ve seen when it comes to balancing lockdown fit, pliability and breathability. No issues with the lacing, albeit a bit unique being ribbed, but I always double knot my laces. The upper has seen a great improvement against v1, which was more rigid and restrictive with less toe box volume.
Size wise, the Edge+ fits true to size with no fit issues. Wearers of v1 often had to toss up between sticking to their size or sizing up, but amongst several runners I know who have worn the Edge+, they have gone with their usual running shoe size with no issues.
Peter: There’s a lot to talk about here. The midsole foam is FF Turbo. This is ASICS’ “bounciest and lightest foam” and clearly feels like a PEBA supercritical one. The thickness of the foam in the midsole is 33mm under the heel and 25mm under the forefoot. While the Sky + and the Edge+ share the same foam and same heel stack height, they are different thicknesses up front with the 5mm drop Sky + having 3mm more foam at the forefoot .
The big change here from the Edge 1 (and Sky 1) is that the carbon plate has been resized and repositioned. The plate in the Edge + is farther from the foot/closer to the ground while in the Sky+ it is moved up closer to the foot. This means that there is more foam between foot and plate to sink down and forward in with the plate helping propel the shoe off of the ground faster. This is coupled with a curved sole shape that has a pretty drastic roll-off in the front, effectively pushing the foot forward to the toe and forcing it back up off the ground. The shoe may have a slightly less vertical rebound “bouncy” feeling than the Sky where the plate sits higher but it really snaps off of the ground at faster paces. It’s not as soft as the Vaporfly or the RC Elite, but I feel the plate propelling me more than The Endorphin Speed or Pro.
Sam: Peter describes the midsole geometry well. I found the geometry, foam, and plate combination to deliver a remarkably consistent and stable feeling despite the platform being relatively narrow compared to the also very stable Alphafly 2. It is noticeably more stable than the Vaporfly Next % 2 for example, not a shoe I have issues with except on steep downhills. The Edge+ plows through downhills as stable as can be, like a stout trainer.
The FF Turbo PEBA foam is firmer to pressing and on the road than ZoomX and adidas new softer Lightstrike Pro in the Adios Pro 3 being more like the Adios Pro 2’s foam in feel. It is considerably firmer than FuelCell in the RC Elite and Puma’s Nitro Elite foam. It is not particularly bouncy or springy but has a snappy quick response and plenty of stable feeling cushion. It could be softer, especially upfront as unless really cranking it I have little sense
We must also consider the plate in the midsole mix. More “bottom” loaded than before, so close to the outsole whereas before it was in the middle of the midsole it is located in similar fashion to the Vaporfly’s plate with the Sky+ located higher up in the midsole in similar fashion to the Alphafly 2 and Adios Pro 3. The idea is that “cadence” runners or I would say more accurately, at least for me, lower knee lift and more heel striking runners need a geometry where they can drive forward linearly and roll down through the thick layer of foam to toe off whereas more midfoot forefoot strikers want to take advantage of the vertical rebound thus extending their stride.
Here I think we have a sort of middle ground. The firmer foam and 8mm drop reduces the low heel feel I had in the stride oriented Sky 1, yet at the same time, there is also a clear sense that the shoe works best while also really driving down hard at the ball of the foot for some vertical rebound. Unlike the yet more stride oriented Adios Pro 3 and Alphafly 2, there is a firmer (key) and not as abrupt final toe off impulse as those shoes have.
Meanwhile the Vaporfly Next % 2 also has a bottom loaded plate but its softer and springier foam up front (if it is thinner feeling than here) has me rolling more gradually from midfoot to a softer toe off with overall a more agile feel in the VF. Here it is all consistent step after step stable, light and smooth if not that exciting or dynamic, a no compromises elite feel for sure not as soft and rebounding as the Nike, Puma, or New Balance super shoes but one with clearly lots of quick response.
Bryan: Peter and Sam have both described the midsole in great detail, and I’ll take a slightly different approach and focus on the differences between the Edge+ and the Edge, its predecessor.
As mentioned, the plate in the Edge+ now sits closer to the ground. Conversely, this means that there is an entire bed of FFTurbo foam between the plate and the runner’s foot. In comparison, the plate in the Edge sat approximately midway up the midsole. The point of a lower riding plate in the Edge+ is to propel the cadence runner with more efficiency and stability, akin to a racing flat, but with the comfort and propulsion of the PEBA based foam.
Next, the Edge+ features a more aggressive toe spring as compared with the Edge, as in the image below, largely due to its increased stack.
Toe spring shape comparison. Left: Edge+. Right: Edge.
The shape of the toe spring in the Edge+ is also more pronounced/longer than in the Sky+, the latter featuring a flat profile before a drastic curve up only at the very front of the shoe, presumably to promote bounce for the stride runner. In the Edge+, the shape of the toe spring starts further back towards the midfoot and more gradually tapers up towards the front of the shoe, which encourages a quicker turnover for the cadence runner.
Stack height difference. Left: 34mm Edge. Right: 39mm Edge+
As much as there seems to be significant changes to the Edge+ from the Edge, the nature of the ride remains very similar, albeit I feel and despite the increased stack height, the Edge+ actually is more stable, most likely due to the lower riding plate providing rigidity upon landing. In comparison to other supershoes, the Edge+ rides firmer than the Vaporfly, Alphafly and Adios Pro 2.
Peter : We have nice fine ASICS Grip rubber in all the right places with the outsole very similar to the Edge 1’s with now a touch less rubber width on the lateral side with a hole cut out around the far rear landing area, and a touch shorter rear medial piece.
Bryan: Peter covers the slight changes to outsole volume and placement well. Performance wise, I did not notice any change.
Sam: As said above the ride of the Edge + is consistent, stable, and well if more firmly cushioned than most competitors. The shoe is more responsive, snappy off the ground with the energy return rapid rather than bouncy or springy yet at the same time held back a bit by a less than ideal, not abrupt or soft enough roll to toe off for me as the Vaporfly, Alphafly, and even Adios Pro 3 have. That said, compared to the Metaspeed Sky 1 it is far more favorable to a rolling type stride with the Sky favoring a high knee drive stride.
I have had several runs at varying paces as well as a 10K race in the shoe. It is not a platform that favors rapid accelerations or changes in pace as say the Streakfly, adidas Takumi Sen 8, or even Vaporfly do, shoes obviously more shorter distance oriented except Vaporfly. It has a more steady faster pace and long racer feel which surprises me given its bottom loaded plate and rapid energy return from its firmer foam which at the heel (along with that great heel counter and upper) keeps things stable. Go slow and they start to feel flat and firm, try to pick up the pace and they want to get there gradually. Upfront they could be a bit softer and bouncier with a more abrupt final toe off roll to allow the foot to really drive forward and away more easily.
It reminds more of the Adios Pro 2 and 3 and somewhat due to its stability of the Alphafly 2 or even the duller riding heavier Brooks Hyperion than the Vaporfly, a shoe I find more agile and quicker feeling if less stable at the heel, especially on downhills.
Of particular note during every run was how light and very stable this big stack shoe rides. In the super shoe race at 39/31 with its stack height essentially the same as its several competitors and at 199g / 7.03 oz US8.5 only the similarly narrow on the ground platform Vaporfly Next % 2 is lighter by a mere 8g. I think that if one is looking for the lightest possible and also stable super shoe ride for half and up distances it is a key choice.
Peter: The ride of the Edge+ really comes alive at Marathon pace and below. I really feel the plate working with my stride and feel my cadence feeling more rhythmic as I pick up the pace. It’s definitely not as soft as some of the other super shoes, but it is a really fun distance racer. I find the ride to be extremely stable and to retain the feel of a racing flat while incorporating a carbon plate and newfangled foam. The ride isn’t laugh-out-loud fun, but it is very enjoyable. I haven’t done a long enough tempo run in them to know how they feel over, say, 15 miles—so I can’t speak to their use as a marathon shoe. When slowing down at the end of workouts, they can feel a little unforgiving.
Bryan: The ride of the Edge+ is a refinement of the Edge, which I truly love. The Edge rides more like a racing flat, with a less drastic toe spring and lower stack. The Edge+ retains most of this characteristic, but runs smoother and more stable due to the change in toe spring shape and plate position. In terms of dynamism, the Edge+ and FFTurbo in general pales to that of Lightstrike Pro and ZoomX. It feels a little more mature and robust, generating a very consistent and confident ride. The Edge+ runs best at quicker race paces down to about marathon pace.
I might take this opportunity to compare the ride of the Edge+ to the Sky and Sky+ since we are at it. On the outside the Edge and Sky variants look similar, but they are far from that. I’ll begin by saying that Sky and Sky+ do not work well for me. At first I thought this was due to stack height, but this certainly is not the case; I really enjoyed the Edge+ at 39mm. I suspect it is due to the geometry of the shoe as well as the 5mm drop, as opposed to 8mm in the Edge and Edge+. As mentioned in the Upper section, the Sky and Sky+ promote a ride that incorporates more vertical bounce through a lower drop and higher stack (and a higher riding plate that sits close to the feet in the Sky+ for maximum rebound). The Sky+, just like what the Edge+ has done to the Edge, has been to accentuate and refine the characteristics of the Sky.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Sam: ASICS delivers a notably light and stable long racer (and faster paces trainer) in the Edge+. To achieve the stability and light weight at about 7.25 oz / 206g (US9) and with a near max legal heel height of 39mm, ASICS had to keep the platform on the narrow side underfoot, leave the drop at 8mm and keep the foam on the firm side. The result is a firmer more “responsive” ride compared to other 2022 super shoes such as Alphafly 2, Adios Pro 3, and I expect Endorphin Pro 3, this last based on its review by RTR colleagues who did not test the Edge+ . Not to worry there is plenty plenty of cushion and it’s forgiving but it is a little sharp in feel, a bit too stiffly quick in its return with some bounce feel missing for me.
The trend is towards softer and broader underfoot and as a result also heavier. While gaining weight over its predecessor as it is now higher stacked, it checks in very light with only really the narrow platform Vaporfly and Edge+ sibling the Sky+ in the same weight for stack super shoe category. And for sure the Edge+ feels incredibly light and substantial at the same time on the run.
I wish ASICS had followed the trend with slightly softer foam so that the Edge + had a more pronounced easier roll as toes sink into front foam and a softer more rebounding heel landing. I doubt it would have compromised stability or performance, even for elites for whom the design is clearly focused. I am pretty sure it would have improved the experience for me as the softer front foam “trick” works very well for me in the Alphafly 2 and to an extent in the Adios Pro 3. It would have moved the platform ever so slightly to the “friendlier” experience side as for non elite but serious racers and better yet challenged the others in the category.
Before closing and in the friendly experience vein.. The upper is outstanding in its elegant simplicity, hold, and comfort. Just superb and not a chore to pull on. it is the type of upper and fit that you forget while racing and after are in absolutely no hurry to get out of!
Sam’s Score: 9.24/ 10
Ride 9 Fit 9.7 Value 9 Style 9.5
Smiles score 😊😊😊1/2
Watch Sam’s Metaspeed Edge + Initial Video Review (14:26)
Peter: Overall a really nice feeling tempo and race shoe. Not as soft and bouncy as some of the other super-shoes, but I can feel the plate working for me.
Peter’s Score 9.25/10
Smiles score 😊😊😊😊
Bryan: There is really not much to complain about the Metaspeed Edge+. They’ve fixed the fit sizing issue in v1 and have made some meaningful and noticeable updates, including the ‘relocated’ plate, accentuated toe spring and increased stack. As a weight weenie, I think the increased weight (0.67oz / 19g) due to increased stack is my major gripe, but the trade off with more protection is passable. The weight difference is hardly noticed due to the improved ride. Fans of racing flats may appreciate the Edge+, but will likely prefer the Edge as an intermediate step up.
Ride 9.5 Fit 9.5 Value 9 Style 10
Index to all RTR reviews: HERE
ASICS Metaspeed Edge 1 (RTR Review)
Bryan: The ride is definitely firmer in the Edge+, perhaps due to the relocation of the plate down to ride close to the ground. The updated upper in the Edge+ is noticeably better in terms of pliability. The Edge+ also fits more true to size, and with more volume in the toebox without sacrificing on lockdown. Upper aside, I think the Edge v1 whilst a little less stable actually has a more dynamic ride, and the 23g / 0.81 oz weight difference is noticeable.
ASICS Metaspeed Sky 1 (RTR Review)
Peter: I ran these back to back and then one on each foot to get a solid sense of the differences. In The Edge + I definitely feel by leg kick back faster and it feels like slightly less effort to maintain a quick pace. The Sky feels like it stays on the ground just a hair longer. Overall the Edge + feels a bit more efficient and more natural at race pace for me.
ASICS Metaspeed Sky+ (Multi Tester Review)
As discussed in the review the Sky+ is a 4mm drop shoe with the same heel height as the Edge+ but more forefoot cushioning. It actually weighs 4g less despite its additional stack due to the differences in its plate and midsole geometry design. Its carbon plate close to the foot to provide a big bounce from the foam below for “stride” type runners or those who can rebound vertically from a more forefoot to midfoot landing while Edge+ delivers a “cadence” style ride so more rolling and as a rule requiring less knee lift drive.
Vaporfly Next % 2
Sam: Smoother flowing with a longer roll, more agile in feel if a bit thinner in cushion upfront as its ZoomX is not as dense but more rebounding, the lighter Vaporfly sets a high bar. The Edge + has a superior fitting and roomier upper and more rear stability but for me still lacks the excitement of the VF and its versatility.
Adios Pro 2 (RTR Review)
Bryan: The Adios Pro 2 is one of my favourites of all time. Lightstrike Pro is definitely a more dynamic, softer and livelier foam than FFTurbo, but it is also far less stable. Like the Alphafly, in a straight line, the Adios Pro 2 might be the better shoe, but in any other situation, the Edge+ has the edge.
Adios Pro 3 (RTR Review )
Sam: The Adios Pro 3 has a slightly softer, more rebounding feel. It is more awkwardly put together and lacks the front to back consistency of midsole feel, stability and solid (and also front to back consistent) upper hold of the Edge+. I find it a touch more agile with a more aggressive and also softer final toe off.
New Balance RC Elite 2 (RTR Review)
Peter: Almost no comparison here–much like with the Vaporfly–the RC Elite is a bouncy and forgiving shoe that is also very efficient and comfortable at speed. The RC Elite also feels good at slower tempos and feels like a more overall useful shoe. The Edge + feels like a race or tempo day only choice and is a little too firm for me to want to use it for much over a 10k.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 (RTR Review)
Peter: The Endorphin Pro is softer and bouncier than theEdge+. I can really feel the Edge+ plate working when I’m running at tempo, but find the Endorphin a more comfortable overall shoe.
Puma FAST R Nitro Elite (RTR Review)
Sam: The Puma is also very rear stable. Its 3d carbon bridge at midfoot needs to be crossed..whereas the Edge+ midfoot flows forward very smoothly. Get too slow or back on the heels in the Puma and that bridge is harder to cross.. The FAST R also has a very stable heel area, actually a very light EVA with upfront soft and very bouncy Nitro Elite foam which is a delight. If I had to pick between the two it would be the ASICS, not as exciting but more practical for my paces.
Alphafly Next % 1
Bryan: The Edge+ is a very different shoe to the Alphafly v1. The Alphafly is a superior shoe in terms of protection and cushioning over the marathon and over, and in a straight line, but the Edge+ certainly feels speedier with more rebound from a low riding plate close to the ground. It is also far more agile with a lower stack in the rear and forefoot. The Alphafly’s limited usage is its downfall as compared to the Edge+, which I would comfortably use for any race between 5km and the marathon.
Sam: In this match up I agree with Bryan. Things change when we get to the AlphaFly 2 for me below.
Alphafly Next % 2 (RTR Initial Video Review)
Sam: The Alphafly 2 has a much broader platform at the rear of softer springier Zoom X. It moves to an 8mm drop from 4mm. The combination of extra drop, wider platform, air pods and a new final toe off roll of softer foam bridge far better between the cadence shoe and stride shoe than its lower 4mm drop first edition which was for sure all about stride and limited in utility for me.
While not having the impossibly light feeling of the Edge+, and it is 0.75 oz / 21g heavier on about the same stack, the Alphafly is both very stable, softer cushioned feeling and more energetic and any pace friendly if more mechanical in feel and less agile than the Edge+.
Its upper is a wild open single layer AtomKnit and is somewhat higher volume over the toes and at least equally if not more secure at the heel with a high heel counter and plenty of padding. A bear to pull on as the tongue is not very stretchy knit, it challenges the Edge+ upper but is a bit too bulky in fit, if totally locked down and is overly complex. While the Edge + gets close, and its lighter weight is sure felt, it doesn’t quite, due to its foam feel and the air pods pass the Nike as a marathon or half shoe for me although for a 10K I would reach for Edge over Alpha.
361 Flame (RTR Review)
Bryan: Both are 8mm drop shoes, but the Flame is slightly lower riding with a 32/24mm stack. The Flame certainly runs a lot firmer with a pelletized PU midsole foam with a carbon flat wedged midway up the midsole. I really enjoyed the ride of the midsole foam. The upper is where I had some issues in terms of fit, which is of course subjective, but would conclude that the Edge’s single mono mesh upper offers better lockdown. Whilst I would conclude to prefer the Edge+, it cannot be ignored that the Flame is still a fantastic shoe, and for USD$90 less!
Peter lives in Austin, Texas and has been a sub 3 hour marathoner as well as a 1:25 half marathoner in recent years
Bryan is a road and trail runner living in Melbourne, Australia. He is a consistent sub 1:25 half marathoner and is presently chasing a sub 3-hour marathon. He is 176cm/ 5’9″ tall and weighs about 65kg / 143lbs.
Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 65 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 will be Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.
Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. Sam’s pair was a personal purchase. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors’.
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