Asics Has a New Theory About How to Make Fast Runners Even Faster

While theories on how to pick the best running shoes have recently evolved, Asics has maintained a steady pace in making pairs that address issues with pronation, the collapsing of the foot as it lands in stride. Its latest runners, the Metaspeed Sky and the forthcoming Metaspeed Edge, propose a new footwear theory — and it all has to do with running fast.

Asics found in research conducted at its Japan-based Institute of Sport Science that there are two different types of runners: those who lengthen their stride as they speed up and those who increase both their stride and cadence, or stride frequency. So, the brand theorized that running shoes with specific varying features might better aid the two runner types.

The concrete — or rather, mesh and rubber — results are Asics’s two new high-end performance running shoes, the Metaspeed Sky and Metaspeed Edge. The Sky aims to help those long stride runners, while the Edge aids cadence types.

How? With a full-length carbon fiber plate, which has become a key ingredient in race shoes and a curved sole, bouncy midsole foam, a lightweight rubber outsole, and engineered mesh upper. Both shoes have these components, but the differences might not be as apparent, even if you can tell they aren’t the same. For example, the Metaspeed Sky has a thicker midsole and a steeper curve to its sole, though the Edge has an eight-millimeter heel-toe drop compared to the Sky’s five.

In testing at the ISS, Asics found both shoes to be more efficient than the company’s other top racing model, the Metaracer. Results approximate that the Sky can save stride runners 350 steps over the course of a marathon while the Edge knocks off 750 over the same distance.

If, in the span of 26.2 miles, that doesn’t sound like much, consider that elite runners Sara Hall, Mick Lacofano and Yuki Kawauchi have already set new personal bests while wearing prototypes of the Metaspeed shoes. When you run fast, every second counts.

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