ASICS METARIDE SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | FEBRUARY, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Introducing: ASICS METARIDE
- Who’s it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop ASICS METARIDE
- About the Author
When a brand-new running shoe arrives on the market, it’s always peaks our interest at JackRabbit. Being at the cutting edge of how running shoe companies are continuing to push the limits and use technology to constantly innovate is one of the best parts of being in the running industry.
ASICS has come to 2019 with a stellar new shoe – the METARIDE. It’s one of their most innovative shoe to date, and guest reviewer Brian Metzler was blown away by how the new running shoe looks, feels and performs.
Whoa, what a crazy, cool and entirely unique new shoe!
A brand new model with an innovative design and feel, the ASICS METARIDE is built on a new configuration of ASICS’ renowned cushioning GEL and a dramatically rocker midsole/outsole chassis that increases forward propulsion, creates inherent stability and promotes efficient running.
It feels like it has a self-perpetuating energy about it, almost as if it’s doing some of the work for you.
INTRODUCING THE ASICS METARIDE
Everything about the ASICS METARIDE shoe is new—how it looks, how it’s built, how it feels, how it rides. Perhaps most striking features is how stiff the shoe feels when trying to flex it with two hands and yet how smooth and relatively soft it feels on the run.
ASICS says the uber-stiff heel-to-toe Guidesole Technology plate sandwiched into the midsole directly under the foot drives efficiency by shifting the center of mass to the rear foot, locking the ankle to save energy and reduce shock in every stride.
As such, no muscle energy is wasted while flexing the shoe after impact with the ground—basically because the shoe doesn’t flex— and therefore almost all of that energy goes directly into forward propulsion created by the rocker design.
The fit of the METARIDE is incredible snug and secure from heel to go, although it does have extra volume in the toe box—both horizontally and vertically—to give toes plenty of room to wiggle and splay.
The exo-skeleton heel counter extends almost to the saddle, creating a rock-solid snugness for both narrow and wide feet. The interior feels plush and cozy from the moment you step in and lace ‘em up, but that’s also when you feel the unique rocker sensation under the forefoot.
As you walk slowly in these shoes, it feels as if there is a dramatic tipping point the moment your foot rolls over the metatarsal heads, almost as if you’re falling forward. That takes some getting used to while walking, but when you’re running the motion feels entirely seamless, efficient and stable.
The unique design seems to encourage shorter strides and quicker-cadence running while also prohibiting overstriding. And that’s the whole point of the METARIDE, to create an uber-efficient and super stable ride for any runner at any speed.
Head to Head: The METARIDE has a similar (but very different) construction as the Nike Vaporfly 4%, but the ride is entirely unique. While we’d give the much lighter Nike shoe the nod for being faster, we’d give the Metaride the edge for a smoother, more efficient ride.
WHO’S IT BEST FOR?
The Asics METARIDE is for any runner who is interested in running with greater efficiency—and willing to shell out 250 bucks!—should give this shoe a try.
The METARIDE is truly something unique compared to every other running shoe on the market.
Despite the unique concave curvature of the outsole, the METARIDE has a flat platform—meaning it’s a zero-drop shoe and the foot sits level between the heel and forefoot.
The midsole of the METARIDE is comprised of a firmer layer of foam that houses the Guidesole Technology directly under the foot and a softer layer of lightweight FlyteFoam just above the outsole that helps smooth the ride as the foot rolls from heel-strike to toe-off.
A large, thin GEL cushioning packet is sandwiched between the two layers of foam in the heel, maximizing shock absorption without interrupting the natural flow of the foot from heel to toe.
The outsole is made from a semi-firm polyurethane web that is as soft and pliable as it is adhesive, but it also allows the softer midsole foam to squeeze through for greater traction when needed.
The vertical sidewalls of the Guidesole Technology system directly under the foot act as a set of stability-enhancing guiderails.A unique vertical cutout that stretches from the heel to the forefoot in the bottom of the shoes helps balance a stride, no matter if a runner typically pronates or supinates.
The engineered knit upper is soft, pliable, breathable and roomy, and yet also very secure where it needs to be between the vamp and the saddle.
Cons: ASICS METARIDE
After our initial five test runs, it’s really hard to say anything bad about the shoe.
Sure, it’s not super light, but the unique rocker sensation makes it run as if it was.
We didn’t find it to be a super-fast shoe and wouldn’t recommend it for shorter, faster bursts of running, but we did find it to be a super-efficient shoe at half-marathon and marathon race pace.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He’s the author of “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”