When I found out the Asics Magic Speed 3 was on the way, I was wary. The Asics Magic Speed 2 was too firm for me and I just didn’t see its purpose alongside the very enjoyable Asics Metaspeed Sky+. But, I was wrong to be nervous. The team at Asics has once again worked its magic. See what I did there? (Editor’s Note: Sigh.)
The Asics lineup throughout 2022 and 2023 is full of incredible performers. And the Asics Magic Speed 3 adds one more high-performing and useful shoe to that lineup.
I ran a bunch in the Magic Speed 3 including my usual greenway routes, track sessions, and a road 10k. Well, technically two 10k’s back to back — the first one I ran hard and the second I chugged a beer every mile. Good idea? (Editor’s Note: of course not, what kind of question is that?) Yeah, probably not. But sometimes you gotta throw in some wild challenges to keep testing spicy. Anyway, enough about my poor decisions, let’s get to the review.
Asics Magic Speed 3
Release Date: May 2023
Weight: Men’s 7.8 oz., Women’s 6.6 oz.
Sizing: True to size
- Rundown: The Asics Magic Speed 3 delivers a modern-day racing flat that thrives on speed work, track work, and shorter races like the 5k and 10k.
The Asics Magic Speed 3 midsole is the antithesis of the Magic Speed 2 midsole. The Magic Speed 3 uses two layers of FF Blast+ with a full-length carbon plate bisecting the layers. It felt like getting that Asics Novablast 3 squish with a plate to help add stability and extra pop.
The forefoot strike zone is large and really bouncy. The heel is less plush and where I feel the main difference between the Magic Speed 3 and a super shoe. You’ll want to be more on your toes when cruising in this bad boy which is what makes the Magic Speed 3 perfect for track workouts, speed work, tempo runs, and shorter road races.
For those sessions when you want to go fast, it’s got the bounce but it also feels extremely light on foot. Think of it as a modern-day track flat. The Magic Speed 3 is primed for racing and running fast. And the midsole is perfect for that use case.
The Asics Magic Speed 3 uses the same upper from the Asics Metaspeed series with a couple small, almost unnoticeable tweaks. If you didn’t enjoy that upper, you won’t enjoy it here. However, most people I talked to liked the Metaspeed’s Motion Wrap upper.
The upper is somewhat see-through and allows a ton of airflow. It’s one of the breezier shoes out there. I’ve got two summer 5k races coming up in the next month and, if I don’t need to be testing another road racing shoe, the Magic Speed 3 is the leading contender to be my shoe of choice for both those races. And that’s largely because of the breathability…it’s much needed in the hot, humid summer forestscape of Atlanta.
The Asics Magic Speed 3 utilizes a very similar outsole to what’s found on the Metaspeed series. It’s the same basic pattern but with more rubber snaking down both the medial and lateral sides all the way to the heel. There’s also an extra cutout in the lateral forefoot to save some weight.
Just like during my Metaspeed Sky+ testing, I didn’t have any issues with traction. This outsole is trustworthy no matter the conditions.
Is the Asics Magic Speed 3 wide foot friendly?
Yes, the Asics Magic Speed 3 is wide foot friendly. The upper has plenty of room on the sides. While it fits true to size, it runs just a touch short…so keep that in mind if your typical Asics size doesn’t have much room up front.
Is the Asics Magic Speed 3 worth $160?
Yes, the Asics Magic Speed 3 is worth the price. It’s priced at $160 while other short-distance racers like the adidas Takumi Sen 9 are priced at $180. This shoe should be popular among any budget-minded consumer that runs short road races. You’ll get most of the benefits of a super shoe without having to spend the $250. If you’ve got better uses for that extra $90, you’re not missing out on much.
Just like on the Metaspeed Sky+, the Asics Magic Speed 3’s upper lacks structure which affects the volume in the forefoot. It’s a small complaint but people are particular about their race day shoes. Some really dislike extra space above their toes when trying to go fast.
Also, like its Metaspeed brethren, the Magic Speed 3 hits the ground with a clomp. It’s not annoying, just louder than many other shoes. If you prefer wispily silent shoes, look elsewhere.
Looking forward, I’d love to find out what a Magic Speed model with a layer of FF Turbo paired with FF Blast+ would feel like. Those layers complement each other extremely well in the Asics Superblast and I imagine they’d do well in this use case too. That would likely increase the price but it may be worth it for the next iteration.
Asics Magic Speed 3 Summary
Overall, the Asics Magic Speed 3 is a powerhouse short-distance racer and speed shoe. If you need a shoe well equipped for track work, tempo runs, or road 5k and 10k races, there’s no better shoe on the market. And while it’s not perfect, you’ll get a lot of value for your $160.