Asics Magic Speed 3 Review (2024): Easy Carbon Plate Shoes?The Asics Magic Speed 3 are high-performance, versatile carbon plate running shoes for training.
A very good, versatile competition carbon plate shoe.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
The Magic Speed 3 from Asics is a running shoe featuring a carbon plate framed by two FF BLAST PLUS foam layers for a firm yet responsive ride. The bounce is less pronounced, decreasing performance but adding versatility.
The MOTION WRAP mesh upper is thin, light, and airy for good ventilation. The tried-and-tested ASICSGRIP rubber outsole provides good grip.
In short, the Asics Magic Speed 3 features a number of speed-enhancing improvements for a very pleasant overall experience. It’s a responsive model, ideal for speed sessions and short-to-medium-distance training runs and races.
Please read our full review of the Asics Magic Speed 3 for more information.
- Responsive ride with the carbon-fiber plate
- Less demanding, and more versatile than super shoes
- Light, airy engineered mesh upper
- Good traction
- Firmness may not be comfortable for all runners
- Not very pleasant at a low pace
- Maybe not enough space for wide feet
The market for carbon plate running shoes is booming. Strategies differ from brand to brand: while some prefer to launch a single model at the top of their collection, others offer “intermediate” shoes, more accessible in price and use.
Such is the case with Asics, which offers the Magic Speed in addition to the MetaSpeed line-ups (Sky and Edge). For this third version, the main questions are: how does this shoe fit in Asics’ range, and who is it for? Let’s find out in this in-depth analysis based on over 120 miles (200 km) of test runs.
One of the main changes is the replacement of FlyteFoam in the midsole with a double layer of FlyteFoam Blast+ technology. This change results in a smoother ride than on the previous version.
However, the midsole foam and carbon plate combination remains firm for some testers, who find the cushioning too stiff. This may be due to the fact that the plate is no longer made of carbon-infused TPU but entirely of carbon.
With stack dimensions of 36 mm in the heel and 29 mm under the toes, shock absorption is good and sufficient for intermediate distances such as half-marathons. Some testers noted that they don’t plan on running a marathon in them.
The 7-mm heel-to-toe drop is standard and suitable for most runners.
The foam/plate combo works very well. You can feel the alchemy between the two, with good impulse and a sensation of forward propulsion as your foot rolls with the stride. However, the bounce is less pronounced than on the Metaspeed Sky+, making it more versatile.
Weighing 7.1 oz / 202 g in 41.5 EU size, the Magic Speed 3 is lighter than v2. With the new FF Blast+, responsiveness is good and comparable with direct competitors in the category like the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3.
The rocker is also less rigid and makes transitions smoother.
Support and stability
The platform is wider than in version 2. The firm underfoot feel allows the foot to roll smoothly and safely. The close-fitting upper adds to the shoe’s stability.
This fast daily trainer is for neutral runners.
The MOTION WRAP mesh upper is very thin and almost transparent in places. So much so that with the white version I tested, the color can change depending on the socks you’re wearing. Therefore, it’s very breathable, ideal for racing and warm weather, perhaps less so in winter when it’s cold.
The tongue is also very thin, and everything has been designed for breathability. The heel is well structured with a heel counter for comfort. All in all, a very good lockdown. However, some reviewers with wide feet noted that the upper was too close to the foot and that there was a lack of space. I didn’t have any issues despite my fairly wide feet–I had enough room at the midfoot and for my toes. But it may also depend on the shape, so it’s best to try before you buy.
The ASICSGRIP rubber outsole is virtually unchanged from the previous version. It offers excellent grip, making it easier to push forward.
Traction is also very good on wet surfaces. Logically, the Magic Speed 3 won’t work as well on technical terrain, but there’s no problem using it on easy trails (e.g. hard-packed dirt roads).
The Magic Speed 3 is versatile, with a less pronounced bounce and firmer cushioning, providing good stability for a wider range of uses. The shoe will be an ideal partner for fast sessions like tempo runs and interval training.
In competition, the shoe performs well and is perfectly suited to record-breaking races, especially over intermediate distances. Finally, some runners note that it’s less comfortable at low paces. However, in my case, I found them more accessible and forgiving than carbon-plated racers–I had no problem wearing them for easy jogging.
Quality and Durability
Designed to accompany runners in their preparation as well as in competition, the Magic Speed 3 has good durability, similar to that of lightweight daily trainers on the market.
The foam retains its properties over time, and the outsole is equally durable. Only the mesh is more fragile, as it’s very thin, and you’ll need to be careful around obstacles such as branches if you plan to run in nature.
We can confidently look forward to about 500-620 miles / 800-1000 km with these shoes.
Carbon footprint and animal welfare
At least 50% of the shoe upper’s main material is made from recycled materials to reduce waste and emissions.
The insole is produced using the solution dyeing process, which reduces water consumption by around 33% and carbon emissions by around 45% compared with the conventional dyeing method.
What’s more, the Magic Speed 3 is vegan and doesn’t contain glues of animal origin or leather, for example.
The Asics Magic Speed 3 is a high-performance carbon plate model, less demanding than others and, therefore, more versatile.
It’s a good choice for fast daily training as well as short-to-medium-distance races. However, higher-performance models such as the MetaSpeed will be more suitable if performance is your number 1 criterion (albeit at a higher price).
|202 g/7.1 oz
|186 g/6.6 oz
|Carbon-fiber plate, Vegan, Recycled materials, Rocker
|FF BLAST PLUS, Full-Length Carbon Plate
|Short, 5K, Mid, 10K, Half marathon
|Daily running, Racing
Asics Magic Speed 2
Several changes are worth noting:
- Replacement of FlyteFoam with FlyteFoam Blast+ foam
- Significant weight loss
- An all-carbon plate
- A lighter, airier upper
- A wider, more stable platform
These changes make the MS 3 more powerful and responsive than its v2 predecessor, so it’s well worth switching to this new model.