Nike Vaporfly vs. Asics MetaSpeed Sky (2022)
Battle of the giants with the two running leaders going head-to-head with their carbon-fiber plate shoes! After its MetaRacer with relatively low cushioning, Asics released the MetaSpeed Sky to compete with Nike and its star maximal cushioning carbon plate shoe, the Vaporfly.
The MetaSpeed Sky and the Vaporfly 2 have the same weight (less than 190 g/6.7 oz), but the latter has a thicker sole under the heel (40 mm compared to 33 mm for the first). However, the drop of the Vaporfly 2 is higher (8 mm) than that of the MetaSpeed Sky (5 mm), which gives more cushioning under the toes with the Asics model.
The difference between these two very good shoes is their cushioning and the ride. The Vaporfly offers a smoother ride and softer cushioning, while the MetaSpeed Sky is firmer with a more explosive rocker. The result is a more sudden but equally effective bounce.
The main advantage of the Asics is its greater durability, which is appreciable given the price of this type of shoe (about $250).
Finally, both shoes are relatively wide to suit runners with wide feet. It may be a problem if, on the contrary, you are looking for a shoe with a tighter lockdown. In this regard, the MetaSpeed’s upper is less flexible, which can help to better lock in the foot.
Vaporfly or MetaSpeed Sky: which one to choose?
Again, it’s a very personal choice that will depend on your preferences. Runners who prefer soft cushioning will opt for the Vaporfly, and those who like a little firmness will choose the MetaSpeed Sky.
Overall, we prefer the Asics for its slightly better fitting lockdown and better durability.
More stable platform
New upper with a wider, more breathable forefoot
Hefty price considering the expected lifespan
Very responsive cushioning
Sturdy shoe (for a competition model with carbon plate)
Lack of versatility (not very inspiring at slow paces)
The toe box may be a bit roomy if you have narrow feet
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2
Asics MetaSpeed Sky
|Drop||8 mm||5 mm|
|Heel stack height||40 mm||33 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||32 mm||28 mm|
|Features||Carbon plate, Rocker||Carbon plate, Lightweight, Maximal cushioning, Recycled materials, Rocker, Wide feet|
|Weight (men)||186 g/6.6 oz||190 g/6.7 oz|
|Weight (women)||168 g/5.9 oz||167 g/5.9 oz|
|Midsole||ZoomX||FF BLAST TURBO, carbon-fiber plate, rocker geometry|
|Upper||Engineered mesh||Integrated breathable knit|
|Softness (1-5)||4 – Soft||3 – Moderate|
|Bounce (1-5)||5 – Very bouncy||5 – Very bouncy|
|Distance||Mid, long, 10k, marathon||Mid, long, half marathon, marathon|
Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner’s Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He’s also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.