The Asics Metaride, the Japanese sports apparel company's first energy-saving running shoes, took two years to develop and incorporate several proprietary Asics technologies.
The result is a pair of shoes that, according to Asics, have been scientifically proven to reduce energy loss at the ankle joint by 19.1 per cent.
The first thing you will notice about the Metaride is a pronounced upward curl of the sole at the forefoot area. Asics calls this sole the Guidesole. Its rocker-like design works by shifting the body weight forward to propel runners forward more efficiently.
The mid-sole is made of Asics' Flytefoam Propel foam GEL cushioning that is said to enhance responsiveness during toe-off and reduce muscle fatigue. It also has 3D Guidance Line technology, which places the shoe's centre of gravity towards the rear to help runners swing through each stride quickly and easily.
Due to the overtly curved sole, the shoes do look a tad weird.
It also feels weird to walk in them, as there is a tendency to tiptoe.
But once you start running, the Metaride shows its mettle. The shoes feel very comfortable on my usual 5km jogs and there is no need to break them in, too. I also like that its solid heel counter provides plenty of protection for my injury-prone ankles.
• High energy saving
• Very comfortable
• Solid heel counter
• Better for forefoot strikers
• A tad heavy
MATERIAL: Asics' proprietary Guidsole curved sole, Flytefoam mid-sole and knit material upper
HEEL DROP: 0mm
WEIGHT: 317g (US 9, Men's)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 2.5/5
I could feel the difference when compared with conventional running shoes right from my first run. These shoes really edge my entire body forward more than other shoes.
But the Metaride shoes are not meant for speed, as they feel a tad heavy. They are more about reducing the effort for your runs, so you can run farther.
It also does not have the energy return or bounce that I have experienced with the Adidas Ultraboost and Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo.
I feel the Metaride's design favours forefoot strikers, those who tend to land on their forefoot when running. If you are a heel striker, you will not feel the shoes' energy-saving benefit.
The biggest issue is its price tag. At almost $400, it is more expensive than the likes of Adidas Ultraboost 19 and Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo. And these two models look nicer and double up as fashion sneakers better.