Asics Magic Speed 3 Review – Is third time the charm?

Asics has redesigned the companion trainer to their super shoes. Does the Magic Speed 3 dazzle or disappoint?

Third time lucky?

Following on from the divisive Magic Speeds 1 and 2, Asics Magic Speed 3 is the latest training companion to their super shoes. With a new geometry and re-designed midsole, does it improve on previous efforts and make it a serious contender in the tempo/workout day shoe market?

Specs – All Maxed Out 

The sample weight from Asics is: 221g (7.8oz)


Stack: 34.5mm in the heel with a 7mm drop to 27.5mm in the forefoot.


Price $159.95/€160

The Upper – Snug and minimal


The upper is snug and really holds the foot well. For me, I find the shoe to be true to size but on the narrow side. It certainly has a race shoe feel with not much extra in terms of size or padding. On top, the tongue is minimally but strategically padded to avoid lacing pressure on the top of the foot. Opening the shoe, the tongue is semi-gusseted to help hold it in place and wrap the foot a little more. 


Around the heel collar, the Asics Magic Speed 3 is lightly padded which adds comfort but not bulk or an obtrusive amount of material to the shoe. This helps to ensure that it remains light and focussed on the task of speed. This is an upper which is definitely on the minimal side and socks can clearly be seen through it. Breathability is never in question on even the hottest days I have run in the shoe.


I can only agree with Andy’s description of the upper. The good thing is that the Magic Speed 3 gets the same material as the Metaspeed+ series and the Superblast. It is a material that I really enjoy. It has a perfect balance between structure and thinness.


Like Andy wrote, breathability is not an issue with this shoe. However, the material is so thin that dust and dirt go through it. I ran with the Asics Magic Speed 3 in Eugene, OR on Pre’s Trail and my socks were probably dirtier than the shoes. Andy mentions that the shoe fits true to size and I’d agree, albeit a snug type of true to size.

Magic Speed 3 Upper
Magic Speed 3 Midsole

Midsole – Narrow, focussed and fast 


The midsole is a dual layer with Flight Foam Blast+ making up the top layer and regular Flight Foam making the other half of the sandwich with the carbon plate in the middle. This is my first experience of Flight Foam Blast+ and it has been an enjoyable one. 


My opinion on the Magic Speed 3 have changed over time. Initially, I found the ride rather harsh and firm. With a very forefoot strike, I found that I was maybe not making the most of the geometry of the shoe. However, over the following weeks in the Magic Speed 3, I found that the foam softened a touch and the ride became far more pleasant. 


During the testing, I have used the shoe for a whole range of runs, from fast(ish) 300m repeats to a long, tough hill session. In all of these, I have found it to be a snappy and responsive shoe. The plate helps with toe off leverage and the foam helps to absorb the impact of the road. I do still prefer it for sessions on softer surfaces and I can see it becoming a favourite of mine for training on the track. 


That being said, I have also tried to use the Magic Speed 3 as a daily trainer, this is where I have found it wanting. At slower paces, when form is maybe not as strict, I have found it to be rather uncomfortable and awkward. This is due to the narrow platform and midsole geometry rewarding a much more disciplined gait cycle than my morning run provides.But, Asics did not design this shoe for chatty plods so I can’t really hold that against it.


My experience in the Asics Magic Speed 3 differs a bit from Andy’s. But this is precisely why we include multiple testers in our reviews. My first run in the shoe set the tone. The shoe arrived late during an afternoon and with twenty minutes before dinner I decided to go on a short tempo run. I ran about 5k at my half marathon pace and I already knew this shoe was finally what the two first Magic Speeds failed to be.


The first Magic Speed was quite firm, had a poor upper and was overall one of my biggest disappointments in 2021. The second iteration addressed the firmness “issue” and came up with a much better geometry that sadly didn’t work for me. Meanwhile the Asics Magic Speed 3 is again quite different. It reminded me instantly of my beloved Asics Metaspeed Edge+. A shoe that rolls perfectly with my midfoot strike, saves my legs and has an unmatched snapiness at toe off. The Magic Speed 3 is basically that but in a slightly firmer package and with more ground feel. 


However, where I concur with Andy is about the choice of paces. Slow is not good for the Asics Magic Speed 3. This shoe needs some form of speed to deliver. I think, like Andy wrote, that it’s also a matter of level of attention. With a rather narrow platform, this shoe requires some good focus whereas easy paces are often meant to relax both the body and the mind.

Outsole – Holding the road


There is a good, thick layer of Asics rubber protecting the foam. My previous experience of Asics shoes tells me that these will last for a good long time. With 50km in the shoes, there is barely any wear to be found. I have found the grip to be adequate on pavement and grass in the dry weather we have had. We will see how it holds up against the sloppier conditions of the autumn and winter months.

Magic Speed 3 outsole
Magic Speed 3 Conclusion

Is the Magic Speed 3 a trick or treat?


This is my first experience of a Magic Speed and it has been a good one. I have found that as a workout shoe it can more than hold its own against the competitors. From everything from top end speed down to a more considered marathon pace it rewards good form and propels me towards my goals.I will continue to keep this in my workout rotation and very much look forward to trying it out as a track shoe. The lightweight upper holds the foot snugly and the shoe vanishes on foot when running hard. Also, being an Asics shoe, the durability will probably lead to it lasting a good long time.


I did a lot in this shoe already but I need to use it more on the track. It has a huge potential there and I feel that this could very well be my track shoe for 1k reps for instance. Let’s give Asics some kudos for redesigning this model completely twice in less than three years. Not many brands do that and it was worth the effort. The Asics Magic Speed 3 is finally that solid supertrainer Asics was genuinely missing in their lineup. Does it overlap with the likes of Novablast and Superblast? No, it doesn’t. The purposes may look similar but the ride experience is so different that I can imagine many Asics fans having all these shoes at once in their rotation.

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Alex Filitti Meta Circle


28 years old

183cm (6′) – 68kg (148lbs)

Mid/Forefoot striker – Stride runner

Moderate pronator




45 years old

173cm (5’8″) – 66kg (145lbs)

Forefoot striker – (Very) high cadence runner


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