ASICS MAGIC SPEED 4 Review: Keeping The Magic?

The MAGIC SPEED is now in its 4th iteration. As a shoe which has been improved with each iteration, it should be pretty good by now, right? Silke put it to the test!

ASICS MAGID SPEED 4 Introduction:

Upgraded and Improved

The ASICS MAGIC SPEED has undergone a lot of changes since the first edition in 2021. With the MAGIC SPEED 4, there are more big upgrades. A  new midsole formula and big increase in stack height are main headlines. Having never tried the previous versions of the ASICS MAGIC SPEED series I was very curious how I would get on with it. Though coming from a more trail oriented background, I always love to grab a pair of lightweight tempo trainers for my faster workouts on pavement. I really enjoyed the ASICS Novablast versions 2 – 4 for daily runs and did a lot of trail mileage in the Trabuco and Fujilite. That said, I never raced in the Metaspeed series and until now had no opportunity to test their superlight and responsive midsole foam FF TURBO.



Stack height: 43.5mm heel to 35.5mm toe (women’s) 40.5mm heel to 33.5mm toe (men’s)

Midsole drop: 8mm (women’s) 7mm (men’s)

Weight: 210g | 7.4oz (women’s) 240g | 8.4oz (men’s)

Retail price: $170 | €180



Aggressive Looks, Comfortable Fit

Silke: With that bright yellow upper,  that fire orange outsole and midsole part, the MAGIC SPEED 4 has an aggressive racer look. Instantly, I thought of the Metaspeed Paris series when I saw it.  I would say the fit is true to size. However, it is on the narrower side and harder to get on foot. That is a bit annoying when you are wearing thick socks.The tongue has a tendency to slide forward and needs to be readjusted to secure the fit. Speaking of the tongue, it is gusseted with  just a tiny amount of padding, placed where you tie the laces to relieve pressure on the top of the foot. 


The engineered mesh upper feels comfortable and breathable and it dried very quickly. However, there are parts of the upper which I believe could be thinner. The printed overlays in the midfoot work quite nicely and the stripped back collar and heel really add to the racer feel of the shoe. 


I tend to have achilles issues and my tendons are thicker than most runners’ tendons. Unfortunately, I can feel the inward shaped heel pressing on my achilles. Therefore, I have to choose my socks wisely to avoid irritation at the heel. But once everything sits at its place, the fit is fine to me. 


What I really like is the simple lacing system, no whistles and bells, just holes and laces. A tiny drawback might be the upper in the forefoot but this might be one of the differences to the high end racing models like the Metaspeed series. Talking of lightweight the MAGIC SPEED 4 feels light in hand, yet I think there is room to save some more weight with some tweaks. At least 50% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled materials to reduce waste and carbon emissions.

Comfortable and Well Built

Ivan: I agree with Silke that this shoe is quite challenging to put on and the curved and fairly rigid heel counter also puts some pressure on the achilles for me. Once in the MAGIC SPEED 4, I find it quite voluminous, with too much space in the midfoot for my liking. This makes it hard to get a really good midfoot wrap. The heel is decently padded for an uptempo shoe, and despite a tiny bit of movement, I get a decent lockdown in the heel. The forefoot tapers for an average fit at the front. 


I think some of the overall volume could be fixed with a thicker insole. The one that comes with it is super thin and flimsy. That would also add a bit of cushion to an otherwise fairly firm footbed. Personally, I prefer a tighter and lighter upper in my uptempo shoes and would have liked a thinner upper like its predecessor. However, considering that the MAGIC SPEED 4 has more heft to it, it’s not simple to do without the shoe feeling bottom-heavy. 


Despite my preferences and criticisms, I find the upper and fit overall quite soft and comfortable and well-built, and I really like the look of it.



Built for Speed

Silke: ASICS have chosen to upgrade the midsole with an insert of FF TURBO. They have also  increased the stack height so that the MAGIC SPEED 4 now joins the league of super trainers. In contrast to the other ASICS super trainer, the Superblast, it is equipped with a carbon plate. It is of course designed to help improve stability and propel your foot forward. Thankfully, the MAGIC SPEED 4 propels me forward in a delightful way.


In combination with the FF Turbo midsole inlay and the low drop I found the MAGIC SPEED 4 to deliver a very responsive ride. It is slightly firmer at slower paces but growing softer when pushing more. I did not expect the ride of the other super trainers I have tested recently, but it feels really different. For me, it feels much firmer underfoot that its competitors. Furthermore, as a midfoot striker,  the MAGIC SPEED 4 wants me to land more towards my forefoot. Perhaps this is psychological and I intuitively adjust my gait cycle to get as much as possible from the bouncy FF TURBO foam insert. To sum it up, the ride is very responsive, wants you to push harder and feels much better at higher paces. In fact I didn’t èven want to try it for my daily slower runs.

Responsive and Stable

Ivan: Having been a big fan of the second version of the ASICS MAGIC SPEED, I was curious to see how a higher stacked version would perform. Although it is a complete departure from the nimble third version, it visually resembles the earlier version that I logged over 800 km in.


While it is now thicker stacked, this latest version shares some similarities with the previous models, particularly in its break-in period. The foam is not initially soft and compliant. It feels more dampening and somewhat rigid. However, after some time, especially in warmer temperatures, it loosens up and feels less stiff. The rocker is not as pronounced in this version. As Silke mentioned, it seems designed to encourage landing more towards the front, where the puck of FF Turbo is placed. I find that area firmer than the rest of the midsole. However, it adds some nice responsiveness that becomes more noticeable when picking up the pace.


This version feels a bit clunky at slower speeds but excels when running faster. It lacks a bit of rocker and feels too stiff until the pace increases. The width of the upper around the midfoot and the overall weight don’t make it suitable at race paces. For me, it works best for continuous mid-paced to uptempo runs. I’m used to high-mileage training in all kinds of shoes, but I experienced some foot fatigue after about 25 km. Eventually, I switched out the insole for a thicker one. This improved the fit and made longer runs more comfortable.


The longer I run in this shoe, the more it loosens up. Therefore,  I find myself reaching for it more than I expected. With an overload of super-soft trainers that often sap energy rather than provide it, the ASICS MAGIC SPEED 4 offers a welcome responsiveness for an efficient leg turnover. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s more stable than most other models in this category, thanks to the midsole rigidity and the plate.



Does What Is Required

Silke: Some outsoles pretend to provide a good grip and then they fail. Not this one! Just from the looks I wouldn’t have guessed that it sticks even on slightly dirty and wet ground. Turning corners was no problem at all. Having done about 90k so far the pattern does not show any wear. I can even see the thin lines in the most used midfoot part. ASICSGRIP works perfectly.


Ivan: The ASICSGRIP on the MAGICSPEED 4 resembles that of other ASICS uptempo models, but the grip seems even better in this version. I haven’t had any issues with it. Additionally, it has ample coverage, which suggests excellent durability.



A Fine Tempo Choice

Silke: When I wrote the review, I asked myself what it is that makes me like the MAGIC SPEED 4. It is not just one thing but the whole package you get from the shoe. If I had to choose only one trainer for all of my runs, I don’t think it would be this one. But as a tempo and even racing companion to the Novablast 4 I think it does the job perfectly. I really like that the carbon plate is not overly stiff, but propels you forward when pushing.  If you want a plated tempo day shoe you can also use for races, this is a budget friendly option.


So if you are in search of a new training companion with a lightweight midsole and a responsive ride you should keep an eye on the MAGIC SPEED 4. Looking for a do-it-all shoe without a plate? You might want to try the ASICS Superblast. Yes it comes with a higher price, but it can really do it all. If you are more into a soft and squishy, cushioned ride with a tighter budget, the Mizuno Neo Vista should be on your list.

A Fine Tempo Choice

Ivan: We now have two main categories of “supertrainers”. Firstly, the super wide and squishy ones for easy-day comfort. Then we have the more nimble uptempo models that provide a responsive ride. The ASICS MAGIC SPEED 4 clearly falls into the latter category, while something like the Superblast also from ASICS is a rare, versatile model that could fit into both categories depending on the runner.


I enjoy this type of shoe. As I run in it, it continues to loosen up and feel smoother during my runs. With my high cadence running style, I don’t apply enough force at slower paces to benefit from the plate or FF Turbo puck in the front. A bit more rocker might have helped with this. However, when I pick up to moderate paces, the midsole setup responds significantly better, making the ride very enjoyable. 


I believe a heavier runner with a lower cadence, which includes the majority of runners, will find it more versatile. I would also have preferred a tighter midfoot hold or a thicker insole to fill out some space and add extra cushioning for longer runs. That said, I really like the overall package and hope that this category of “Responsive Supertrainers” survives and doesn’t get completely overshadowed by the super wide, squishy supertrainers and pricier supershoes.


50 years old

167cm (5’4″) – 55kg (121lbs)

Midfoot strike 




48 years old

180cm (5’9″) – 63kg (138lbs)

Midfoot striker – Cadence runner

Mild pronator


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