The third is the charm and with the ASICS Magic Speed 3 it certainly is the case. After experimenting around for 2 iterations, ASICS has in its arsenal a high performance racer/workout footwear. For runners who are looking to go fast, the ASICS Magic Speed 3 is one to consider. The Magic Speed 3 is much more a racer than before with its new MOTION WRAP upper as well as a full length carbon plate sandwiched between 2 layers of FF Blast+ cushioning. Magic Speed 3 retails for SGD 249 or USD 160.

Product Specifications

  • Size: US 12
  • Weight: 256 grams (9.03 oz)
  • Midsole: ASICS FF Blast Plus (w/ full length carbon plate)
  • Stack Height: 33mm to 40mm (7mm drop)
  • Insole: Unremovable
  • Outsole Thickness: 2mm
  • Forefoot Width: 10.5cm
  • Midfoot Width: 7.2cm
  • Heel Width: 8.4cm

Runner’s Profile

Prior to the review, it is important to establish my runner profile to better gauge my opinions on the shoes. For example, a lighter runner will experience differently the effects of midsole compared to a heavier runner. I am on the heavy side for a runner (75kg – 80kg) range and stands at 1.75m tall. My average weekly mileage ranges from 25km to 35km. I am a mid-foot/fore-foot strike with a neutral foot. I am normally a US size 11, with 2E foot width, although it varies depending on brands.


Pointer 1 – Perfecting the Midsole

ASICS has perfected the midsole by incorporating both layers with FF Blast+ instead of the previous FF Blast+ with FlyteFoam. In the Magic Speed 3, the compression and stability hits a sweet spot for runners who might be worried about excessive compression with super foam. ASICS swap the TPU plate with a full length carbon plate in this version, enhancing the stability and firmness.

Pointer 2 – More Stable than Magic Speed 2

What I did notice with the Magic Speed 3 is the additional platform in the heel of the footwear. This marginal change has made the Magic Speed 3 much more usable than the Magic Speed 2 especially over a long run. As my foot rolls inwards during each transition, my ankle and leg will thank me for picking the Magic Speed 3 over its predecessor.

In addition, having a carbon plate helped to improve the overall stability. The choice to incorporate the carbon plate is likely to balance out the softer FF Blast+. Magic Speed 2 utilized a TPU plate and had 2 different layers of foam (Top = FF Blast+, Bottom = FlyteFoam).

Pointer 3 – Race-Fit Upper w/ Good Lockdown

The MOTION WRAP upper is also used in the Metaspeed Sky & Edge series up the race fit for the Magic Speed series. Compared to the previous version, the breathability and lockdown is much more on point in the Magic Speed 3. This puts the Magic Speed 3 closer towards a race day trainer type of footwear.

Pointer 4 – Not for the Slow Runs, Suitable for Race Day & Trainings

One thing is for sure, this is not a pair of footwear for your slow easy runs. The Magic Speed 3 is best suited for race day pace or trainings which go beyond your targeted race day pace (e.g., 5:39 mins/km for 4 hours marathon). This is not to say you cannot take it for slow jog, you can. However, the features of the Magic Speed 3 might end making you run faster than you wanted for your easy days.

Pointer 5 – A Worthy Contender to Fit the Mass Market

The improvements made to the Magic Speed 3 brings it as a strong and worthy contender as a race-day/performance trainer for the mass market. The specifications built into the Magic Speed 3 and the price point made it more attainable compared to the top range. There are other options like the Adidas Boston 12 and Nike Zoom Fly 5 but the closer competitions are the Puma Deviate Nitro 2 and Saucony Endorphin Speed 3.

Concluding Remarks

ASICS has finally made it to the starting line with a high performance race-day trainer with the Magic Speed 3. My initial impression of it remains very positive and shall assess if there will be any issues that surface with more runs. For example, will the durability be questionable or perhaps will my ankle issue re-surface.

Runners looking at the Magic Speed 3 should also take a look at Puma and Saucony to see which best suit your running style and needs. For example, all 3 have differences in terms of their plate experience. Deviate Nitro 2 is less aggressive while Endorphin Speed 3 utilize a nylon plate. I hope you found this initial review beneficial.

Till next time, just keep running.

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