ASICS Magic Speed 3 Shoe Review

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Shoe Review

Has the ASICS Magic Speed 3 gone through a huge update? Immediately yes.

The Magic Speed was a lightweight trainer with a plate (noncarbon). It was fast and relatively cheap compared to other brands. While it’s still reasonably cheap, it’s been given a carbon plate. The first version was very rockered and narrow. The second improved that, but it never felt like a shoe that would be your number one choice. It was one of my top 10 choices for a speed day shoe, but never my number one.

This seems to have changed in the ASICS Magic Speed 3, and ASICS has updated and upgraded it. If you liked versions 1 and 2, you’ll be surprised with how different version 3 is. Different isn’t bad, but different is different and the Magic Speed 3 will likely draw a slightly different crowd than previous versions.

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Shoe Review

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Quick Stats:

Weight: 7.8 oz

Heel Toe Drop: 7 mm

Price: $160

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Intro:

The Magic Speed 3 is designed as a tempo/workout racing shoe. If you want a carbon-plated shoe but don’t want an expensive one, it’s a good option. The ride is pretty bouncy and features two “FF Blast+” foam layers.

The previous version featured a TPU plate and a single layer of FF Blast. This made it extremely firm. With the Magic Speed 3, ASICS also added a couple millimeters to the stack height but keeping the 7 mm drop. So the ASICS Magic Speed 3 is softer than previous versions.

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Fit:

The first version of the Magic Speed was so so narrow. I cannot emphasize that enough. My feet felt like sausages, and even going into a longer shoe length didn’t compensate for the lack of width. The new motion wrap upper is light but secure. It has a lower volume fit and remains tapered in the toebox. Thankfully nothing like the original version.  I still recommend going up a half size if you have any width to your feet.

The upper uses engineered mesh and is similar to the Metaspeed Sky. I like this upper and it’s comfortable, except if you are running downhill. It rips up my feet more than any other shoe. I run several hilly routes and I’ve found the front of my toes to get blisters/bleeding. I hope ASICS adjusts this upper because truthfully it’s the main reason I don’t use the Metaspeed Sky+ or Edge+ in races. Please ASICS, this upper is fine for flat races but eats your feet alive anytime you run downhill. And don’t worry I’m not including photos.

The fit of the ASICS Magic Speed 3 is still snugger than I prefer. It reminds me of old-school racing flats that suffocate your feet.

I generally wear between a woman’s size 10-11 wide in running shoes. I found the size 11 of the Magic Speed 3 to fit the best, although if given the option, I would choose an 11 wide. I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t gone up a half size in the Magic Speed 3 (yes a half size from your regular running shoe size which may be 1-2 sizes larger than your casual size).

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Shoe Review

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Ride:

New this year for the Magic Speed 3 is the carbon plate. The carbon plate is more in the shoe’s forefoot and feels much more responsive than the first two versions. Compared to the Metaspeed Edge+ and Sky+, the carbon plate in the Magic Speed 3 is not aggressive.

The midsole of the ASICS Magic Speed 3 contains two layers of FF Blast+ foam. This provides a softer and more bouncy ride than the first two versions. It’s slowly transitioning into what you feel with the Metaspeed racing shoes. The midsole also features more stack height and cushion to help elevate the softness.

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Shoe Review

Durability and Traction: One of the best features of the ASICS Magic Speed 3 is durability. You will get a similar lifespan as a daily trainer, but it has a carbon plate. So instead of a carbon plate racing shoe lasting 50-100 miles, the Magic Speed 3 will stay 300-400.

I’ve had no issues using the ASICS Magic Speed 3 in inclement weather. ASICS uses “ASICSGRIP” on the outsole and handles stormy weather well. It’s a shoe I feel confident taking out on a rainy day and not sliding around.

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Shoe Review

I assumed the ASICS Magic Speed 3 would be a workout and racing shoe, and that’s precisely what it is. I’ve found it great for longer/faster activities and the occasional race. I prefer light shoes for quick-track work, but I like the Magic Speed 3 for most workouts. It’s more bouncy with the carbon plate and a little softer than previous versions. It feels less rigid on the bottom of my feet, making it more comfortable for longer runs.

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Shoe Review

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Conclusion:

I do think the Magic Speed 3 is the best version that has come out. But it’s also very different and takes some time to get used to. Now I’m just hoping they update the width. It’s a massive competitor to the Saucony Endorphin Speed. I once didn’t even think they were in the same category, but as the Endorphin Speed moves towards a daily trainer and is “less fast,” the Magic Speed 3 is only getting faster.

Finally which is better the ASICS Metaspeed 3 or Saucony Endorphin Speed 3? Until this year, I would say the Endorphin Speed 3. The Endorphin Speed felt more comfortable and fit more feet. Plus, it was softer and faster. Now the Magic Speed 3 has gotten significantly better and faster. The Endorphin 3 has gotten slower and more similar to a daily trainer…why Saucony…why? In my opinion between the ASICS Magic Speed 3 and the Saucony Endorphin 3, I would choose the Magic Speed 3. Every time. (keep in mind I am sponsored by neither brand)

Who should buy the ASICS Magic Speed 3? If you are looking for speed work or relatively cheap carbon-plated shoes.

Who should not buy the ASICS Magic Speed 3? If you have wider feet or are looking for a daily trainer or shoe, you can use it for easy runs. Or if you are running a lot of downhill (whether that means downhill races or just hilly races that include downhill).

ASICS Magic Speed 3 Shoe Review

My Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Antepes Muscle Runners, Tracksmith Eliot Runner, New Balance 1080v12, Newton Gravity 12, 361 Degrees CentauriASICS Superblast 

Speed Work: ASICS Magic Speed 3, Hoka Solimar, Altra Vanish Carbon, 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, Reebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike ZoomX Streakfly

Long Runs: ASICS Superblast

Trail Running/Hiking: Brooks Caldera 6, Saucony Peregrine 12Hoka Torrent 2, Hoka Zinal Shoe, Speedland SL: PDX

Races: Nike ZoomX Streakfly, New Balance Fuelcell 5280,   Reebok Run fast Pro, Nike Vaporfly 3 Hoka Rocket X 2 ASICS Metaspeed Edge+

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Are you looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths about running shoes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the ASICS Magic Speed 3?

What is your favorite carbon-plated shoe?