Our verdict

We deeply appreciate how the Magic Speed 2 makes the benefits of carbon-plated running shoes more affordable to the average runner. At $150, we were happy to find that it is a no-nonsense tempo shoe that can double as your short-distance racer if you want to make the most out of your purchase. And if you prefer a firmer ride with loads of snap, the Magic Speed 2 from ASICS has the magic you're looking for.


  • Snappy kind of fast
  • Unbothersome plate
  • Velvety smooth transitions
  • Secure when cornering
  • Roomy toe box
  • Tongue stays in place
  • Not a bank breaker
  • Grips on wet roads


  • Heel feels tippy
  • It won't bounce you to your next step

Audience verdict


Who should buy the ASICS Magic Speed 2


The second iteration of the ASICS Magic Speed should be on your list of to-buys if you're looking for a shoe that can handle tempo runs, workout days, and even some races. 

Who should NOT buy it

The Magic Speed 2 is not perfect. And if you're looking for alternatives that will be just as fast, we have you covered: 

  • If a tippy-feeling heel is a deal breaker for you, we think that the ASICS Gel Nimbus Lite 3 will suit you more. 
  • Bouncy ride? This ain't it. But, we believe that the ASICS Novablast 3 can fill in this department for the Magic Speed.


ASICS Magic Speed 2 vs. 1

The OG Magic Speed shoe was nothing short of anticlimactic. But with the Magic Speed 2, the line has been much improved. And it's all because of the following: 

  • better fit and comfier upper wrap 
  • snappier ride owed to the now-full-length plate
  • slightly softer foam

Looks fast. Runs fast. 

Overall, the ASICS Magic Speed 2 is a shoe that looks fast and certainly lives up to the expectation. The full-length plate embedded into it creates some really snappy strides. And what's more, it doesn't feel obtrusive at all. It is rather "organic."

Nice and airy

The mesh upper on this ASICS shoe shows a high level of ventilation. The amount of air passing through the fabric is visualized with the help of smoke in the video below.

Rating its breathability on a 1-5 scale, we can confidently give it the maximum 5!

You can also observe the most breathable parts of the upper as they are also the most transparent ones in another test.

The carbon plate steals some softness from the FlyteFoam

Looking at the durometer measurement, it turns out the shoe's FlyteFoam is among the softest out there! With a reading of 14.0 HA, it is 70% softer than road running shoes on average!


Disclaimer: We always take the durometer measurement five times to make sure it is accurate.

However, when we were out on an actual run, the Magic Speed 2 felt firmer than that for sure. Perhaps it is the plate positioning inside the midsole that plays its part in dampening the softness. 

Also, if you are planning to take the shoe out on a chilly day, be prepared that it is going to get MUCH firmer. After being exposed to a cold temperature in the freezer, the foam got a whopping 125% denser! For reference, most running shoe foams only get around 26% firmer.


Stiff carbon plate snaps you forward

But the bright side of the carbon plate is of course its magical ability to push us forward, much like a pool jumping board.

The Magic Speed 2 is one of the stiffest shoes on the market. It required as much as 59.4N of force to bend the shoe which is 50% more than it takes a road running shoe on average.

Twisting and bending the shoe in our hands, we also gave it a high score of 4 out of 5 for torsional stiffness (5 being the stiffest).

Magic Speed 2 rolls from heel to toe 

How? It's all in the shoe's rocker geometry. We found that this setup not only made the turnovers faster but also allowed us to switch the pace quickly and seamlessly.

Be careful, it can be a little tippy

It's a tall shoe and there's not much for your foot to sit on, especially in the heel area. It can feel a little like balancing on a rail. Runners with fallen arches and weak ankles should definitely stay away from this shoe.

The Magic Speed 2 features an above-average stack height in both the heel and the forefoot: 35.1 mm and 26.4 mm respectively. 


Disclaimer: We measure stack height including the shoe's insole. In the Magic Speed 2, it is 3.0 mm thick.


As for the shoe's platform width, it is indeed narrower than most shoes. You've got 104.4 mm in the forefoot (almost 9 mm narrower) and 79.6 mm in the heel (10.5 mm narrower).


But on the bright side, this problem does disappear when you start to pick up the pace. For that reason, we recommend reserving this ASICS trainer for faster paces.

Lockdown fit

ASICS really knows how to get the upper right!


It was such a pleasure to run in the Magic Speed 2 feeling reassured by the well-fitting upper. 


We were never bothered by any hot spots, pressure, shifty tongue, or anything of that nature. The shoe's tongue is almost paper-thin (only 1.2 mm compared to the average 5.8 mm) and semi-gusseted.


We were also pleased to find that the heel rubbing issues of the previous version have disappeared thanks to the shoe's more padded design.

An accommodating racer fit

As a speed-oriented shoe, the Magic Speed 2 turns out to be rather close-fitting. But because it is unstructured and uses a stretchy fabric, it feels much more accommodating.


Looking at its toebox measurements (94.5 mm in the widest part), the shoe falls into the medium-width range of speed-oriented shoes. It is actually wider than the race-ready ASICS Metaspeed Edge+ (93.4 mm) and the ASICS Metaspeed Sky+ (92.2 mm).


The price is right!

It's only $150 a pair! For a carbon-plated shoe, that's a real steal given that plated shoes on average cost $209.

But the real kicker is that the Magic Speed 2 doesn't make any serious sacrifices in order to meet this lower-end price. It may not be ideal for all races, but it is definitely a speed shoe that we will choose for a wide variety of running challenges.

It is also a welcome fact that the shoe's price hasn't changed since the first iteration.


Keeps your steps fixed

Whether it's on dry or damp roads, you don't have to worry about slips. Even though the rubber coverage is not full in this ASICS shoe, it offers a solid bite in the right areas.