I wore the METASPEED SKY PARIS from ASICS straight out of the box to race in the Chilly Half Marathon on Sunday and you better believe that got a lot of attention. One of spring’s most anticipated drops, the race shoe is bright pink with black logo lines and an update on the METASPEED line—the fast ASICS racing shoe with the carbon-plate.

At the Chilly Half Marathon, I ran a huge negative split, which I almost never do.

In part, I owe some of my success to my shoes.

The METASPEED SKY PARIS touts its midsole foam as being “energetic,” and claims the carbon-plate is “propulsive,” making the shoe designed intentionally for conserving energy. The shoe is built to help racers lengthen their stride and the idea behind their Japanese engineering is to have racers conserve their energy for the end of the race. 

Reader, on Sunday, that’s exactly what happened to me at my half marathon (for a complete race review, click here).

I started the Chilly Half Marathon running 4:45-per-kilometre and, as the race went on, sometime after seven or eight kilometres, I found myself getting faster. I grew stronger with every step. By the end of the race, I was closer to 4:25-per-kilometre and I couldn’t believe how quickly the kilometre markers seemed to appear.

I sprinted the last 400 metres to the finish line. My shoes made me feel like I could fly.

Some of the details about the METASPEED SKY PARIS: it weighs 183 grams and its forefoot height is 34.5 millimetres. The carbon-plate has been widened compared to last year’s model and this is to compress the FF TURBO PLUS midsole foam.

The ride is soft, plush and cushioned, but also remarkably light and propulsive. It’s the propulsion that I think helped me in my race. The upper has been designed for breathability and comfort and the sole is curved, which ASICS also says helps you conserve your energy. I’m a neutral heel-strike runner and could feel the outsole maintain durability and grip.

At the Chilly Half Marathon, I grew more confident as the race went on and felt a powerful surge in my shoes. They were comfortable, almost elastic, and quick. I was later amazed upon reading about the METASPEED SKY PARIS, that I experienced nearly exactly the value proposition offered by the shoe.

I can stand by their claims.

It’s always hard to know with shoes which of the details will matter most to you when you’re racing. To me, it matters that Natasha Wodak, when she lines up in Hamburg at the end of April to try and qualify for the Paris Olympics, will be wearing the METASPEED SKY PARIS shoes. It also matters that, after the Chilly Half was over, I sat trading notes with a friend and we looked at the bottom of her Nike AlphaFly 3s and noticed that her tread, after being worn once, looked trashed.

My shoes barely looked touched. 

Of course, that could be because we run differently. Although she’s lighter and faster than me, perhaps her stride grinds her soles in a different way. But I think these are all important data points to consider when buying $325 shoes.

The METASPEED SKY PARIS might be the best race shoe today on the market. I know at the Chilly Half Marathon there were plenty of eyes on my sneakers. When people asked me after the race, I told them: for racing, I would absolutely recommend the ASICS METASPEED SKY PARIS shoes. 

Now available online or at these retailers across Canada: