Asics Metaride review: Nike Vaporfly Next% competitor with a special sole technology

The Asics Metaride can make transform high-effort runs into joyrides

asics metaride review
(Image credit: Asics)
T3 Verdict

The Asics Metaride will make moving forward easier, no matter your skill level. The specially curved Guidesole technology is not only a unique sight but it also recycles landing energy into forward propulsion, something that would otherwise be wasted on the ground. If only it wasn't so expensive...

Reasons to buy
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    Smooth heel-to-toe transition

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    Generous toebox

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    Unique looks

Reasons to avoid
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    Heel counter could be firmer

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We might be a bit late for the party – given these shoes have been released a while ago – but please find below our Asics Metaride review. After reviewing the Asics Gel-Nimbus 21, I had high hopes for the Asics Metaride. It has a chunkier, even robust sole construction, not dissimilar to the likes of the Hoka One One Carbon X, a shoe I really liked. This fact made me rather hopeful it will deliver a smooth heel-to-toe transition and help me run faster in the future – like it is even possible.

As expected from a running shoe manufactured by the innovation-driven Japanese company, the Asics Metaride is choke-full of tech. Most noticeably, the Asics Metaride introduced the Guidesole technology, a "precision-curved" sole that said to help you roll your feet forward and reduce energy loss.

And although it does just that, the new sole technology works best if your running form is just perfect: the Guidesole-roll will not tolerate midfoot landings and you will feel the firmness of the soles running with incorrect form, even on shorter runs.

Thankfully, the Asics Metaride moved away from the rather bland looks of the Asics Gel-Nimbus 21. Should you prefer running shoes that lack personality, go for the aptly named Black/Black colourway, but for everyone else, the gradient-coloured Black/Red version, sporting the gold Asics detailing, will strike a good balance between looking too fleshy and not standing out at all.

The Asics Metaride has been added to our best running shoes list due to all the many merits it has. It fits well, rides well, looks well, and if it wasn't for the slightly firmer than needed halfway point of the sole and the looser than ideal heel counter, it might have ended up on the top of that list, too.

Asics Metaride review

(Image credit: Asics)

Asics Metaride review: the tech

The Metaride is all about the Guidesole system – "a precision-shaped curved sole that works by shifting the body weight forward and propelling runners on to give the feeling of effortless motion".

You will notice the very distinct curve of the sole straight after opening the box and once the shoes are on, you'll find it difficult to stand still and not to roll forward. And I don't mean it in a bad way: the Asics Metaride is an agile beast, ready to take on the road and devour the miles.

It seems like Asics can't release a new shoe without the signature GEL cushioning, and this seems to be the case here too. The GEL shock-absorption cushioning system in the rear of the sole helps to reduce impact force and while the aforementioned Guidesloe will role the foot forward by transforming the landing energy to forward momentum. The two system works in tandem and compliment each other very well.

The upper is made out of a knitted material but holds the foot firmer than the Nike Joyride, for example. It could be best described as being firmer than the Joyride's upper but softer than the Asics Gel-Nimbus 21, leaving more room in the toebox.

Asics Metaride review

(Image credit: Asics)

Asics Metaride review: the ergonomics

Wearing the Asics Metaride is comfortable sensation. The circular knit upper provides a firm hold and locks the feet in the shoes, yet it doesn't feel suffocating. The knit lets in plenty of air and although I tested the Asics Metaride in relative cooler conditions, I don't think people will find it too much even during summer. 

The Guidesole technology, as mentioned above, can feel firmer if you don't place your feet well, but regardless of that, one must admit that the rolling motion is present and the Asics Metaride indeed helps you keep moving.

Thanks to the GEL cushioning, I have experienced zero joint ache and running in the Metaride was great running experience. Once you get used to the roll – which won't take all that long – you will be rewarded with great energy return and a running experience that feels somewhat bouncy but definitely smoother than your average ride on the pavement.

Asics Metaride review

(Image credit: Asics)

Asics Metaride review: the aesthetics

The Asics Metaride is almost as interesting to look at as it is to run in. The curved sole design lifts the nose up of the shoes significantly, but this lift is only visible from the distance and from very close to the ground. It's not likely many people will lay down on the ground to observe your new running shoes, though.

The outsole has another surprise, although this will be only be visible when you flip the shoes over: it is almost completely smooth, there are no protruding objects here to provide extra grip. There is a set of patterned holes scattered around the whole length of the soles to provide extra grip on tarmac and a quite noticeable slit that runs from the front of the sole to the middle area.

Apart from the Black/Black colourway, the Asics Metaride also offers some good colour combinations, not too wild still but exciting enough so people feel like they are purchasing a somewhat different shoe. I particularly liked the Black/Red/Gold variant, these colours compliment each other well and create an aesthetically pleasing overall look.

Asics Metaride review

(Image credit: Asics)

Asics Metaride review: the verdict

The Asics Metaride is an excellent running shoe. It offers a unique running experience that's been engineered to deliver a smooth and energetic ride.

The Guidesole technology, coupled up with the signature Asics GEL cushioning, make every run comfortable yet dynamic. However, the Asics Metaride can be unforgicing for runners who don't land near perfectly as the sole is definitely on the firm side.

The circular knit upper locks the foot in the right way and lets the skin breathe while offering support and comfort. This is ideal since the Asics Metaride was designed – and is marketed to – long distance runners, even a slight discomfort can be magnified running more than 20 miles at a time.

The Asics Metaride looks cool, but not in a fashion trainer way, which is a huge bonus for hardcore runners who prefer to look the part. It is not boring and samey-samey, but should you prefer your running footwear to blend in a bit more, go for the Black/Black colourway.

If anything, the biggest hindrance to the Asics Metaride being the go-to choice for runners is the hefty price tag. For the same price or less (£200/$250), you can get a Nike Vaporfly Next% or a Hoka One One Carbon X, both shoes delivering a better running experience than the Asics Metaride. This just isn't the price range where potential buyers will make uneducated purchases, and if you look into the matter, you will find very good running shoes for cheaper. Even Asics.

Saying all that, for people who run longer distances and have the currency available, the Asics Metaride does worth consideration. It is especially recommended for people who don't mind spending more to improve their running times and are also keen Asics-users.

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Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.