Clinical Analysis of Running, Running Footwear, and Injury Prevention/Performance. The Doctors of Running, using knowledge of human movement, clinical biomechanics and performance, bring you cutting edge articles, reviews, and research reports.

Post Page Advertisement [Top]

ASICS Hyper Speed Review

    The Asics Hyper Speed series has a long history. This incredible racing flat, a favorite of Ryan Hall and others, was a shoe that was fast enough to be used from the 5k to the marathon. At the same time it was cushioned enough to be a fantastic minimal trainer for those who were into that kind of thing back then. I ran through 6 pairs of the Hyper Speed 4 as a trainer/racer and it was my go to shoe for a long time (until the Saucony Kinvara came along). That version remained my favorite, although version six was a close second. After version seven, the Hyper Speed appeared to have been discontinued until now. ASICS has brought this shoe back and it retains many of the essences of what made it such a popular shoe. However, there are many modern influences on this shoe that make it different from prior models.


Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 7.4 oz (men's size 9), 5.5 oz (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 30 mm / 25 mm
Drop: 5mm
Classification: Racing Flat





RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Matt: The Asics Hyper Speed returns with modern day upgrades including increased stack height and a rockered sole. A snug, secure breathable mesh sits up top, providing a fit normal for traditional racing flats. The outsole provides a very high level of durability while the SpEVA midsole provides a slightly soft but responsive feel as the shoe breaks in. With GuideSole technology (rockered sole) providing a smoother roll during landing, the Hyper Speed is a simple but very fun mixed traditional/modern day racing flat that will excel at a variety of distances, especially 10k to half marathon.





FIT (LENGTH WIDTH COMFORT)

Matt: The ASICS Hyper Speed fits me slightly short in my normal men's size 10. The mesh does stretch after a few miles so unless you are between sizes I would stick with your normal size. The width is fairly snug throughout the length of the Hyper Speed, particularly in the forefoot. The heel and midfoot have a bit more room, but still fit snug. The tongue is fairly thin and is secured by the laces, but is not gusseted. The upper is a thin mesh and is very breathable. It is supposed to be designed for sockless running and while it sits comfortably against the skin in the heel and midfoot, the forefoot mesh is more scratchy. Thus only those with high levels of experience with sockless running should do so in this shoe. There is a solid heel counter with a very thin amount of cushioning in the collar. The heel counter was noticeable to me at first, but my heels did get used to it. It did help lock my feet in the shoes, but those sensitive to this should be aware of this. The fit overall is very secure. I have not had to lace lock these shoes and they have been secure even on turn. Most of this comes from the midfoot and heel as the laces and heel counter do a great job of locking the foot in.




PERFORMANCE (RIDE STABILITY SPEED )

Matt: I have always enjoyed SpEVA midsoles from Japanese ASICS racing flats and am excited to have this amount in a US available racing flat. The ride is VERY rockered, which is rare for a racing flat from ASICS (except the Metaracer).  The heel bevel is posterior lateral and feels VERY smooth with a heel first contact. The forefoot toe spring is a little extreme. I can feel my toes held in extension and it took a bit of time to get used to how quickly I rolled forward. There is no plate in this shoe, but the forefoot is very stiff. The midsole overall has a stiff feel initially. After 5-10 miles, the SpEVA midsole breaks in and feels slightly soft and bouncy. This does take some miles to break in, so be patient. There is more midsole underfoot than more traditional racing flats, which makes this shoe a little more versatile for longer efforts. There is a listed 5 mm drop, but due to the intense rocker, I didn't really notice any kind of drop. The stability is fairly neutral in this shoe. There are no traditional methods of stability here as this is a racing flat. Standing I can feel my feet collapse over the medial side, but while running the rocker does help with the forward transition. 

For those with stability needs, this may be a short distance racer at most. For those with more stable mechanics, the amount of cushioning makes this shoe great for workouts and a variety of races. I have used this shoe for tempo runs, intervals (400s) and shake out runs. I was impressed that this shoe has more than enough cushion to use for short distance, fun, shake out runs. During the intervals the extreme toe spring made it difficult for me to really hit top speed, but the bouncy SpEVA had a nice kick to it. During tempo runs and steady efforts is where this shoe shines. The GuideSole (rocker) makes it easy to find a steady rhythm, which is why I would put this shoe as best for 10k to half marathons for most people. It doesn't have the all out speed to hit 5k pace well for me (as evident during the 400s) but is great with steady uptempo paces. The AHAR outsole is extremely durable and grippy. I have had no traction issues on wet ground, although I would keep this shoe for road only (maybe smooth pavement/dirt XC courses). The outsole has barely any wear despite almost 30 hard miles on this shoe. The midsole is breaking in nicely and I haven't even made a dent in the outsole. Plus the price is amazing, so what you get is a quality durable racing shoe.




THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

Matt:  It is quite exciting to see ASICS adding heel bevels into their shoes. This was evident in the Metaracer and is now being seen in more models. The bevel is quite significant in the Hyper Speed and was never present previously. It is laterally biased, so that may emphasize more lateral motion at heel strike. Those sensitive to this should be aware, but for someone like myself who needs more stability, this works very well to make me feel stable without a rearfoot post.

The forefoot toe spring is a slightly different story. While the Guidesole technology may certainly improve efficiency in SOME runners (not all), using this much toe spring in a shoe this low does end up holding the toes in extension. Normally I would suggest shoes with toe spring for those with limited toe extension to help transition over the forefoot, but this type should be avoided. Because the toe spring is aggressive enough that the toes are held in extension, the Hyper Speed may not be a good shoe for those with metatarsophalangeal joint issues or mobility problems. Those who have plenty of motion here will find a very smooth toe off but they will need to maintain that to continue running in a shoe like this.




RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: I have really enjoyed the Hyper Speed for a variety of workouts. However I would suggest Asics try to rework the aggressive toe spring. Instead of having the toes held in extension, it would be better if this could be adjusted to allow a more neutral position for the metatarsophalangeal joints. This would open up use and access of this shoe to a larger population. I would also suggest smoothing out the inside of the upper around the forefoot to make the Hyper Speed a little more comfortable for sockless wear. If those two things can be adjusted, this will be a near perfect non-plated racing flat.





WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: While the Asics Hyper Speed looks very similar to the Metaracer, it is a very different shoe. For those who want a cushioned, non-plated, snug fitting, very durable racing flat for 10k to half marathons (and up to the marathon for more experience runners), this affordable ($90?????) shoe should be on your try on list for 2021. The very rockered ride makes it an efficient shoe for going steady paces and with the cushioning may allow some people to use it as a lightweight trainer. The Asics Hyper Speed is for those with good toe mobility and stable mechanics as the toe spring is a bit extreme. However for those who love a rockered racing shoe, check this one out. Thank you Asics for bringing the Hyper Speed back!





GRADING

Matt

Fit: B: A snug secure fit, but a little more narrow/tapered than necessary. Best for those with narrow feet or looking for a racing fit.                     

Performance: B+: Lightweight and cushioned ride. Fast but not the fastest. Takes a few miles to break in. Really smooth rocker on both sides of the shoe. Very high durability so far for a racing flat

DPT/Footwear Science: B-: Really nice heel bevel, but aggressive toe spring a bit too much. Not a great idea to hold toes in extension.

Personal: A- Plenty of cushioning in a lightweight shoe. Great efficient, minimal shoe that has enough cushioning for some extra miles. Personal bias on this one.              

Overall:  B 

Thanks for reading!

Interested in a pair of ASICS Hyper Speed? Visit Running Warehouse here. Using the link helps support our work at Doctors of Running! 


FURTHER READING

On the lookout for racing flats? Visit these recent reviews:
Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro - David Salas reviews the ultralight sub-4 oz flat.
Saucony Kinvara 12 - The latest Kinvara goes back to its roots with a racer fit and smooth ride

Recent Reviews/Updates
Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 - Multi Tester Review
Hoka One One Arahi 5 - Multi Tester Review
Rabbit EZ Tee Collection - Short and Long Sleeve Review
Saucony Hurricane 23 - Review Update, Featuring Nathan Brown
On Cloudflyer - Review Update, Featuring David Salas

TESTER PROFILES:

Dr. Matthew Klein is a 140 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  He is particular to less cushioned shoes and close to the ground shoes, but can handle a little cushion when he gets beat up. IG handle @kleinrunsdpt

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

***Disclaimer: These shoes were purchased with a 50% medical discount from Asics.com. This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

Like and Follow Doctors of Running
Facebook: Doctors of Running Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running 

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!

Podcast | Ep. 34: Hoka One One Carbon X2 Review

Featured Post: Best Running Shoes of 2020

DPT APPROVED - Best Running Shoes of 2020

Bottom Ad [Post Page]