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ASICS Hyper Speed 2: Fast on a Budget
By Matthew Klein

With the rise of super shoes, companies were quick to discontinue their traditional racing flats. People have been far more interested (for better or worse) in high stack, super foam, stiff shoes than lower stack, traditional foam, flexible ones. This has been a challenge for those who still respond better to the latter, be it for training or racing purposes. The ASICS Hyper Speed 2 is one of the few shoes that now holds up this category. Taking inspiration from the Metaspeed series yet moving away from the overly rockered design of the Hyper Speed 1, the Hyper Speed 2 returns as an option for those who want a minimal shoe or who want a traditional racing flat.

ASICS Hyper Speed 2
Price: $59.88 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 6.7 oz, 190 g (men's size 9),  5.6 oz, 158 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 24 mm / 17 mm
Drop: 7 mm
Classification: Racing Flat


The ASICS Hyper Speed 2 is a (rare) traditional racing flat for those who want a light, lower stack height, flexible shoe for faster efforts. The upper is slightly snug and secure but has decent room throughout for this shoe type. The ride underfoot is obviously on the firmer side, but is well cushioned for how low stack this shoe is. The sole is flexible but snappy and light at 6.7 oz (men's size 9). This makes the ASICS Hyper Speed 2 a great option for those who want a non-plated, non-super foam racing shoe for 5k/10k racing and shorter workouts. 

: Puma Liberate Nitro 2


The ASICS Hyper Speed 2 fits me true to size, if slightly short due to a quick taper and toe spring at the toe box, in my normal men's US size 10. The width is on the snug side throughout. The toebox is slightly tapered but opens slightly into an almost normal-width forefoot. The forefoot is still on the snug size but has a surprising amount of room for a traditional racing flat. It is still snug and transitions into a snug midfoot. The tongue is on the thinner side and non-gusseted. The security is good enough although I did have to tie down the laces (but did not need to lace lock this shoe). The heel is narrow with moderate collar cushioning and a large, stiff heel counter. The counter was noticeable to me and began to get irritating on longer efforts. Those who like this will enjoy it, but those sensitive to counters will need to avoid this shoe.

The upper is breathable thanks to a thin almost see-through mesh upper. It is advertised as being able to handle sockless wear, but I found it to be scratchy against the skin. I would recommend using socks with this shoe as I had some mild abrasions on my feet after a short run testing them out sockless. For those interested in the insole (which I will start commenting more on as part of the upper), it is non-removable and glued in. Those wanting to utilize orthotics will either need to warm up the glue to remove it or find another shoe (this is NOT a shoe designed for orthotics). 


The ASICS Hyper Speed 2 is a lower stack, traditional racing flat for faster efforts. It features full-length Flytefoam midsole without a plate. It is noticeably light at 6.7 oz (men's size 9) and there is just enough stack height (24mm / 17 mm) to take the edge off the road or whatever terrain you use these on. There is a 7 mm drop listed and it feels around 6-7mm (not too low or high).

The heel is centered outside of a lateral crash pad, seen as a large lateral crease. This allows for a lateral collapse, so those who land at the rearfoot will have a decent transition at the normal posterior lateral landing spot. This transitions into a narrow midfoot on the medial side with lateral flare on the outer side. This starts to push you medial, which the lateral flare in the forefoot continues. This makes it easy to pivot off the medial forefoot and big toe at high speeds. At slower speeds this feels like you are getting pushed over the medial forefoot, making this a better shoe for speed workouts. The forefoot is moderately flexible with a decent amount of toe spring and a forefoot rocker. These collapse down a bit with the flexibility but are still mildly present.

The Hyper Speed 2 is meant as a workout/racing shoe and that is exactly how it feels. It is light on foot, the flexibility allows for an easy transition and the lower stack makes the shoe feel snappy underfoot. Unless you are probably conditioned to handle traditional racing flats for longer distances, the Hyper Speed 2 will be best for shorter tempo runs, track workouts, intervals, 5k and 10k racing. The outsole traction at the forefoot grips decently and works well on the road, track and well-groomed dirt. Those wanting a shoe that could work on well-groomed cross-country courses (like the ones in Southern California) will find that this shoe will work well as an alternative to XC spikes. It will not work for aggressive trails, muddy courses or those needing high levels of traction. The outsole is reinforced with additional rubber. Despite 20 miles of hard use, there is almost no wear in my normal posterior lateral spot. Thus, I expect this shoe to last far longer than most traditional racing flats.


The ASICS Hyper Speed 2 is a neutral shoe. There are no traditional methods of stability and the sole is on the narrow side. There are small sidewalls in the posterior midfoot on both the medial and lateral side but they are minor. The most significant influence on motion is the decent amount of lateral flare at midfoot. This creates a medial bias, especially at the midfoot which is exacerbated by the narrowed medial aspect of the midfoot. This extends a little in the forefoot with additional lateral flare there. Those who need central guidance will need to keep these for shorter efforts and those who need medial midfoot stability will likely not do well with these. Those who need lateral stability at the midfoot and somewhat at the forefoot will do well. 

Thoughts as a DPT: The Death of Minimal Racing Flats?
By Matthew Klein

The ASICS Hyper Speed 2 is part of a now small category of traditional racing flats. These low-stack, flexible options have been mostly replaced by the plated/stiff, high-stack, new foam super shoes. They do still have an important place beyond the simple justification of the need for a variety of footwear to be available for the variety of human bodies/needs. 

While most people will still choose super shoes for racing, there is a population of people that these new shoes do not work for. We know from current evidence that the responses to these shoes vary greatly from a huge positive response to a huge negative response (Hébert-Losier & Pamment, 2023). Although speculative, those who may not do well with these new shoes include those who do better with flexible shoes, those who need more proprioceptive input (either because they are sensory seeking or they use it to help with limb stabilization and muscle tuning/timing). There is evidence on different people needing different levels of stiffness for optimal performance, which may include more flexibility rather than less (Mcleod et al., 2020).

People tend to prefer cushioning, whether they need it or not. Softer more resilient foams have been shown to improve running economy, although that may improve efficiency but not performance for some people (Worobets et al., 2014). Much of this efficiency may come from a redirection of muscular work and stress. We know stiffer cushioned shoes tend to cause greater burden and work from the musculoskeletal system compared to softer shoes (Malisoux et al., 2022). Simply, put shoes with less or stiffer cushioning make your body work harder.

Although it seems like minimal racing flats are dying off, they still have a place. We still do not know the long-term impact of extensive use of super shoes. We do know that a variety of shoes are one of the few things that reduce running injury risk (Malisoux et al., 2015). Therefore, it may make sense (if funds are available) that when it comes to performance, it may be beneficial for strengthening and body resiliency purposes to spend some time doing workouts in more minimal racing flats then do select workouts and race in super shoes. Given that there is more burden on the musculoskeletal system in this type of footwear, this MAY (but not confirmed) make the response to super shoes greater. We know that people tend to accommodate and get used to stimuli, so there is a possibility that with excessive time in super shoes, people may get less benefit from them. Being able to switch back and forth may be helpful to both expose the body to a variety of stimuli and maintain some of the extra performance benefits. Whether this is actually causing additional strengthening remains to be seen, as that would infer that super shoes would cause relative weakening. I doubt that is the case and these super shoes are sometimes the only thing that helps people move when they have certain pathologies. However, if you can switch back and forth or you find that you have issues with excessive training/working out in super shoes but you still like them, using a simple shoe in place of them most of the time may be helpful. 


Hébert-Losier, K., & Pamment, M. (2023). Advancements in running shoe technology and their effects on running economy and performance–a current concepts overview. Sports Biomechanics22(3), 335-350.

Malisoux, L., Gette, P., Backes, A., Delattre, N., & Theisen, D. (2022). Lower impact forces but greater burden for the musculoskeletal system in running shoes with greater cushioning stiffness. 
European Journal of Sport Science, 1-11.

Malisoux, L., Ramesh, J., Mann, R., Seil, R., Urhausen, A., & Theisen, D. (2015). Can parallel use of different running shoes decrease running‐related injury risk?. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports25(1), 110-115.

McLeod, A. R., Bruening, D., Johnson, A. W., Ward, J., & Hunter, I. (2020). Improving running economy through altered shoe bending stiffness across speeds. Footwear Science12(2), 79-89.

Worobets, J., Wannop, J. W., Tomaras, E., & Stefanyshyn, D. (2014). Softer and more resilient running shoe cushioning properties enhance running economy. Footwear Science6(3), 147-153.


The Hyper Speed 2 is a great improvement over version 1. I found version one to be oddly rockered and not a good throwback to traditional racers. That said, there are still a few things I would suggest working on. The first is the upper, specifically the heel counter. The counter is way stiffer and thicker than it needs to be for a racing flat. Using a similar setup to the Metaspeed series (ie light and flexible) will drop some weight. The Hyper Speed 2 is heavier than it needs to be. There are a few super shoes that weigh the same or less like the Vaporfly Next% 3 and Fast-FWD Nitro Elite. Redoing the counter is an easy way to drop a few ounces/grams.

My next suggestion is to consider filling in the midfoot just a little more on the medial side. This could be done by widening the center groove and would offset the amount of flare at the lateral midfoot. Outside of these minor suggestions, this is a pretty solid shoe for $59.88 to $90 (depending on where you purchase it from).


The ASICS Hyper Speed 2 is a traditional lower stack height racing flat for those who want a light simple shoe for workouts. The upper is snug but has a little extra room at the forefoot for racing flat of this type. The underfoot feel is firmer, but surprisingly cushioned for how low the stack height is. The forefoot is flexible and rockered, making for a solid transition that works well at faster speeds on the road and track. The cost is fantastic, especially for those curious about trying an alternative speed/workout shoe to super shoes. Outside of shoes like the Puma Liberate Nitro 2 and recently released Saucony Sinister (which does have a super foam), this is one of the few remaining non-super shoe racing shoes. Not everyone does well with high stack, super stiff, super foam shoes and the Hyper Speed 2 is a great alternative for those looking for an updated traditional racing flat.


Fit: B+ (Snug fit throughout, particularly in the heel with a stiff counter)
B+ (Snappy flexible ride. Comfortable and quick for what it is. )
Stability: B/B- [Neutral] (Lateral flare at midfoot and a little at forefoot creates medial bias at midfoot]
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Rationale for grade)
Personal: B+ (Fun light traditional racer. A bit too much medial bias for me at the midfoot but has worked great for short faster runs, track work and even easy runs where I wanted a minimal shoe)
Overall: B/B+ 


ASICS Hyper Speed 2
Price: $59.88 at Running Warehouse

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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.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were purchased using personal funds from Running Warehouse. 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 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.

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