Asics Gel Hyper Speed 6 Racing Shoe Review: Lightweight, Flexible, Roomy, and Low Priced!

Asics Gel Hyperspeed 6Two of my favorite shoes last year were the New Balance 1400v2 and the adidas Adios Boost. I would classify both of those shoes as distance racers – shoes that would be well suited for racing a half marathon, and maybe even a full marathon. They were a bit more cushioned than I typically like for a 5K, with both having a relatively soft heel and a firm, responsive forefoot. Both were right in my wheelhouse as far as my personal preferences go.

I have not run in very many Asics shoes in the past. I reviewed the Gel Lyte33v2 last year, and will have a review of the v3 up soon. But the one Asics shoe that I’ve long had my eye on is the Hyper Speed (Ryan Hall’s marathon racing shoe). I had thought that the Hyper Speed was going away after v5, but in talking with Asics found out that a v6 was indeed on the way. I bought a pair earlier this year (Disclosure: this was a personal purchase, not a media sample), and have now put about 50 miles on them. I’m rather impressed by the shoe, and would rank it right upper there with the NB 1400v2 and Adios Boost mentioned in the intro.

Asics Hyperspeed 6 side

Readers of this blog will know that I’m a fan of simple shoes. I like a basic, minimally structured upper with a bit of give/stretch, and a simple sole without a lot of tech built in. The Asics Hyper Speed 6 fits this bill perfectly. Let’s start with the specs.

Asics Hyper Speed 6 Specs

Weight: 5.6 oz in men’s size 9 (via Running Warehouse)

Stack Height: 21mm heel, 15mm forefoot

Upper Construction

The upper of the Hyper Speed 6 is a double-layed mesh with welded overlays. Very simple, not a lot of extraneous material. The internal lining is soft and seamless through the midfoot region. There is some stitching on either side of the forefoot that can be felt internally, but I have not had any abrasion issues (have not tried running sockless in them yet, but don’t think it would be a problem). The upper has almost a baggy feel to it in the forefoot, which makes for a very roomy fit for a racing shoe. This fit is kind of reminiscent of the Saucony Grid Type A5, which is a very good thing for me!

Asics Hyperspeed 6 top

The HyperSpeed 6 does have a bit of arch support, mostly due to the midsole curling up a bit under the arch, and a hard heel counter (the area colored red behind the heel is hard plastic internally).

The photo below gives a nice view of the upper mesh:

Asics Hyperspeed 6 upper

Sole Construction

Asics Hyperspeed 6 sole

For a 5.6 oz shoe the Asics Hyper Speed 6 offers a surprising amount of cushion. The heel has a soft, springy feel to it (there is a Gel unit in the heel), very similar to the NB 1400v2 or the adidas Adios Boost. The forefoot is firm and responsive. This is my pretty much exactly what I want in a sole for my stride.

Unlike some racing flats, the Hyper Speed 6 is actually quite flexible, I don’t think there is a plate or shank of any type in the sole. This is one of the reasons why I’d not choose it as a 5K shoe – I like a shoe to be firmer and stiffer for running top speed in a short race. But for a half to full marathon it’s just about perfect. I’ve run up to 14 miles in them so far without any issue, though they do feel better at a slightly faster than easy pace.

Asics Hyperspeed Sole Wear

One of the things that has puzzled me about the Hyper Speed so far is that I’m seeing almost no heel wear at all (see photo above). I typically wear soles a bit in front of the back corner of the heel, and I see almost nothing there in this shoe. I am seeing a bit of wear on the triangular black outsole pod behind the forefoot on the right shoe, but that’s about it:

Asics Hyperspeed Sole Compare

This wear pattern is unusual for me and I’ve only recently seen something similar in the Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit. I’m wondering if the flexible sole in both of these shoes is shifting my contact point forward a bit? Kind of a mystery.

Asics-Hyperspeed-6-racing-flat.jpg

Conclusion

I’ve been really impressed by the Asics Hyper Speed 6 so far. It’s a sub 6oz shoe that retains ample cushion and does this in a flexible package with a roomy fit in the forefoot. Pretty much the exact combination of features I look for in a distance racer.

Here’s the best part – the Hyper Speed 6 is a bargain! It has an MSRP of $85, but can be purchased for less than that at various on-line outlets. You could likely buy two pairs of Hyper Speeds (and a couple pairs of socks) for the cost of one adidas Adios Boost. And given my observations on durability of the sole so far (50 miles on them) I’m not worried that they sacrificed quality at the lower cost.

I loved the adios Boost, but I’d find it very hard to recommend it at $140. Even the New Balance 1400v2 has an MSRP $15 higher than the Hyper Speed. If you liked either of those shoes, the Hyper Speed 6 is definitely worth a look. And if you’re looking for a first racing flat that won’t break the bank, this shoe is definitely one to consider.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Asics Hyperspeed 4 was my first step towards more minimal shoes. It was such a change – light, flexible, breathable and finally good looking! After three years of loyal service I almost wore through the sole under my big toe though.;) The rubber under midfoot and forefoot was very soft in v4 while the one under the heel was as advertised very abrasion resistant. Very little used even after 3 years. Now it seems to be the same compound in both areas? One thing that I like lot less is catching water through vented sole – not only when stepping into a puddle but also simply from wet road surface. Can you comment on this, Pete? It seems now in v6 there is just one vent hole and in different location than before.

    • Yes, only one hole in the v6. Have not run through puddles in them, so can’t comment on that specifically, but my guess is some water might come in. But it doesn’t strike me as a shoe that would stay wet long.

  2. The sole of v4 makes really annoying noise once water is inside.;) I guess the current location of hole should be better as this part of the sole is less pressed against the ground then forefoot zone?

  3. Could you post a video of your foot strike in these shoes versus another shoe (kinvarra 5 let’s say) that you would wear the heel out on slightly more? I’m quite curious as to the change I wear pattern.

  4. I’ll be interested in your opinions about the Lyte33-3. I bought a pair a little while back, and have been enjoying them, though they are quite soft, so will have to wait and see how long they last. It seems to me there has been quite an overhaul between v2 and v3. I liked the description of the Hyperspeed as well, but couldn’t find a pair locally to try on, it seems that Asics is not distibuting them very widely, keeping the marketing to the more “elite” perhaps?

    • The Hyper Speed is a racing shoe, and those tend to be rarely stocked in much variety at run stores. I like the Lyte33, but the forefoot feels kind of lumpy – have you noticed anything like that?

      • I tried the L33V3 on at my LRS, took it for a test run around a couple blocks. I wanted to like it better than I did. It was nice and Iight and I liked the simplicity of it, especially the upper. But there was something off about the ride for me, and I’d peg it to the forefoot for sure. I thought it felt a little slappy to me, and yeah, maybe you’re onto something with the lumpy sensation.

      • Just saw this now, I can’t say I have noticed that. Have also put a comment on the review.

      • I’ve run in the Gel Lyte 33 v2 for several hundred miles and it is, to me, the ultimate workhorse shoe. It fits well, feels very neutral, is durable and can be used for fast or slow runs. I generally prefer a slightly lighter shoe, however. I tried the L33v3 and totally agree about the lumpy feeling – very odd. I’m guessing it would go away and might not bother me, but I’m not going to find out. I did just buy the Hyperspeed and absolutely love it. I compare it to the Grid Type A5 but it’s better in most ways. The one thing I really love about the A5 for summer running is the drainage holes. On a hot, humid midwest morning my shoes and socks can be drenched within 5 or 6 miles and the drainage allows me to keep running comfortably without the annoying squishing sound. I haven’t had the opportunity to test the Hyperspeed yet for this but I’m concerned that the single drainage hole won’t be enough.

  5. Echetlos says:

    Thanks for the review.
    What about sizing?

    • Ahh, totally forgot to include that! As per my custom with racing flats, I went up a half size to a 10.5. That’s half size bigger than I wear in the Gel Lyte33 for example. Fit is perfect.

  6. Michael Busch says:

    Any benefit to this shoe over the GoMeb Speed 2? I am liking the GoMeb, and if this shoe doesn’t offer a different function, or to put it another way, if it doesn’t fit in another niche, then I would be reluctant to try it. But, otherwise, it sounds interesting.

    • Softer heel, roomier forefoot than the GoMeb. But the intended purpose as a distance racer would be the same.

      • Michael Busch says:

        Thanks, I guess I will stick with the Meb as my intended marathon shoe for this year. I just did 15 miles in them and they felt great. I have a sort of wide foot, but for some reason the narrowness of the Meb doesn’t bother me.

  7. Kenta Terasaki says:

    Hello Peter,

    I am thinking to buy a new shoe for my Half marathon in October. My current shoe is New Balance M730. It is good shoe for me thanks to the wide shape.

    How do you think if the Hyper Speed is similar shape of M730?

    I hope that you could let me know your thought.

  8. Imre Nagy says:

    Hi Pete,

    Great review, as always! Been reading your articles for some time now.
    Ever thought about a post with recommending shoes for different race distances (5K, 10K, etc.)?
    I think that would be interesting.

    Cheers!

  9. Hi Pete,

    One thought on the wear pattern of these kicks: we tend to see changes between shoes wear based on the effectiveness of the traction. We do on body traction tests that’ll typically confirm this.

    Does this match your experience with these? Any slipping?

    Otherwise awesome review, we’re excited to add these to our testing soon!

  10. Kenta Terasaki says:

    Hello Peter,

    Thank you very much for your nice reviews. I am really enjoying your advice and comments every day.

    I am looking for my new shoe for upcoming half marathon in October. My favorite shoe is New Balance M730 which you reviewed before with positive comment.

    My favorite part of M730 is the roomy shoe design. How do you think if the Hyper Speed is similar design to M730?

    When I tried MR1400v2, it was a little bit too tight for my forefoot, so i assume that Hyperspeed is better than MR1400v2 due to my foot.

    Thank you very much for your help!

    • I’d say the Hyperspeed is roomier than the 1400, but not quite as wide as the 730. For a distance racer, the Hyperspeed is definitely one of the roomier shoe I have tried. The only one that might have more space is the Mizuno Universe 5, but that is a super minimal flat and I would not use it for a half marathon.

  11. michael koscuiszka says:

    considering their softness, can they be used for training runs? tempo runs and/or long runs? or just speed world racing?

  12. drmitau says:

    Can anyone comment on long-time durability of this shoe? It’s quite important factor for “price/mile”. It is a racing flat so it’s somehow expected not to be very durable.

    • Hi,I ran one marathon in them, few shorter races around 10k, and few tempo runs 10k to 20k and some speed work, and I will use it for my next marathon.. I think they are pretty durable if I compare it to New Balance RC1600 (one of my favorite racing shoe)

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