Recently, I purchased the ueber-light ASICS Hyperspeed 6 (believe it or not, you Deutsch aficionados, “uber” is not
the correct way to speed it – you’ve omitted the umbaut, or in my case, the “e” after “u”, which is also technically correct for those of use who can’t make speedy use of “special characters” . They. are. light. Like 5.7oz. light. Like lighter than my old FiveFingers light. I’ve only run in them a few times, so this will only serve as the Hyperspeed 6 initial review, but here you are.
Years ago, I purchased a pair of Vibram FiveFingers. Those mothers weighed about 6.7oz., which is this side of weightless. The Hyperspeed shoes weigh less than that. Think about that for a minute. Because I also sustained a new injury, I went back to the old school shoes. I did, however, have a new running economy – landing on my forefoot – and wanted a lightweight shoe. I chose the New Balance Fresh Foam 90210. As my grandpappy would say, they went to hell a few weeks ago (they weights a beastly 9oz., by the way), so I started shoe shopping, the second least manly thing to say. ASICS Hyperspeed 6 it was!
The pictures online don’t do the Hyperspeed justice of how bright they are. Think of the brightest, neon yellow tech shirt you’ve seen. Now
double triple that. I love me some neon. Super lightweight materials, and the top half of the shoe is constructed better than what I thought (I was afraid the toe area would be cheaply constructed because that’s the first part of the shoes that go with me; I should also mention that I had to purchase these online as apparently there’s no demand in Columbus, Ohio, for super lightweight racing flats as no place I browsed that these exotic loafers). They fit and feel like stereotypical ASICS, but the Hyperspeeds are so light that they’re in their own category: They’re a running glove. I’m also starting to up my cadence (steps per second) from ~165 to 180, which is harder than it sounds because I’m used to 165ish, not 180ish — shoes that weigh significantly less should be easier to up the cadence.
Mission accomplished on the cadence increase, helped by the Hyperspeed 6 (well, at least until I get tired and then it goes to 170, because it is a >9% increase in steps per minute; little things like that give me hope I can someday run a sub-3:00 marathon because I have a long way to go until I reach my potential). This has absolutely nothing to do with the shoe itself other than since it’s light, it’s easier to move.
I land on the front of my feet, so I don’t need any maximalism shenanigans. In fact, the light the better. There is ample cushioning on the Hyperspeed, but if you’re a heel striker, I wouldn’t recommend running in it too often. Other than for races, which I imagine that being the main reason you’d buy it, I’d only run in the Hyperspeed occasionally just to know what it’s like to run in.
New Balance Fresh Foam 980 (that’s the actual model number) weigh 9oz. (or for whatever sized shoe they use as the default weight). That’s still a pretty light shoe with a decent amount of cushion, but a far cry away from “foamy”. I’ve noticed my calves are more sore after the first few runs than what they have been recently. There’s no doubt attached to a super lightweight racing flat, as well as an increase in cadence. Take that in consideration as well when first buying these shoes, especially if you go out hard in them the first run… If you’re used to racing flats you know that, but if you aren’t, then know it’ll tax your muscles more!
The mesh on top at the front of the shoe is usually the first part of the shoe to break down for me. It’s constructed better than what I thought it’d be. Since the Hyperspeed is so light, it won’t take as much power to lift it up, so I’m hoping that it lasts a while. Obvi. It has decent traction. Since you’re pretty much going to be running forward, the Hyperspeed saves some weight from having more rubber on the road. If you’re going off-roading, you’d buy a trail shoe; if you’re doing agility work, then why are you buying a Hyperspeed?
All in all, it’s a killer shoe. I’m an aficionado of neon colors, and this fits the bill. It’s also one of the cheaper shoes (I grabbed one for 60$), so price won’t be a factor. The Hyperspeed 6 will make you faster, but think long and hard about it being your daily-runner running shoe (I have an older road race shoe that weighs slightly more that I’ll run in once or twice per week to change things up). Happy trails!