ASICS takes human-centric design to next level at 2021 innovation summit

ASICS takes human-centric design to next level at 2021 innovation summit – launching two new shoes, optimised for the most popular running styles

ASICS is today announcing not one but two high-performance running shoes that take the power of human-centric design to the next level.

In an industry first, the METASPEED™ Sky and METASPEED™ Edge running shoes have each been scientifically designed with a distinct type of running style in mind. The new racing shoes help elite athletes to reach the top of their game, because they don’t have to adjust their running style to fit the shoe anymore; instead, ASICS is giving them high-performance shoes that support their running style.

METASPEED™: Taking human-centric design to the next level
METASPEED™ Sky and METASPEED™ Edge see ASICS set the standard for human-centric design in 2021.

The unique design story behind the two new shoes centers on a crucial insight by scientists at the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS). They recognized that the type of shoes powering the world’s fastest were only favoring one type of runner – STRIDE runners – those with a long-loping gait with large periods spent airborne who increase their speed by extending their stride length.

ASICS research however showed that these shoes do not fully support elite athletes who prefer the second major running style – CADENCE, which features smaller steps made while hovering over the ground with minimal up and down motion. Crucially, these runners increase their speed by both extending their stride length and increasing the number of steps they take per minute.

The sports scientists at the ISS were able to measure that athletes perform better when running in shoes that are optimized for their running style. Addressing the challenge, ASICS has created the METASPEED™ Sky model for STRIDE runners and METASPEED™ Edge model for those with a CADENCE style – both specially optimized and proven to improve runner performance for each of the two major running styles1.

The launch of METASPEED™ Sky and METASPEED™ Edge shoes means that runners will no longer have to adjust their running style to suit the shoe they’re wearing. With initial tests from ASICS already showing the METASPEED™ innovation could help reduce the number of steps for a runner to finish a marathon by over 1.2%2, it will give all elite runners the opportunity to reach peak performance.

The METASPEED™ Sky racing shoe is designed to help runners go faster by extending their stride length considerably. Stride-type runners take a longer stride once they start increasing their speed. Thanks to an energetic FF Blast TurboTM midsole foam and a propulsive carbon plate, runners wearing these shoes will be able to conserve more energy while maintaining their pace at the later stages of the race.

METASPEED™ Sky is available from 31 March 2021.

The METASPEED™ Edge racing shoe is designed to help cadence-type runners go faster by extending their stride length while allowing them to control cadence more easily. Cadence-type runners increase both cadence and stride as they run faster. The shoe is built on a different stack height and midsole geometry using the same components as the METASPEED™ Sky. The shoe allows runners to elongate their stride and conserve more energy while controlling their pace.

METASPEED™ Edge is available from 4 June 2021.

The METASPEED™ has been developed and tested with some of the world’s top athletes. Sara Hall tested an early prototype at the 2020 London Marathon and set a personal best of two hours, 22 minutes and one second, improving her previous personal best by 15 seconds. Earlier in March 2021, top athletes Julien Wanders, Sondre Nordstad Moen and Mario Mola announced they have joined team ASICS and will run in METASPEED™ Sky.

You can find out more information on the METASPEED on the METASPEED Hub here:

Innovation Summit: YOUR LAB, your way
The shoes were unveiled at ASICS’ Innovation Summit 2021 – the brand’s annual showcase of the very pinnacle of new performance sportswear. This year ASICS hosted its first ever, fully personalized experience, taking guests on an interactive virtual reality journey through the past, present and future of the ASICS story and its longstanding commitment to human-centric design. The experience culminated in the grand reveal of its ground-breaking METASPEED™ innovation – the latest era-defining moment in this journey.

President & Chief Operating Officer of ASICS, Yasuhito Hirota said: “At ASICS we are driven by our founding principle: we want to help everyone achieve a sound mind in a sound body through sport. At the heart of this philosophy is an unwavering belief in the power of human-centric design to create products that deliver the perfect balance of peak performance and protection for every kind of athlete. With the pandemic placing huge restrictions on competitive sport across the globe, this longstanding obsession of ours has become supercharged for 2021. This year’s Innovation Summit and launch of METASPEED™ stands as a symbol of our continued commitment to help elite athletes achieve their potential, while cementing ASICS’ status as a pioneer of innovation in the running sector.”

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