In the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics this summer, Asics is introducing two running shoes intended to enhance the performance of both elite and everyday runners.
The Metaspeed Sky and Metaspeed Edge models were introduced at the company’s recent 2021 Innovation Summit and were informed by research from scientists at its Institute of Sport Science who recognized that the current crop of shoes on the market favor runners with long strides who spend a long period of time airborne. But runners with a higher cadence who spent more time on the ground did not receive the same benefits from existing shoes.
So Asics created two different models to address both running styles: the Sky for the long stride athletes and the Edge for those with a quicker cadence. Both feature a carbon plate and a curved and cushioned sole.
Initial results are finding that marathoners are able to finish a race with 1.2 percent fewer steps by wearing the Metaspeed shoes that match their style, Asics said.
“The Metaspeed journey began with the simple insight that athletes run faster in shoes that are specially tailored for them,” said Kenichi Harano, executive officer and senior general manager at the Asics Institute of Sport Science. “From here we got to work. Following a lengthy, meticulous research and development process, the Metaspeed Sky model and the Metaspeed Edge models were born. Optimized for the two most prevalent running styles in elite runners, they are both at the very pinnacle of running innovation. Our initial tests are already showing them to have an impact on the times of the elite runners we’ve been working with.”
But the Metaspeed shoes are not just for elite athletes. The Sky model will be offered for sale to everyday runners beginning Wednesday through the Asics website and select specialty stores. The Edge will be available starting June 4. Both will retail for $250.
“At Asics we are driven by our founding principle: we want to help everyone achieve a sound mind in a sound body through sport,” said Yasuhito Hirota, president and chief operating officer for Asics. “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.”