ASICS, a multinational sporting company, launched its first virtual reality summit to showcase its new high-performance 3D-printed shoes that will reportedly reduce step count during marathons. The two sneakers, called the Metaspeed Sky and the Metaspeed Edge, are a product of research and development conducted in the ASICS’s Institute of Sport Science also known as the ISS.
These new 3D-printed shoes are scientifically designed to optimize a runner’s “cadence” and “stride”. They drastically improve the stride and cut down the number of steps taken during a run for increased speed and agility. Designed with a propulsive carbon plate and midsole foam, the shoes help athletes conserve energy and maintain pace.
In the company’s press release, the executive officer, Kenichi Harano, explained: “The Metaspeed journey began with the simple insight that athletes run faster in shoes that are specially tailored for them. From here – we got to work. Following a lengthy meticulous research and development process, Metaspeed Sky and Metaspeed Edge were born.” She further added that the shoes are optimized for the two most notable styles in runners. “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. That’s why we’re so excited to be unveiling them to the world today.”
The 3D-printed shoes were announced during a virtual reality summit that helped consumers understand the brand’s journey and the science behind its innovative sneakers. The consumers were also able to get a chance to experience a smart device that acts as a virtual coach with AI-powered features to give runners specific feedback and advice based on their personal goals. The company’s latest product offering is a VR trail that allows its customers to scan their feet through their smartphones. The company will take exact measurements of the customer’s feet and then 3D-print the shoes.
ASICS, in the sneakers industry
In a world where Nike and Adidas are the heirs to the footwear throne, ASICS is carving its destiny with innovative techniques. The Japanese multinational brand had its humble beginnings in Kobe (1949) as Onitsuka Co., Ltd. The company started with basketball shoes and quickly diversified its products with wide-ranging Olympic styles.
The company has since transitioned into an international brand offering both sports sneakers and clothing and has built a name for itself as ASICS. With the launch of its first virtual reality summit, the company has proved its never-ending commitment to style and innovation.
The design and development of the 3D-printed shoes
The shoes are launched to help two specific types of runners. The Metaspeed Sky is designed for those runners who want to increase their speed by taking long strides. On the other hand, the Metaspeed Edge is designed for those athletes who want to extend stride while improving cadence.
If you are an athlete and want to see which shoes are best for your personal running goals, you can fill out a questionnaire to find your perfect fit.
Both shoe models come with the same components: a curved sole unit (to help feet roll easily and decrease ankle flexion), a foamy midsole, and a full-length carbon plate that successfully conserves energy to help you run faster and longer.
Although the underlying components are the same, the shoes differ in their overall geometry and construction. The Sky has a thicker foam cushioning to help athletes increase stride length. The Sky also has a 5 mm height difference between toe and heel while the Edge has that difference set at 8 mm. Additionally, the Sky comes with a sharp forefoot curvature that enables runners to push further with ease and comfort.
In terms of style and color, the shoes are bold and edgy with their vibrant red and black combo accentuated with white stripes. So its innovation beautifully amalgamated with style to give you both the technology and fashion in one package.
The price for both shoes is set at around $250. The Megaspeed Sky was made available on March 31st while the Megaspeed Edge will go live on June 4 this year. With the shoes 3D printed according to the customer’s exact measurements, these new shoes will raise the bar for a lot of 3D printing footwear brands including Adidas.
Recently, the company launched a New Earth Day pack to give Earth a shot. This is the company’s most planet-friendly collection designed using a circular approach that utilized over 5 tons of textile waste and recycled and reused it to create this collection.
Explore more about 3D-printed fashion and its impact on the fashion industry here.