Taking Human-Centric Design to the Next Level with Running Shoes

ASICS has announced not one, but two high- performance running shoes that take the power of human-centric design to the next level.

In an industry first, METASPEED™ Sky and METASPEED™ Edge have each been scientifically designed with a distinct type of running style in mind. The new racing shoes help elite athletes reach the top of their game as runners no longer need to adjust their running style to fit their shoes anymore. Instead, ASICS is giving them high- performance shoes that support their running style.

Taking human-centric design to the next level

The unique design story behind the two new shoes centres on a crucial insight uncovered by scientists at the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS). They recognised that the type of shoes powering the world’s fastest favoured only one type of runner – STRIDE runners (i.e. 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, shorter steps made while hovering over the ground with minimal up and down motion. Crucially, these runners increase their speed by extending their stride length and increasing the number of steps they take per minute.

Sports scientists at the ISS saw that athletes perform better when running in shoes that were optimised for their running style. Addressing the challenge, ASICS has created the METASPEED™ Sky for STRIDE runners, and METASPEED™ Edge for those with a CADENCE style – both specially optimised and proven to improve a runner’s performance for each of the two major running styles¹.

The launch of METASPEED™ Sky and METASPEED™ Edge means that runners will no longer have to adjust their running style to suit the shoes 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.

Kenichi Harano, Executive Officer and Senior General Manager at the ASICS Institute of Sport Science, said, “The 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. Optimised 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 METASPEED™ Sky will be available globally via the ASICS website and selected specialty retail stores from March 31, 2021. The METASPEED™ Edge will be available from June 4, 2021. Both shoes will retail for S$349.

¹Research conducted by the ASICS Institute of Sport Science in Jan 2021 which proved that STRIDE runners perform better in METASPEED™ Sky and Cadence runners in METASPEED™ Edge

²Based on research conducted by the ASICS Institute of Sport Science in Jan 2021. Calculation is based on the average number of steps taken by Stride runners when wearing the METASPEED™ Sky shoes over the course of a marathon compared to ASICS’ previous pinnacle racing sow, METARACER™.


Images & Video: ASICS, ASICS via YouTube

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