More than just a shoe launch.
Back in 2020, the ASICS Innovation Summit which was scheduled to be held in Tokyo had been called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was carried out virtually.
Two years later, we were extremely thrilled for the opportunity to be part of the ASICS Innovation Summit which returned physically to the beautiful municipality of Spain – Málaga and continued to evolve its state-of-the-art running shoes.
ASICS hosted an impressively engaging innovation showcase revealing two new high-performance running shoes, specially designed to support a runner’s individual style – cadence and stride styles.
ASICS puts its cutting-edge Speed Labs to reality.
You should already be familiar with the inaugural ASICS METASPEED series.
ASICS once again made another major breakthrough in the METASPEED shoes by taking us on an interactive journey through four different Speed Labs – also known as the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS) Labs, unveiling ASICS’ ground-breaking METASPEED + innovation.
Those who have been there at the previous ASICS Virtual Innovation Summit back in 2020, know that the ASICS Innovation Summit is a place in which runners and media members from all over the world share their love and passion for ASICS’ shoes.
Every aspect of the ASICS Speed Labs is exclusively constructed to exhibit the unique design story of the creation of the two new running shoes.
A Summit Like No Other
The first thing that intrigued us at the ASICS Innovation Summit was the atmosphere, which was incomparable to any other event we participated in.
Málaga is a city full of historic spots. The old city bustles with run- and bike-friendly pathways. The impeccable set-up of the Summit was right there waiting to be experienced.
The first ASICS Speed Lab exhibits the design story behind the two new running shoes – METASPEED SKY+ and METASPEED EDGE+, in addition to the display of a few prototypes through the past and present of the METASPEED innovation.
#1 ASICS Speed Lab – Carbon
First of all, we were taken on an insightful tour by Norihiko Taniguchi – the General Manager, Future Creation Department of the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS), a Doctor of Engineering, who has joined ASICS as a researcher in 1999 and has helped deliver pioneering innovations such as the METASPRINT. He has been heavily involved in the progression of carbon offering and developing technologies that help athletes reach their peak performance.
Taniguchi is also the Project Sub-leader and Head of Science for METASPEED development and has utilized data accumulated through ASICS’ elite athletes in competition to refine the product design to cater to two major running styles – stride and cadence styles, which allow every runner to perform at their personal best and record their fastest times yet.
The METASPEED Sky+ and METASPEED Edge+ have each been scientifically designed to 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.
Both running shoes also have more targeted placement of the product’s carbon plates to ensure that runners can increase their stride length and build increased speed in a way that is natural to their running style.
#2 ASICS Foam Lab – Blast
As we stumbled upon the Foam Lab, we were overwhelmed by ASICS’ one and only FlyteFoam technology. The midsole foam makes the bouncy, lightweight, and highly functional cushioning that pushes us forward as we run.
In the Foam Lab, we gained an insight into the FlyteFoam explanation by Alexander Andrassy, the General Manager, Product Management Department / Performance Running Division of the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS), who has joined ASICS in 2013. He specialized in Performance Running Footwear and has been heavily involved in the development of ASICS’ latest products such as the Novablast and GlideRide in 2018.
Both shoes have more FlyteFoam Blast Turbo this go-around, 4% and 16% extra in the Sky+ and Edge+, respectively. Runners who wear these shoes can conserve more energy while maintaining their pace at the later stages of the race.
#3 The Speed Lab
The Speed Lab was very fascinating where we were given to understand how gait analysis can help us choose the right running shoe for our running style and increase running efficiency.
Gait analysis provides us with essential information about our running style. This information is always important, as no matter how long we have been running, knowing our running style plays a crucial part in selecting the right shoes.
Filmon Teklebrhan from ASICS Frontrunner demonstrated the gait analysis by running for a few minutes on a treadmill. This footage was then slowed down and analyzed in detail by an ASICS professional, who then explained their findings in simple terms. From the findings, we will find out what we can do to improve it and which types of running shoes are likely to be the best fit for us.
#4 ASICS Speed Lab – Race
Here comes the ultimate part of the ASICS Innovation Summit!
From the introduction of METASPEED, FlyteFoam technology to the gait analysis, the World Athletics certified META : TIME : TRIALS had to be the most anticipating event where it challenged ASICS’ elite athletes to push each other to run their fastest ever times across a series of race distances.
The ASICS Speed Lab – Race gave us a bigger picture of what the Tour de France-inspired time trials were to be, with over 80 athletes including British Eilish McColgan, Boniface Kibiwott, Vicoty Chepngeno, and Mohamed Katir competing in races of either five kilometers, 10 kilometers or a half marathon, in a quest to run their fastest ever times.
All PBs achieved at the event were accomplished wearing the all-new METASPEED + shoes which were revealed to the public for the first time. In total, an amazing 4 national records and 27 PBs were recorded by athletes at the brand’s pinnacle event.