You have probably heard of ‘concept cars.’
These are cars that are commonly produced by automobile companies to show off revolutionary new technologies and designs at motor shows. They are usually not made available to the masses, though.
But have you ever heard of a concept shoe?
Billed as the future of footwear technology by ASICS
With the recent introduction of the MetaRun by ASICS, a ‘concept shoe’ for runners is now available in Singapore. This is a luxurious and limited-edition shoe that comprises of five brand new groundbreaking technologies that haven’t been seen before in the running shoe market.
Limited to only 60,000 pairs worldwide, the ASICS MetaRun shoes – which was officially launched earlier last month, is billed as incorporating the future of footwear technology, according to ASICS.
And considered by ASICS as the best long-distance running shoe in their history, the MetaRun has been designed to provide distance runners of all levels, everything they would need to perform at their best, from start to finish – in a single shoe.
The shoe has been three years in the making by the experts at the ASICS Institute of Sports Technology. Their design brief was simple – to come up with the all-time best long-distance running shoe, with zero limitations in terms of time and cost factors. And the ASICS MetaRun was the result.
A new benchmark for the sports shoe industry
According to ASICS, the MetaRun sets a new benchmark for the sports shoe industry, with groundbreaking improvements in every area, aiming to bridge the gap between durability and performance.
For instance, the MetaRun shoe incorporates ASICS’ lightest midsoles ever. It also provides stability that kicks in when needed. And it has a glove-like fit and level of cushioning that absorbs every impact – to deliver an unparalleled ride from the first stride to the last. In the past, placing emphasis on one feature would compromise another, in a running shoe.
Said Motoi Oyama, President and CEO, ASICS Corporation, “We challenged our team of experts at ASICS Institute of Sports Technology to develop a shoe that transcends current design limitations and ensures our future success.”
He continued, “MetaRun is our most technologically advanced shoe ever and marks a significant breakthrough for ASICS. I am delighted that our team has raised the bar higher than ever before, to set a new standard for long-distance running footwear.”
Providing unprecedented performance benefits in a single shoe, the ASICS MetaRun is billed to be able to provide superior comfort and support to keep runners fresh and in optimal condition throughout their whole run, according to ASICS.
Thanks to ASICS, I had recently been given a pair of these revolutionary MetaRun shoes to review. Here are my comments on these breakthrough running shoes, which I have now taken out on a few outdoor road runs – the longest one being 15km.
When I initially set my eyes on the MetaRun shoes, I thought that they looked very classy – the black, rose-gold and onyx colour combination had exuded sheer elegance right from the very beginning. Even the black laces had been tipped with a gold colour.
And the MetaRun shoes had looked so beautiful sitting on my shoe rack – that I had waited several days before I finally took them out for their first run! I didn’t want to spoil them.
Weight and comfort level
At about 265g for the women’s model and 310g for the men’s one and with a drop of 10mm, the MetaRun shoes are about 20 grams lighter than ASICS’ previous flagship, GEL-Kayano 21. And after putting these shoes on, my feet didn’t seem to be weighed down by them.
At the same time, I found that these shoes have ample space inside the toe box. This is good, as it means that when my feet invariably expand during runs, my toenails will not be affected.
Springy shoes with plenty of cushioning
When I took them out for their first run, I noticed that there was plenty of cushioning in the mid-foot and forefoot areas – making the shoes much more springy than what I am used to.
This is thanks to the newly-patented and groundbreaking FlyteFoam technology, comprising of organic fibres for high-level cushioning.
At the same time, the FlyteFoam used in the shoe is 55 per cent lighter than the standard industry foam.
Also, the built-in organic fibres in the shoes immediately return the mid-sole to the original shape after every stride, so that the amount of cushioning will feel the same from the beginning to the end of the run. This was very true, especially towards the end of some of my longer runs in these shoes – instead of feeling flat, the shoes still continued to spring right back up again and the levels of cushioning were definitely consistent throughout all of my runs.
The comfort levels are also aided by the glove-like one layered Jacquard Mesh which minimises the friction between the foot and the upper, thus creating a snug fit both when the foot is still as well as in motion. The flexibility and breathability of the feet is further aided by the closed and open weave patterns in the shoe.
Shoes absorb the impact of the ground when running
At the same time, it seems as though the MetaRun shoes were absorbing most of the impact of the ground as I was running – because my legs and knees did not appear to be affected by the hard pounding on the pavement, even by the end of my longer runs.
This is thanks to the X-GEL hybrid gel formation in the shoes, which helps to boost shock absorption in the MetaRun shoes and increases rear-foot cushioning by 18 per cent. This was probably another reason why my knees and legs had still felt quite good after 15km.
Heels felt firmer than I would have liked
About three-quarters into my 15km run with them, I noticed that the shoe’s heels had started to feel quite firm, and this feeling progressed throughout my run. As such, I could feel this affecting my running stride and rhythm slightly as my body had been trying to adjust to the harder heel and prevent it from making too much direct contact on the ground.
The MetaRun’s heels are supposed to contain an exoskeleton external heel counter with built-in memory foam for an improved fit. It was probably the memory foam that felt firm as the shoes were still new. But hopefully, this memory foam will soften up and eventually mould their shape to my feet as I do more runs with them, though.
MetaRun shoes provide both stability and flexibility
For runners whose feet tend to over-pronate, that is, naturally roll inwards when they run, the ASICS MetaRun shoes help to reduce the external forces from the pavement, on your foot and the shoes will flex safely as you run. At the same time though, they become rigid if the foot rolls in too much when running.
This is due to the carbon fibre reinforced AdaptTruss technology which provides an incredible amount of both stability and flexibility. It is billed as being able to deliver 28 per cent more rear-foot stability and 15 per cent more mid-foot stability – so you can be – rest assured that the MetaRun will help to reduce your chances of injury during runs as a result.
However, runners who are neutral pronators, whose feet do not roll inwards during runs, can also use these shoes though. This is because the AdaptTruss would not really hinder their running – despite having being designed as a stability shoe.
I would say that in terms of its weight and comfort, the ASICS MetaRun shoes are pretty revolutionary, in my opinion. But I would be taking the MetaRun shoes out for more runs, to see if the heel does indeed feel softer and the memory foam moulds itself to the shape of my feet.
Said Dr Tsuyoshi Nishiwaki, Executive officer and Head of Research at ASICS Institute of Sport Science, “At ASICS, we have pioneered innovation in performance running footwear since the very first Marathon Tabi shoe came out – over 60 years ago. Since then, we have dedicated ourselves to continuously improving our products. We design every shoe to be better than the last and so I am proud of the leap that we have achieved with MetaRun.”
He added, “MetaRun will be ASICS’ new benchmark for all future products to provide an even greater benefits to all of our customers. This is just the beginning of our journey.”
Where to purchase the ASICS MetaRun shoes
The limited-edition ASICS MetaRun shoes will give runners the chance to experience for themselves, ASICS’ revolutionary cutting-edge footwear technologies.
In Singapore, there are only 40 pairs available. The ASICS MetaRun is exclusively being sold at the ASICS Store’s Suntec City Mall branch (#02-476). They are retailing at SGD399 per pair.