sketches of the Metaride shoe

Behind the Design: METARIDE

The inspiration behind the METARIDE shoe began with a familiar experience—continuous, effortless coasting on a bicycle. We asked ourselves: what if we could replicate this feeling for runners? What if the right shoe design could help them run longer while using less energy? 


ASICS shoe designer holding the Metaride shoe.


Shoe designer Hiroaki Nishimura explains:

“Our challenge was to find a way to enhance the running motion. The idea of fluid movement is central to the design. When we started, this concept was totally new—it had never been explored at ASICS, though we were thinking and hypothesizing about this concept for many years.

“Our investigation led to many rounds of samples—some with wild-looking prototypes. The key question was: would a runner move more fluidly if we shifted the running stride to a rocker motion by stiffening the forefoot and adopting a curved sole design? This was the basic premise behind the development of GUIDESOLE TECHNOLOGY, which is the METARIDE shoe’s signature feature.”


While traditional training shoes have a linear, segmented sole design, the METARIDE sole is built on a curve. With each stride, the rocking sole is in constant, fluid motion—much like the form of the bike and rider.


Metaride running shoe rocking back and forth on it's side.


When it came time to make the idea real, designers and developers hit some unique challenges. Developer Tomoki Ishizashi shares his perspective from behind the scenes:


”We had our idea, but we couldn’t guess how the feeling of the shoes would be until we tried them on. Every experience was surprising—some better than others. We were trying something totally new, so we faced a lot of manufacturing, quality and functional issues at first. It almost made me feel like giving up the project, but we solved them one by one.”


Pieces of the Metaride shoe laid out together.


At the ASICS Institute of Sport Science, multiple rounds of testing revealed that the METARIDE shoe increased runner efficiency and lessened the effect of fatigue. Runners described the feeling of an endless, easy ride—creating a more comfortable long-distance running experience. The future of running technology has arrived.