Photo/IllutrationThe prototype of sprinter shoes free of spikes (Yuka Kanemoto)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Yoshihide Kiryu, the first Japanese sprinter to run 100 meters in under 10 seconds, is looking forward to giving Asics Corp.’s new ultra-light, spike-free shoes for sprinters a test run.

“They are light,” he said during an event in Tokyo on May 29 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kihachiro Onitsuka, founder of Asics. “I want to try them.”

Although the prototype of the shoes, unveiled that day, has no metal studs on its soles, the special design of the soles of the next-generation footwear will allow runners to hit the ground with more force, according to Asics officials. They are the first of its kind in the world.

The contact area between the shoes and the ground will be made larger thanks to the beehive-like carbon structure on the soles, the officials said.

The new design succeeded in drastically reducing the weight of the shoes.

While each of the spikes used by Kiryu when he broke the 10-second barrier weighed 120 grams, an Asics public relations official said the next-generation footgear will be “far lighter than 100 grams each.”

“I am looking forward to seeing spike-free running shoes accepted as a new standard,” Kiryu said.