ASICS Produces Its Most Circular Shoe

Japanese sporting goods maker Asics has launched the NIMBUS MIRAI, a performance running shoe designed to be remade at the end of its life – all without compromising the quality or performance.

In Japanese, the word ‘MIRAI’ translates to future, reflecting Asics’ commitment to make a positive impact on future generations of runners.

Designed with recycling in mind, the NIMBUS MIRAI running shoe is launching with a new returns program, encouraging runners to give back the shoes at the end of their use to support their journey towards circularity.

The NIMBUS MIRAI represents another important step in Asics’ mission to achieve net-zero carbon emissions as a business by 2050, hot on the heels of its iconic GEL-LYTE III CM 1.95 shoe, which saw it create the lightest CO2e emitting sneaker on the market last year.

Shoes Made to be Remade

Asics say the new NIMBUS MIRAI is one of the most advanced shoes it has ever made. Designed with uniform polyester material, the entire upper has no overlays, meaning the shoe can be easily sorted to be placed under recycling process when the time comes.

A special type of original glue also promotes easier recycling process, providing a durable bond that can be put through its paces but easily pulled apart for its next lifecycle. In fact, the whole shoe has been designed for the upper to be easily detachable from the sole when the time comes.

At this point, the entirety of the upper will go through the recycling process. Asics has confirmed through testing that 87.3% of the upper material, which underwent the recycling process, can be retrieved as a new polyester material ready to be remade to run again.

Additionally, the shoe features an FF BLAST PLUS ECO midsole that delivers cloud-like cushioning and is made from approximately 24% renewable sources such as leftovers from sugar cane processing.

As part of its circular ambition for the NIMBUS MIRAI shoe as a whole in the future, Asics is also working with its partners to ensure the shoe’s sole too has a second life as part of the recycling process.

For a long time, shoes have been designed with single use in mind. However, the sheer quantity of the roughly 23.9 billion shoes produced globally each year that goes into landfill or incinerated at the end of their life is simply not sustainable.

Fumitaka Kamifukumoto, project leader of the NIMBUS MIRAI product development, at Asics said: “The announcement of NIMBUS MIRAI is a proud moment for us and an important milestone in our ambition to be a net-zero carbon emission business by 2050. We ask runners to take an extra step with this shoe, however, and bring it back to us once they have finished with it. That way, we can continue our mission towards creating a Sound Earth for future generations.”