Architect Kengo Kuma collaborated with Asics to create an environmentally-friendly trainer that draws on the craft of bamboo knitting
Spotted: In his first venture into footwear design, architect Kengo Kuma collaborated with the Japanese sports brand, Asics, to create a trainer that draws on the craft of bamboo knitting. The Metaride AMU is an environmentally-friendly shoe, the name of which is based on the classic Metaride shape by Asics.
The shoe’s upper consists of a performance knit slip-on mono-sock, which is overlaid with white crisscrossing strips made from recycled polyester. The overlays are strategically placed to stabilise the foot, while also converging to form the Asics logo on the side. According to Kuma, the strips play on the traditional Japanese concept of “connecting lines,” where a single line is weak, but a bundle in aggregate is strong.
Creating contrast with the rest of the shoe’s white palette is a tan midsole, made from a fibre material derived from wood. The material imitates bamboo’s ability to be both hard and soft at the same time, by combining the contradictory functions of cushioning and durability. Its colour is derived from the material’s natural fibres, which are usually dyed but are left uncoloured at Kuma’s request.
Kuma’s Metaride AMU trainer was released on December 20 and is available exclusively on Japan’s Asics website and in select retail locations in Harajuku and Osaka.