Asics is set to join the “minimalist” running market with its “33” collection of running shoes. The collection will initially include two models: the Gel Blur 33 (see photo at left) and the Gel Rush 33. According to the video below, the name “33” was “inspired by the fact that there are 33 joints in the human foot.”
Though efficient foot function and natural foot movement are repeatedly emphasized in early marketing materials, it’s interesting that they tout the gel pod in the heel of the Gel Blur and talk about how the shoe was designed to offer “a cushioned ride from heel strike all the way through toe-off.” Apparently Asics has a different view as to what constitutes natural running form than those who run most naturally, i.e. those who habitually run without shoes (see second video).
"Natural running" by a habitually unshod adolescent Kenyan:
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