translated by Brett Larner
Athens Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (30, Team Sysmex) received her superlight and superfast 'Golden Shoes' from Asics` grandmaster shoe craftsman Hitoshi Mimura at a press conference in Kobe on July 16th. Mimura has nicknamed the shoes his 'Beijing Special.'
Noguchi had ordered five different types of shoe from Mimura, testing each out on the Beijing Olympic marathon course and selecting the one which felt the best. Mimura then modified the basic design to respond to the idiosyncrasies of Noguchi`s stride, coming up with a 'magical' shield against Beijing`s hard concrete roads for the Olympic champion.
The shoes` last is angled slightly forward to improve motion and reduce fatigue, while the midsole cushioning has been reduced, lightening the shoes` weight by 13 grams from its previous design weight of 118 grams. The design of the mesh on the shoes` upper features wider openings than on the model Noguchi used in Athens, highlighting that they are intended not only to be fast but dry, a truly perfect design taking all factors into account.
Mimura has become a legend since Olympic marathon medalists such as Yuko Arimori and Naoko Takahashi wore his work. This time five Olympic athletes including Noguchi will
compete in Mimura`s shoes. "Three women will be wearing my shoes," Mimura told the audience. "My dream is for them to win gold, silver and bronze."