|Place of Origin||Japan|
|Materials||FLYTEFOAM™ Blast midsole, mesh upper fabric, AHARPLUS™ rubber sole.|
by student Emma Hertzberg
The design, materials and marketing of the Asics Novablast running shoes represent a peak in athleisure just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The shoes are designed to meet the needs of advanced runners but also work as cool streetwear. The shoe is advertised for active young people living their best lives in the city, and making casual appearances around their busy neighborhoods. The light-weight shoes are excellent to pack with you on weekend trips or work travels.
Novablast was released to the global market in February 2020 when the full extent of the pandemic was still unknown. Since then, the role of athleisure has increased in many households as we started spending evermore time locked indoors and wanted to feel comfortable, or we were picking up on new sports activities for lack of other things to fill our calendars.
I bought Novablast runners based on the needs originally recognized by Asics, but as routines were changed by the pandemic, I came to appreciate the shoes more. At first, it was important for me to keep the shoes clean and nice-looking for my runs around Helsinki, but as the year advanced, my needs regarding the shoes changed. They became a representation of normal life – a good life: when I am running the pandemic, stress, and worry are absent and the shoes acted as a physical representation of this transformation. I didn’t care how they looked like, I just cared that they kept going throughout the year.
Picture taken by student, Helsinki 8.12.2020.