I'm living in an ASICS heaven at the moment. After attending the Japanese brand's META: TIME: TRIALS event in Spain, I reviewed both the ASICS METASPEED EDGE+ and the ASICS METASPEED SKY+ 'super shoes' in a span of a few months. Now, I'm back with some more ASICS content, as I've got to try the ridiculous-looking yet scrumptiously soft ASICS ACTIBREEZE 3D SANDALS.
The ACTIBREEZE 3D SANDAL is an innovative 3D printed sandal that is 'specifically designed to help the body and mind of a recovering athlete in the After Performance phase', ASICS explains. And if you're familiar with the brand's approach to design, you won't be surprised that it uses the words 'after performance phase' – ASICS is always keen on injecting as much science into its products as possible.
What are the ASICS ACTIBREEZE 3D SANDALS?
The ACTIBREEZE 3D SANDAL features a 'ground-breaking' geometric structure, made possible through a parametric design method and advanced 3D printing technology to 'deliver outstanding comfort and protection for the wearer'. This thick, open-lattice structure is said to deliver excellent cooling and breathability – exactly what I need in this heatwave!
According to ASICS, the sandals have proven to keep temperature and humidity levels on-foot lower than other recovery sandals currently on the market. The sandal’s extra wide base, meanwhile, provides a soft, stable platform. All of these features combine to help optimise a recovering athlete’s After Performance phase, helping ensure they are ready to go again and perform at their peak.
I exhaled slightly more intensely when reading this quote from Genki Hatano, Lead Researcher at Future Creation Dept, ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS): “[The sandals'] unique design provides structural integrity while still having an ability to be morphed parametrically. The result is a sandal that provides the right amount of porousness – combining breathability and resilience to deliver optimized levels of softness and support. The successful implementation of this method also moves us closer to an exciting future where a shoe can freely morph its form to exactly fit the profiles of each individual athlete.”
Morph parametrically! Right amount of porousness! So ASICS – I love it.
How does it feel to wear the ASICS ACTIBREEZE 3D SANDALS?
The pictures don't lie: the ACTIBREEZE 3D sandals are pretty chunky. Thanks to the airy lattice structure, the sandals are made out of mostly air, literally, which makes the ACTIBREEZE not only well-ventilated but also sizable. Interestingly, the tested XL version is quite heavy, coming in at 339g/11.9oz. Of course, recovery footwear doesn't have to be super light!
If you're happy to put up with the weight, you'll be rewarded with the softest step in experience, ever. I couldn't believe how soft the ACTIBREEZE was; it was like stepping on air. Not in a clumsy, unbalanced way, though. The 3D-printed sole supports you in all the right ways and helps reduce impact force after workouts.
Needless to say, the ASICS ACTIBREEZE 3D SANDALS are not made for long journeys. They are excellent for walking around in the shower room or at home after a strenuous workout – but you shouldn't use them for walking around town. I'd also recommend putting on socks; otherwise, the lattice can rub the top of the foot wrong. Trust me, I tried walking in the sliders without socks outdoors, and it wasn't a good idea.
Are the ASICS ACTIBREEZE 3D SANDALS an essential buy? I don't think so, but they are a lot of fun to wear. I tried the OOFOS OOAHH Sport Flex Slide Sandals recently, and the experience was similar, but the ACTIBREEZE 3D SALDALS are lighter and more ventilated than the OOFOS, making them even more ideal for hot weather. Athletes who use their legs a lot will love the ASICS sliders. I'm certainly a big fan!
The ACTIBREEZE 3D SANDALS are available to buy online at ASICS (opens in new tab) from July 17 2022, for a recommended retail price of $80. UK/AU price and availability TBC.