Where To Buy The New Asics Nimbus Mirai, The Limited-Edition Shoe Designed To Be Returned And Recycled – Coach

Where To Buy The New Asics Nimbus Mirai, The Limited-Edition Shoe Designed To Be Returned And Recycled – Coach
Asics Nimbus Mirai

(Image credit: Jonathan Shannon / Future)

No one really wants to hear this, but running shoes are terrible for the environment. One of the biggest reasons why is that they’re difficult—and therefore uneconomical—to recycle, so they’re either sent to landfill or incinerated.

A few brands have made strides to improve this situation and one of the main players is Asics, which began to print the carbon footprint of its shoes on insoles last summer.

Today, Asics announces the Asics Nimbus Mirai, a performance running shoe designed to be returned and recycled. It goes on sale on April 12 in limited quantities in limited markets, to better manage the untested process of taking the shoes back to be recycled. The shoes cost $180 in the US, £180 in the UK and €200 in France and the Netherlands, making it more expensive in the US (and as expensive in the UK) than the popular Asics Nimbus 26 cushioned shoe.

What Makes This Shoe Different?

The development that enhances the ability of the shoe to be recycled is a new one-piece upper and glue that melts away at high temperatures, leaving the material of the upper unaffected and able to be recycled. 

In 2021, Coach spoke to Dr Mark Sumner—a lecturer at the University of Leeds School of Design who specializes in sustainability—about recycling running shoes and he highlighted the elements of running shoes that are particularly problematic. “What makes it hard to recycle shoes is you’ve typically got a complex mixture of different materials,” he says, and that’s before you get to the bonding methods. “This makes it difficult to deconstruct, to extract those individual materials to try and work out how you can recycle them.”

Asics’ tests show that 87% of the upper can be turned into usable polyester material. It intends to collect returned Mirais then share with its recycling partner TerraCycle, which acts as a broker, moving them on to recycling centers.

It’s a first step, but Rohan van der Zwet, senior product marketing manager for Asics EMEA, said that the aim is to be able to say, “all our shoes can or should return because we can repurpose most parts”. While he couldn’t say when Asics would achieve that, his horizon was a few years.

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What’s It Like To Run In?

Asics isn’t the first brand to launch a more recyclable shoe, or one that is designed to be returned, but we haven’t tested a more sustainable shoe that can match the performance of the best running shoes—that’s been the upshot of our testing of the On CloudNeo and AllBirds Tree Dasher 2.

That looks to be the case again here, although Asics is confident enough of its performance that it’s placed the Mirai in its popular Nimbus line of cushioned shoes. 

“In terms of pure shock absorption technology, the current Nimbus [26] would win,” says Van der Zwet, “but this is still up there. That’s why we were able to give it the Nimbus name because it’s still a comfortable shoe to run in.”

Where Can You Buy The Asics Nimbus Mirai?

In the US, the Mirai will be available in Asics stores, online from Asics as well as in the following specialty stores:

In Europe the shoe will only be available in three Asics stores and won’t be sold online.

  • Paris, France 
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands 
  • London (Oxford Street), UK

Jonathan Shannon has been the editor of the Coach website since 2016, developing a wide-ranging experience of health and fitness. Jonathan took up running while editing Coach and has run a sub-40min 10K and 1hr 28min half marathon. His next ambition is to complete a marathon. He’s an advocate of cycling to work and is Coach’s e-bike reviewer, and not just because he lives up a bit of a hill. He also reviews fitness trackers and other workout gear.