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Asics develops shoes with new, color-changing mesh

Asics' new Chameleoid mesh is designed to be more flexible, following the foot's form as it bends and changes—oh, and the fabric changes colors, too.

Performance technology is great, but why not up the aesthetic value too by creating a textile that also changes color based on the angle of viewing? Asics teamed with Japanese-based Toray Industries Inc. to develop its Chameleoid Mesh, a new fabric for use in performance shoes.

The fresh mesh features elasticity that allows for improved flexibility lengthwise and follows the foot’s form as it bends and changes, the company says. With what Asics calls an excellent memory for the fabric, the elasticity in both longitudinal and width directions allows for the material to adapt to a foot’s form.

But setting the performance attributes aside, Chameleoid Mesh also appears to change color.

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Kenta Moriyasu, Asics footwear development team manager, says the colors change on the textile dependent on the angle of viewing. By using technology to control the placement of threads on a microscopic level, the spatial structure allows the changing of colors depending on angle and movement. Moriyasu calls the multitude of color combinations a “fashionable” design.

On the performance side, Asics claims the mesh minimizes fibers for a lightweight, breathable structure, and the highly elastic fabric creates comfort while holding up against lateral motion.

Asics debuted the Chameleoid Mesh in its new Gel-Quantum 360 CM and its classic Tiger lifestyle silhouette. Asics says the color-changing mesh may get used in future performance or lifestyle applications.

Tim Newcomb covers sports aesthetics—stadiums to sneakers—and training for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb