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Space Ninja Sneaks

Shoe manufacturing isn’t generally considered rocket science but a new sneaker by Japanese shoemaker, Asics, comes close. The shoe – designed to make space travel more comfortable and to help astronauts keep their muscles from wasting in gravity-free outer space – is being developed with the help of the Japanese space agency. First samples of the sneaker, which weigh just 130 grams each, have a super soft heel, a flexible sole that inclines upwards toward the toe and a gap that divides the big toe from the others – similar to traditional Japanese socks (called tabi), which are often worn with sandals. Asics came up with the idea after a Russian cosmonaut

complained that conventional sports shoes hurt his feet in space. Given man has been cruising the galaxies for more than 40 years, it makes one wonder why no one came up with the idea sooner, though, I guess Captain Kirk and Mr Spock looked comfy enough in their black leather mid-calf rocket boots. These may not be as dapper as those, but the two-toed space sneakers are pretty damn cool – and developers say subsequent samples, which will be tested in space in late 2007, will look even more futuristic.

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