A healthy fit
Picture yourself carving down the expansive ski slopes of Hokkaido, sprinting along the sidewalks of Tokyo, working up a sweat at the local fitness centre, or recharging mind and body at a spa. When it comes to health and fitness in Japan, European companies are helping enhance your routine with a range of imported products and services.
Sportswear giant adidas of Germany has been expanding and upgrading its offerings of customised shoes and uniforms. Its mi adidas service makes it easier for sporty types to stand out from the crowd. Since it began in 2002 with just football and tennis shoes, mi adidas has been steadily growing in popularity. The range of available wear that can be customised to suit each customer’s preferences has widened. Since 2012, adidas also has gradually been shifting mi adidas from its retail brick-and-mortar shops to its online sites, with a more recent focus on mobile devices, says Takashi Yamashita, senior manager of the Concept to Consumer division at adidas Japan.
Customers can design their running shoes, football boots or casual trainers with their own combination of available colours, components, designs, laces and Velcro. They can even put their own text across the soles. Since January 2015, a smartphone app known as mi ZX Flux has allowed people to take a picture with their smartphone and have that image become part of the design on their shoes.
“We’ve had customers take a picture at a wedding, and then get that printed onto shoes to give to the couple as a present. Our staff also like to customise their shoes so they don’t look like everyone else’s,” says Yamashita.
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