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These Sneakers Double as a Map of Tokyo's Subway System

Asics and Atmos collaborated on a pair of Gel Lyte III sneakers that feature a detailed print of Tokyo's well-designed public transportation system.

asics sneakers hanging from a rail inside a tokyo subway car

Who needs Google Maps? Travelers headed to Tokyo sometime soon could wear a map of the city's subway system, thanks to sneaker brand Asics and boutique retailer Atmos' latest collaboration.

The duo have co-designed a limited edition Sport Style GEL-LYTE III OG they call 'TYO SUBWAY.' An official map made by Ogikubo, Tokyo-based Tokyo Cart Graphic covers the sneaker's premium leather uppers, while TYO (the city, abbreviated) and the Tokyo Tower are embroidered onto the inner toe and tongue.

The Tokyo Metro is the busiest train system in the world.

This isn't the first time the GEL-LYTE III OG has boasted cartographic art. In 2018, there was the GEL-LYTE III World Map, which squeezed the entire planet onto a sneaker. Because Earth is 71 percent covered in water, however, that sneaker looked blue — but the classic classroom issue globe kind of blue, which was bold, but also antique-ish. The NYC SUBWAY version passed for white, and it featured an embroidered apple and NYC text on the tongue. The TYO SUBWAY edition is a sneaker that, from afar, also looks basically white.

model wearing asics sneakers on the tokyo metro
Lost in Tokyo? Look down (and very, very closely).

Up close, though, it's covered in colored lines. They race across the sneaker's upper and are true to the real Tokyo Metro. The intersections actually exist, and stops and stations are labeled. Plus, the outsole and toe logo, perhaps unintentionally, nod to the Tokyo Metro's first line, the Orange (or 3) line, which opened in 1927. Whether you wear them or not — you should, of course — they're an interesting collector's item at the very least.

"We wanted to create a project based on common traits shared between the cities Atmos is based in — Tokyo and New York. Thus the decision for the 'subway' theme also incorporates the respective route maps," Nampo Mitsushiro, a buyer and designer for atmos Japan, says. "'TYO SUBWAY' uses a route map depicting the entire Tokyo metropolitan area on the uppers, with the Yamanote Line at the center. Additionally, the midsole and laces were designed in a vintage-like ivory tone, bringing inspiration from the vintage/recycled trend that has been circling the recent sneaker scene."

Order your own wearable map via Atmos, either in-person at Atmos stores in NYC, DC or Philadelphia or online, on April 23rd.

Asics x Atmos

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