When we introduced Solana Pay in February as the first truly decentralized payments rail, we outlined an idealistic future vision: the purchase of sought-after sneakers paid by transacting with USDC on the Solana blockchain. The shoes came with a NFT digital version matching the physical shoes, as well as a loyalty badge for future exclusive experiences.
That future is now.
ASICS introduced today a custom running shoe in two forms, each accented with Solana colors, for the global Solana community, dubbed the UI Collection. The shoes are only available to purchase with USDC via Solana Pay at ui.asics.com, and only available for pre-order starting now through Breakpoint and concluding on Nov. 9 at 6:59 AM UTC. The shoes come with a loyalty ASICS Badge NFT, with an initial reward airdrop of a limited number of ASICS-STEPN GT-2000 NFTs (coming soon!).
That ASICS is taking this step forward (pun intended) is not a surprise.
ASICS sees the potential of a digital dollar currency, such as USDC on Solana, that can break down geographic barriers to facilitate transactions around the world. ASICS sees how customers and brands can come together around token-gated experiences that provide ongoing benefits to both sides. And ASICS is able to bridge the physical and digital with innovative, performance-driven running shoes and an NFT loyalty badge that aligns with their brand values.
And why did ASICS choose Solana? That’s easy. First, the Solana ecosystem represents a big population of builders and believers who have shown a willingness to run toward (pun intended #2) unique web3 implementations. Second, because Solana Pay, as a decentralized payments protocol built on the Solana network, enables a consumer to easily send digital dollar currencies directly from their wallet and ASICS receives the funds immediately, with costs measured in fractions of a penny. Finally, ASICS wants Web3 to inspire as many people as possible to create healthy habits with their products, and Solana’s industry-leading speed, low fees, and sustainability make it the obvious choice for scalability and the best user experience.
Solana Pay’s impact on commerce can be seismic. We’ve seen Solana Pay incorporated into existing point of sale systems to enable physical checkout, cafes have incorporated Solana Pay so that they can provide customers with loyalty NFTs good for future discounts, and we’ve seen direct-to-consumer ecommerce shops develop entire new checkout flows using Solana Pay that save customers (and the merchant) money.
But there's so much more that can be done with web3 commerce, and ASICS is moving the industry forward. Of note:
- This is the first example of a global brand conducting a global launch of a physical product available only with a digital dollar currency. We expect this is only the beginning, but we applaud ASICS for crossing this finish line (pun intended #3) before anyone else.
- The limited time pre-order window ensures minimal waste in the production process – ASICS won’t make more shoes than they sell. This environmental benefit is something we at Solana Labs love to see – this also seems like a good time to mention the Solana network is incredibly energy efficient.
- The two shoe models feature Solana’s color gradient, with Light Mode and Dark Mode inspired by the user interfaces on computer and phone screens.
The shoes are available for pre-order now here, and only until Nov. 9 at 6:59 AM UTC.
If you want to see what they’ll look like IRL, Solana Spaces in Hudson Yards in NY, the new Solana Embassy in Wynwood in Miami, and the Solana Spaces pop-up at Breakpoint all have the shoes on display. Take a break from that screen you’re reading this on, and run over here (final pun, promise!) for a peek at the future of commerce.