We finally got our hands on a pair of those famous red Asics ARD racing shoes that were made famous by Tsuchiya Keiichi, a.k.a. The Drift King, from Japan. These lovely puppies will set you back about US $350 (based on exchange rate at the time of purchase), but at least you can say you have shoes that are FIA approved. These shoes were a collabrative effort between Asics and ARD. The philosophy is ASICS’s Craftsmanship on ARD ProGear racing shoes. The official name of the shoe is ProGear MT (ARD-336).
Since we didn’t have another pair of official racing shoes, the closest comparison that could be used were a pair of older Aplinestars karting shoes. The two biggest differences are the sole and the slight heel on the Asics, which actually provide a better feel when standing or walking. The sole is of a strange rubber/plastic material. It’s really hard to describe, but its definitely not the typical rubber sole found on the karting shoes. According to Asics the rubber is AHAR technology, or ASICS High Abrasion Rubber, which is a tough rubber compound used for heavy-contact. It was designed to help cut down on excessive wear, which could help these shoes last longer than others. Besides that, the shoes are super light and the kangaroo suede skin feels fantastic when you’re holding a pair in your hands. However while everything sounds great, there is one downside. The largest size these shoes come in are 9.5s. So if you can fit into these, we highly recommend them.