Public Relations Company

Public Relations Company  
MEDIA RELEASE 8 August 2005

Australia: a world leader in sports footwear innovation
From cricket shoes to ‘hybrid’ football boots, Australian Mark Doherty, has worked with shoemaker Asics Oceania for over 10 years to develop a host of sports shoes that are now being sold all over the world.

Mark, who has worked with the actual Asics brand for over 27 years, has helped make ‘healthy’ footwear trendy and he has played a considerable role in Asics’ leadership position in Australia’s athletic footwear market today.

According to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Asics is now one of the market leaders in the athletic shoe market in Australia in terms of both revenue and profit.

Mark’s biggest passion is in the design of football boots, often with the Aussie Rules code in mind. But many of the football products that Mark has designed are now being sold in the UK and in the USA for sports like soccer, rugby union, rugby league, baseball and softball.

“The latest boot is a world-first ‘hybrid’ style footy boot, with both moulded (plastic) and screw-in studs. Players can choose which type of stud they want to screw in, but also have the benefit of moulded cleats.

“It should be very popular with AFL players, soccer players and even rugby league players,” said Doherty.

Mark has worked with some of Australia’s leading podiatrists to counter various health problems associated with flat-soled football boots, namely Achilles Tendonitis and Severs Disease.

“To counter this, we introduced what we call a raise gradient in the sole of the shoe, which typically causes the person using the shoe to use their toes, rather than their heel, while they’re running.

“This has been very popular in the US, with many parents buying this style of boot for their children playing baseball and softball to try and prevent the development of Severs Disease – a common problem amongst adolescents,” said Doherty.

The likes of Sydney Swans star Jared Crouch has used this range of AFL boots for over 8 years, after suffering hamstring injury, which threatened to end his career. He has since played 178 consecutive games.

Mark has also played a lead role in the design of the modern cricket shoe, used by many of Australia’s leading cricket players, along with netball shoes, and running shoes.

“A big factor with all of these shoes is the extent to which we can make them lighter and lighter each year without compromising their support or cushioning. The technology available to us these days is quite amazing.

“We’re always working with experts, including Sports Medicine Australia, on the use of new material compounds and plastics to make up the shoes. It’s actually quite a fun job and it’s always satisfying to see the shoes sell well, not only in Australia, but all over the world,” said Mark.

Released for Asics Oceania Pty. Ltd. by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations.
For further information contact David Lizzio or
Dennis Rutzou on (02) 9413 4244.

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