This is awesome - Japanese master craftsman has designed the state-of-the-art racing flats for Olympic marathoners out of rice husks! Check out this NY Times article ("Can Rice Lead to Gold? Marathon Will Offer Test") highlighting the racing -- and Eco -- advantages of the shoes using this natural material. Excerpt:
“Asics first developed the rice-husk concept in the mid-1990s, for use at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It was based on technology used by Japanese tire makers to prevent sliding during winter driving, a company spokesman said.
Less than a handful of ground husks are used in each shoe. If a husk becomes dislodged, the resulting tiny crater is meant to suction water and to provide a reliable grip on the road surface. Kastor said she liked the fact that the shoes were also eco-friendly.”