It was 1949 when Kihachiro Onitsuka began selling Onitsuka Tiger high-top basketball shoes out of his living room in Kobe, Japan. Limited to a single model, his product offering was modest to start, but over the following decade he added volleyball shoes, a split-toe “Tabi” running shoe (an ancestor of today’s barefoot shoes) worn by the 1951 Boston Marathon winner, tennis shoes, winter boots, and even ski boots to the Tiger name. Its running shoes were the first to gain recognition on the world stage after they were worn by Finnish distance running and double Olympic gold winner Lasse Viren. With this success and an urge to push his business forward, Onitsuka determined that it was time to change the name of the brand. In 1977, Onitsuka Tiger became ASICS—an acronym formed from the latin saying "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano,” which translates to “a sound mind in a sound body." This became the new company name and reflected Onitsuka’s belief that the best way to create a healthy and whole lifestyle is to promote total fitness.
In its drive to produce the best fitness gear possible, Asics runs the Research Institute of Sports Science in Kobe, Japan. This R & D facility has produced a number technological innovations, thanks to a concerted effort between scientists, athletes, and coaches to study and analyze the movements of the human body, and to test the innovations derived from this understanding. Utilizing high-speed cameras, high-tech measuring equipment, and sophisticated computer software, they translate the findings of the fundamental research into new materials and products. Shock absorption systems like the Asics Gel cushioning, pronation-control features, outsoles with high-traction rubber, and highly reflective running apparel are some of the Asics innovations put to the test. One of the early products to emerge from the Institute was the Gel Kayano, Asics’ flagship running shoe. Winner of multiple awards and a global best-seller, the continuously-evolving Kayano is still in production today.
Indeed, the entire Asics line of running shoes has benefitted considerably from this research, and these shoes boast some of the most advanced technology to be found in contemporary running footwear. In nearly every Asics shoe, gel cushioning attenuates shock and the FluidRide midsole evens missteps in your gait. Asics designs each shoe with a specific set of features to ensure that you can find a shoe that meets your needs, whether you’re into trail running or road running, casual jogs or intense training, sprint triathlons or marathons, or if you’re an under-pronator or an over-pronator. Asics also offers footwear for tennis, volleyball, and fitness, among other activities.
You’ll also find apparel for every season and occasion. This includes cool, comfortable shorts and tops for warm-weather runs; baselayers, tights, and jackets for cold weather; the highly reflective Lite-Show collection for nighttime runs; and accessories like watches, calf sleeves, socks, and hats. And of course Asics offers a full line of kids’ shoes and clothing for young athletes.
Asics recognizes that sports and outdoor activity play an important role in our lives. It continues in its mission to provide the best possible gear for the best possible experience in your active pursuits.