Many running shoe and sneaker companies have a long story of how they got to be where they are today. Some popular brands have been around for more than 100 years, and have had many changes along the way.
Our first featured brand in our series of Origin Stories is ASICS. As a favourite athletic shoe brand of many runners and Pedorthists alike, ASICS has always had a strong commitment to nurturing the world through sport and a mission to provide goods and services to promote health and fulfilling lifestyles around the world.
The Founding of ASICS Shoes
ASICS was founded in Kobe, Japan in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka. The running shoe company’s name is an acronym of a widely used Latin phrase “anima sana in corpore sano”. Used commonly in sporting and educational contexts, anima sana in corpore sano translates as “a healthy mind in a healthy body”.
ASICS Running Shoes designed for Sport
Starting with the Onitsuka Tiger basketball shoe, ASICS has pioneered several innovations in footwear over its 70-year history including several running, volleyball and tennis shoes. Technical development, including the unique GEL material, took off in the 1980s and continues to offer new and innovative materials and technologies to date.
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The Cultural Impact of ASICS
As ASICS has grown over the decades, so has it’s cultural impact. With the iconic Onitsuka Tiger appearing in more than one Hollywood movie. Today, the cultural impact is more focused on collaboration between athletes and designers. In their latest campaign, I Move Me, ASICS sets out to promote fitness in younger generations by encouraging everyone to share their story.
From Basketball Shoes to Premium Athletic Footwear
ASICS has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a basketball shoe manufacturer to include footwear and equipment for a plethora of other sports including running, football, racquet sports, martial arts & more. You can see their entire evolution through their interactive sports museum in Kobe, Japan.
For more information on the history of the brand, read the full history on the ASICS website.