When it comes to being synonymous with running, no name comes close to Asics. This Japanese brand takes a scientific approach to training, using unique technologies to ensure every athlete performs to their maximum potential.
Kihachiro Onitsuka returned to the city of Kobe after the war in 1945 with a vision, and by 1949 he had founded Onitsuka Co. Ltd. He began by manufacturing basketball shoes (a notoriously difficult design at the time) with revolutionary suction cup technology, inspired by the tentacles of an octopus. Following this early success, Onitsuka went on to develop sports shoes for many disciplines including wrestling, football, baseball, and track & field for Olympians. These triumphs were made under the new ‘Asics’ name; an acronym for the Latin phrase ‘anima sana in sorpore sano’, meaning “You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body”.
The biggest question that arises around the brand is “How do you pronounce Asics?” Well, the brand has never confirmed the exact pronunciation of the name, however Asics employees have been heard to pronounce it “Ay - sics” but others call it “Ah-sics”.
Today, Asics finds itself as one of the leading global sportswear brands, catering from amateur runners to elite level athletes. With a foundation in sports science, Asics are always at the forefront of technological advances in footwear. You can expect to find an Impact Guidance System to allow the foot to move in a more natural manner, DuoMax Support System offering better stability and the Guidance Line ensuring you shift your centre of gravity as your run.
But Asics’ sporting prowess doesn’t stop at footwear. Their extensive apparel range gives the wearer the best possible gear for the job. They have, in recent times, kitted out the South African and Australian rugby union teams, as well as iconic athletes such as Novak Djokovic and Andres Iniesta. So whether you’re eyeing up an Olympic sport or taking the dog for a walk, you’re always going to be in good company.
In 1977, Ontisuka Tiger merged with JELENK, which is a knitwear manufacturer, and GTO, a sportswear manufacturer, to form the corporation which is Asics. Despite the change in name, a vintage and more retro range of Asics are still sold and produced internationally under the Onitsuka Tiger brand, which you may know as Asics Tiger.
So, let's look at some of the top styles of running shoes by Asics!
Asics Gel-Nimbus is the most popular running shoe sold by Asics. It provides maximum shock absorption which makes it the most ideal shoe when you’ve got a long distant run planned - no more achy knees! There is added support in the midsole and heel to ensure maximum comfort.
The Asics GT-2000 is designed to provide comfort and protection to the runners who are seeking a performance stability shoe. With the updated GEL technology and even softer foam in the heel, the shoe has improved shock absorption and comfort, which is always a winner in our eyes. There is also added FLYTEFOAM technology in the midsole of the shoe which enables a softer landing and gives you a more energetic stride, making it a great road-running shoe.
The Asics GEL-Kayano is the king of running shoes. It’s style is aimed at those of us who suffer with overpronation when running. This is when your foot rolls inwards and the inner edge of your foot absorbs the impact instead of the ball of your foot. The mesh upper helps to keep your feet cool whilst the flex grooves isolate the impact of your run to give you a softer landing.