The History of ASICS
It all started in the year 1949. Japanese entrepreneur Kihachiro Onitsuka founded the company Onitsuka Co. ltd, which is now known worldwide as the Asics brand. Onitsuka brought the very first Japanese basketball shoe out on the market. This was quite a unique moment because at that time there were no specialists for sports shoes in Japan.
The first shoe looked more like a sandal made of reeds than a basketball shoe, but despite that, Onitsuka worked hard to make a good basketball shoe. He observed the sport and watched how the players moved on the court.
In 1951, inspiration was taken from the suction cups of an octopus' tentacle for the shoes. After the launch of his first real basketball shoe, the shoe went so viral that, according to him, Onitsuka had 50% of the shoe market in Japan.
In 1958, Onitsuka went ahead and bought the Tiger brand. When he saw Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, win gold in bare feet at the 1960 Olympic Marathon, Onitsuka immediately saw his chance. He offered Bikila products to wear during the Mainichi marathon. He won.
The ASICS Brand
Over the years, many more athletes became associated with the brand. Among them, Kenji Kimihara, Derek Crayton, Lasse Viren and many more. Onitsuka appeared in several films and in victories on the racetrack. Legend Bruce Lee is one famous person who will forever be associated with the brand.
There are few companies that can boast of having achieved so many performance improvements throughout their history. Onitsuka eventually found that shoes alone were not enough and in 1976 entered into a partnership with sports star manufacturer GTO and a knitting company called Jelenk. Together, the companies created the brand ‘ASICS’ the following year. The acronym stands for 'Anima Sana In Corpore Sano', which is Latin for 'a healthy soul in a healthy body'.
The patented Gel technology developed by the brand, found in many of its models, provides you with superior, responsive cushioning, which certainly captures the meaning of the brand’s name.
Currently, Asics claims to be among the top five best athletic shoe companies ever. According to Onitsuka, this is just the beginning! We can't wait to see more legendary models like the ASICS Gel-Lyte 3, ASICS Gel-Nimbus, ASICS Novablast, and the ASICS Gel-Kayano release in the near future!