ASICS footwear has carved a position in street fashion by producing an infinitely wide array of variations on a core selection of running silhouettes

such as the Gel-Lyte III, with its revolutionary split tongue design, and the Gel-Lyte V with its close fitting one-piece neoprene collar. Other silhouettes featuring the GEL technology in their cushioned midsole, such as the Gel Kayano, have also become reliable models for premium reproductions and illustrious collaborations.

Far Eastern Beginnings The forerunner of the ASICS brand, Onitsuka Co. Ltd., was founded in 1949 in Kobe, Japan, by Mr Kihachiro Onitsuka. At first the brand focused on basketball footwear, as the sport was rapidly gaining popularity in Japan. In 1950 the brand adopted the name ‘Onitsuka Tiger’, and made a break through by that years winner of the Boston Marathon wearing Onitsuka Tiger running shoes. In 1977 the ASICS corporation was born from a merger of Onitsuka with another sports brand. ASICS is an acronym standing for ‘Anima Snan In Corpore Sano’ in Latin meaning, ‘A Sound Body in a Sound Mind’ reflecting Japanese beliefs on how a happy and productive life should be lived. Soon ASICS sponsored athletes were breaking records and winning medals across the globe, and ASICS focussed especially on producing high performance products for the female athlete. ASICS expanded from it’s beginnings in Japan to become a truly international sports brand.

Technical Innovation and Style Throughout the 1990’s ASICS established itself as an industry leader in technical innovations that increased the performance of their running shoes, and thereby gave athletes the chance to show their full potential. The innovations took such names as the Duosole, the AHAR Heel Plug, and Wet Grip Rubber. The innovation that has made the most impact though is their use of cushioning gel in midsole to give a new level of running comfort. This led to a whole range of GEL Technology running silhouettes, most famously the Gel-Lyte Range.

Retro Reinvention and Premium Releases ASICS today now has a separate Lifestyle range that concentrate solely on stylish reinventions of retro running shoes from their archives. Every season sees the release of several special themed packs that use a colour palette and range of premium materials, inspired by a wide range of subjects (e.g. Irish Coffee, Scorpions, Day and Night). These packs give you the much-loved ASICS GEL Technology runners with a considered, stylish makeover that make them irresistible to sneaker collectors.

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