ASICS was founded in Kobe, Japan, in 1949 under the name Onitsuka Co. ASICS is an acronym for the Latin phrase “Anima Sane In Corpora Sane”, meaning – ‘’healthy soul in a healthy body’’. They made their way from a small school shoe manufacturer to the favorite professional sports shoe for athletes worldwide.
During the 1950s they were producing sports shoes for almost all sports activities: from dancing shoes, basketball shoes all the way to ski boots. In 1953, the Tiger rubber factory was founded and in 1965 Onitsuka Tiger brand was unified.
The well-known ASICS stripe was introduced with the LIMBER KAWA BK velour leather training shoes at the 5th Asian Games held in Bangkok in December 1966. In 1969 they were approached by Phil Knight (later founder of Nike) who helped the launch of the Cortez model, sold only in the US.
In 1977 Onitsuka Tiger merged with GTO and JELENK and formed ASICS Corporation. In 1978 they had released their California model which was designed especially for joggers. California models had reflective stripes on the shoes because most joggers in Japan were jogging in the evening and they saw the need for this special design due to safety reasons. This describes how ASICS designers are thinking and working. They are always focused on the development of the products, constantly trying to improve the materials, soles, and midsoles. A lot of now standard features on running shoes were first introduced on Asics models. This is the reason why ASICS running shoes are considered to be the best in their category.