Asics y Onitsuka:”Anima Sana In Corpore Sano”.

We have a lot of new arrivals, and we believe that the best way to show them is to tell the story of the brands first; some weeks ago we told you the story that turned Converse into a fashion icon and above all a way of life. Today we talk about Asics and Onitsuka.

The brand known worldwide as Asics is at the forefront in innovation, particularly in running sneakers suitable both for sport professionals and amateurs that look for a balance between body and soul.

Picture by : DennisM2

This was their motto from the beginning of the brand. Its founder, Mr Kihachiro Onitsuka, was not a big sports fan: he just played some sports as a child, like kendo and judo. As years went by, he realized it was time for the youth to look things on the bright side, a feeling of community and optimism: and the best way to do it was through sport.

Mr Onitsuka’s first humble steps take place in 1949, when he borrows a counter and sets up a telephone.

He saw a great opportunity in basketball, that was beginning to become a trend in Japan. To help japanese young promises, he created the boot sneakers, already a classic in this sport, which featured in their sole some holes that imitated the suction of a octopus’s tentacles.

During the 50’s and 60’s, the company was already known as Onitsuka Tiger, due to a sneaker model that wore that name.

These sneakers took a great leap when the famous runner Abebe Bikila won a gold medal wearing the Tigers, because they allowed him to feel really light.  This runner wasn’t a legend only because of winning a gold medal in the 64 Olympics, but mainly because of how he won it: we run the whole race barefoot.

Sales started to sky-rocket, so it was just a matter of time before Mr Onitsuka started selling in the big american market.

This fact was a turning point, and the sneaker that looks the most like the current ones was born, with its famous lateral stripes.

Picture by: twicepix

In 1977, Onitsuka Tiger merged with GTO Sports Nets & Sportswear, and the result was ASICS, which by the way is the third biggest brand in the world. Its motto “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” was the reason they changed the name of the new company to ASICS, with the intention of promoting young.

Another event that was key to the company was the introduction of a female line in their product range, which draw attention from female athletes to use their sportswear.

Most of ASICS’s improvements came from the introduction of the GEL cushioning system, a system strategically placed in the areas that suffer from more impact.


During the 90’s, ASICS placed itself at the top of the lists of the most innovative companies of its sector, thanks to the release of key technologies for the market: and for the next century, the company keeps betting on technology. This way originated, for example, the Impact Guidance System, the Gender Specific Space Trusstic, the SoLyte midsole, the Biomorfhic Fit and improvements in the Discrete Gel system.

In 2007 the release of the GEL-KINSEI sneaker put the cap on the brand’s efforts, becoming the most advanced sneaker in the market, produced specially for running.

If you want deeper information on Asics and Onitsuka Tiger models, we have some of them available at our web store.

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