Decades of innovation.
Abebe Bikila, the first Ethiopian gold medalist, caught the attention of Mr Onitsuka as he was known for running barefoot. After being invited to Japan as a guest runner at the Mainichi Marathon, Mr Onitsuka met Abebe to inspect his feet, get his measurements for a pair of shoes, and finally convince him he could wear a shoe that felt the same as running barefoot. Abebe won the marathon.
The modern ASICS stripes that are synonymous with our brand today, were used for the first time. Known then as the Mexico Line, it made its first appearance on the LIMBER UP KAWA BK training shoes which were worn at the fifth Asian Games in Bangkok. Onitsuka Co., Ltd traditionally announced a new original brand mark every four years. But in 1966, after an in-house design competition, the Mexico line was introduced.
In July 1977, ONITSUKA Co., Ltd., GTO Co., Ltd., and JELENK Co., Ltd. merged to form ASICS Corporation. ASICS is an acronym inspired by the Latin phrase ‘Mens Sana in Corpore Sano’. And although we replaced the word ‘Mens’ with “Anima” which means “vigorous mind”, the essence of the phrase remains the same. Anima Sana in Corpore Sano – a Sound Mind in a Sound Body.
At the ASICS Innovation Summit, we launched our first carbon plate shoe, the ASICS METARACER™ allowing runners a stabilised landing every time. This shoe was replaced by the new and improved ASICS METASPEED™ range designed to give elite runners with different running styles the boost and support they need.
ASICS Movement for Mind, an audio programme that is scientifically proven to improve mental wellbeing, was launched in the same year. The development of the programme started in 2019 and was originally planned to launch in 2020. But because of the global pandemic, Covid-19, ASICS Movement for Mind was reimagined and launched in October 2021.
ASICS embarked on a project to understand what happens to our minds when we don’t exercise. Thousands of people signed up to the Mind Race – a live and global experiment run by Dr Brendon Stubbs. The results showed how essential exercise is to maintain positive mental wellbeing and how only 15.09 minutes of movement can uplift our minds.
Products for humans by humans.
The ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS) was established in 1985. Its aim is to analyse the natural movements of real athletes to create human-centric products that work with the body, not against it. Our ZERO DISTRACTION™ apparel is a great example of that. This range has been extensively tested at the ISS to help runners focus on what’s important – their run. No chafing seams, shifting waistbands, dangling hoods, and sticky fabrics. Our scientists are constantly developing and researching unique materials that push the boundaries of innovation within the industry.
By 2030 we want 100% recycled polyester to replace all polyester in our products. And we’re well on our way.
In 2021, 90% of new running shoes included recycled material. When it comes to the raw, natural materials we use in our apparel, we want to ensure that it is as sustainable as possible.
That’s why we’re striving to source 100% more sustainable cotton by 2025. With concrete and realistic targets, we’re striving to achieve a greener future, one shoe and shirt at a time.