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When it comes time to choose a sneaker, there are almost too many options to choose from. But if you want a quality running shoe, you know just what brand to look at. And that’s Asics.
But how did this up-and-coming brand burst onto the scene? And what makes these shoes so reliable?
Let’s dive into the history of Asics to get those answers and then some.
Asics was founded all the way back in 1949 in Kobe, Japan. Its founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, got his start creating basketball shoes for his local community. But the craftsmanship of his sneakers soon bubbled out of the town and word got out to the rest of the country.
Did you know that the word Asics is actually an acronym? It stands for the Latin phrase of anima sana in corpore sano. That translates to, “healthy soul in a healthy body.” Fun, right?
Onitsuka knew exactly what he was doing.
As word got out about the quality and durability of his sneakers, his business continued to grow. HE gained global recognition as more athletes began wearing Asics shoes to the Olympics.
As Onitsuka and company played with new styles and soles, they stumbled on success in 1953 with a shoe based on a traditional Japanese Tabi sock. The shoe was dubbed the “Marathon Tabi” and it was a huge success.
But after a fire destroyed the factory, Asics had to switch gears. And that’s when the brand found true commercial success that would propel it into the global market for good.
In a rebranding effort, Asics created the Mexico 66 in the mid-1960s. This was the first shoe to feature the iconic Asics stripes, dubbed the Mexico Lines. These shoes were also the shoes worn by Team Japan in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
This success helped the Asics brand find international fame. And it opened the door to a new of collaborations, sponsorships and innovative shoe drops over the next few decades.
Asics moved into many athletic markets over the years — creating basketball shoes, running shoes, tennis shoes and even wrestling shoes. Their quality, reliability and durability made them a major hit for athletes across the world.
Asics is still going strong today, and it has done so without any acquisitions from other companies, unlike many other sneaker brands.
We can’t wait to see what new athletic shoe they send our way.
New Balance has been a staple in the sneaker industry for decades. It’s a quality, durable shoe brand that’s reliable, comfortable and fun. But where did it all begin?
New Balance is one of the oldest performance brands that’s still around to this day. It was founded in 1906 by William J. Riley under the name, New Balance Arch Support Company.
Riley developed the brand with a flexible and comfortable arch support in mind. He got his brilliant arch support design from chickens he watched wandering in his yard. His design featured three flexible support points that provided maximum comfort and performance.
The brand focused solely on creating arch supports, and it wasn’t until Riley’s partner, Arthur Hall, got involved and left the company to his kids that New Balance started the production of its first-ever sneaker. This was in 1960.
The first New Balance sneaker was called the Trackster, and it was the first running shoe to have a ripped sole for traction. The Trackster quickly became the go-to sneaker for track and cross-country runners across the state of Massachusetts. But it was in 1972 that New Balance really exploded.
Jim Davis, the current chairman, bought New Balance in 1972 — on the day of the famous Boston Marathon. And after the acquisition, he quickly scaled operations and broadened the brand’s availability and recognition. He quickly catapulted the brand to success, capitalizing on the booming runners market.
In 1976, the first New Balance sneaker with the iconic ‘N’ logo was released — it was called the 320 and it helped the brand breakout into the global sneaker market.
In 1988, New Balance released what is now the most-popular of all its sneakers — the 574. What made this shoe stand out from the rest was its style. Before, New Balance shoes were only seen as performance shoes, but now people were wearing them off the running tracks.
New Balance continues to release new versions of their famous shoes, creating new designs and styles as well. It’s a quality brand with integrity and durability. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
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