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The history of the Onitsuka Tiger by ASICS brand

Mr. Kihahiro Onitsuka – company founder and first logo

The name of the Asics brand is widely known, but not everyone knows that the sneakers and sneakers produced by Onitsuka Tiger are directly related to the famous brand. But for almost 30 years, from its founding in 1949 until its merger with strong competing firms in 1977, as a result of which the Asics brand appeared, the company existed under the name Onitsuka Tiger. The symbol of the company is a tiger depicted on the sole of sensational models of sports sneakers and a sneaker, which meant not only the strength and determination inherent in athletes, but also the highest quality of products.

At the first time of its existence, the company supplied goods only to the domestic market of Japan, and the founders of Nike took advantage of this, buying sneakers and reselling them in the USA. But soon the freebie for Nike ended.

In 1977, after expanding and merging with other Japanese shoe companies, Onitsuka Tiger was renamed ASICS, gaining the right to export.

ASICS abbreviation “Anima sana in corpore sano” stands for “In a healthy body – a healthy mind” and was based on the principles of “Kaisen”, which meant a constant forward movement.

Today, ASICS is the third largest sporting shoe company in the world. For over 40 years, Asics footwear has been helping Olympians win gold medals.

The company’s activities began with the release of basketball shoes, the choice of which fell not by chance: basketball was the most popular sport in post-war Japan. The first model of OK Basketball sneakers was invented by the founder of the company in 1951, and it happened … during a meal! When Kichiharo Onitsuka saw an octopus lying on a plate, he was struck by the idea of ​​constructing the soles of sports shoes for indoor use in a similar way to improve grip. It took half a year of observation and testing until the innovative Suction Cup Sole outsole stopped sticking to the floor and acquired perfect playing properties.

First Asix Basketball Models

Air vents are another invention of the Japanese entrepreneur. They were first developed for MAGICRUNNER running shoes in a manner similar to a motorcycle engine.

And a couple of interesting facts about ASICS:
In order to create the perfect shoe for running shoes, ASICS engineers measured the feet of 20,000 Japanese athletes.
Since 1964, ASICS has not missed a single Olympics.
ASICS running models were recognized three times as the world’s most respected Runner’s World running edition as the best running shoes in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 ..

At the parade dedicated to the opening of the 1960 Olympics, the Japanese delegation of athletes came out in sneakers from Onitsuka Tiger, decorated with the rising red sun. And at the Olympics in Mexico in 1967, the company introduced LIMBER LEATHER sneakers made of genuine leather.

The next sensational model was the RUNSPARK DS SP boots, for which replaceable spikes were first used: their combination could be freely selected depending on the weather and playing surface.

Fans of “nikes” would be curious to know that Onitsuka Tiger sneakers, released in the 60s, played an important role in the appearance of the brand they revered on the world market. The fact is that Phil Knight, the future founder of Nike, being the director of the American branch of Onitsuka Tiger, put up for sale CORTEZ sneakers, which was created on the basis of the CORSAR model from the Japanese company.

In 1975, the company creates the first collection of sportswear and begins work on the preparation of costumes in which the national team performed at the 1976 Olympic Games.

Along with this, Onitsuka Tiger continued to develop in the field of shoe technology in the 70s: there were basketball shoes of the FABRE series, which got their name from “fast break” – a quick stop, as well as the first jogging sneakers. In 72, the company first released shoes for the Winter Olympics: ONICK ski boots and SUNOTORE training boots, creates gymnastics shoes, volleyball shoes, new comfortable running models for which a special standard has been set since 78. Among them are the first sneakers designed for competitions on synthetic surfaces in any weather – the PAW DS-5700 model.

Today, the company continues to produce shoes in two ranges:

* The Onitsuka tiger line mainly produces shoes in the classic and vintage style of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, focused on Street style and urban wear. Sneakers and sneakers of the line incorporate the classic style of sports shoes, modern fashion trends and 40 years of experience of the company

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