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In 1949, Mr. Kihachiro Onituska established the ONITSUKA Shokai in Kobe, that same year re-branding as ONITSUKA Co LTD. Eventually, the brand changed its name to ASICS, which is Latin for Anima Sana Corpore Sano or You Should Pray For A Healthy Mind In A Healthy Body, a direct quote from the Roman satirist, Juvenal. The decision for the name came from the first letters of the quote Mr. Onitsuka's good friend. Along with this came the merger of ONITSUKA Co LTD, GTO Co LTD, and JELENK Co LTD. joining forces to create the sporting goods giant that is now Asics Corporation.
A lot can be credited and respected to the sporting goods giant when it comes to technology and innovation but perhaps their most notable being GEL-technology. Originally introduced to the market in 1986 and marketed as a super material for anti-shock, this was the first sneaker to use a silicone cushioning system better known as αGEL or Alpha Gel which protects the feet by providing added cushioning. This technology was first seen in two Asics models - the GT-II and the FREAKS α. To describe GEL technology from an original ad from the 80s - "a semi-fluid silicone-based substance with great impact absorption characteristics. ASICS GEL permanently encapsulated in pads, is embedded in the EVA midsole of ASICS shoes at points biomechanically determined to receive maximum impact. ASICS GEL has the extraordinary ability to disperse vertical impact into a horizontal plane to absorb shock and dissipate vibration. ASICS GEL not only reduces workout fatigue, it also reduces the chance of impact injuries, plus it offers exceptional stability."
In 1987 the original Gel-Lyte model released to the public, weighing in at less than a pound this all-new innovative lightweight sneaker set the standard for GEL-Lyte models to come for years creating a heritage program. Asics soon after began to bring forth older models they have since retired and upgraded them with the GEL technology. The most notable model to come out of the Gel-Lyte family is the Gel-Lyte III, created by Shigeyuki Mitsui with the goal in mind to create a performance shoe that was both stylish and functional.