Asics is an acronym for the Latin proverb “Anima Sana in Corpore Sano,” meaning a sound mind in a sound body.” Athough Asics designs performance shoes for a wide range of sports (including volleyball, wrestling, track and field, cheer and basketball), they’re most widely known for their long lasting, high performance running shoes.  If you’ve been hearing about the brand but want to  know more, keep reading.

Price Range

Asics designs shoes for a wide range of budgets.  Their least expensive shoe is their $50 Gel-Maverick but they also boast more expensive kicks, like the $180 Gel-Kinsei 3.
Most Popular Models. Other than a few slight modifications (different colorways, sizing, etc), every shoe Asics makes is created for both men and women.  This makes shopping for Asics pretty straight forward, and the most popular models include the Asics GT-2000 series and their Gel Nimus 12.
Asic’s GT-2000 series is widely considered to be the industry’s most popular running shoe.  They’ve been around for quite some time so a lot of runners just move from one pair of GT-2000’s to the next.  If you want to pick up the latest and greatest in the series, Asics is currently selling the GT-2150.
Asics is also notorious for the Gel Nimbus 12.  With an extremely stable ride and particularly  amazing 2010 update, the Asics Gel Nimbus 12 delivers a stable ride with asymmetric laces for a more advanced fit.

Advantages of Asics

I know a lot of hardcore runners who call themselves Asics runners.  They’re proud of their particular running shoe, think that shoe is the most comfortable in its class, and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  • Asics are known for their comfort and durability.  They’re built to last and will log a lot of miles before they need a replacement.
  • The Asics website is great.  It’s not particularly flashy, but it’s one of the easiest running shoe sites to navigate and the site itself features a ton of videos.
  • There’s only one standalone Asics retail store in the nation.  It’s in New York City, and if you’re lucky to enough to go there you’ll find amazing customer service and a great Asics Foot ID system that scans your foot, logs how you run, and recommends the best model to give you an edge over your competition.

Disadvantages of Asics

Let’s face it, Asics have looked the same for years.  Some people love the traditional aesthetic, but for those that are looking to show off their new kicks aesthetically, Asics might not be everyone’s first choice.

  • Some people get mad when Asics updates their shoes, making the previous model obsolete.  This is an issue with all brands though, and attaching this particular sentiment with Asics is probably attributed to the fact that so many Asics runners are brand loyalists rooted in tradition.
  • There’s only one standalone Asics store in the entire nation.  It’s in New York, but everyone else must rely on the luck of the draw when it comes to the knowledge of sales representatives at third party running stores that carry the shoe.
  • Asics develops a great shoe extremely well.  That said, they’re not a leader of innovation.  People interested in the minimal running shoe experience, for example, won’t find an industry leader in Asics.

Overall Comfort

Asics centers its running shoe technologies around the notion of comfort.  Their memory foams, Speva Lasted midsole material, and a series of other innovations are meant to keep runners comfortable during long workouts.  If Asics is anything, it’s definitely comfortable.