For over 50 years ASICS has been world renowned for there standout quality, innovation, and advancement in the athletic shoe market. Starting from just an idea being run out of one guys basement, this company now is a leader in there field.
As stated before, ASICS started from just an idea from one Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka. In 1949 he decided to start designing and manufacturing basketball shoes right out of his house in Kobe, Japan. Through the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s his brand of shoes really caught on for there comfort, support and design. Eventually his makeshift company started to grow and expand, targeting many different sports and recreational activities.
In 1990, ASICS opened there first research institute (the ASICS research institute of sports science) which was completed to carry out the research and development of sports gear, and to cultivate human resources. It was also created to carry out more advanced research, mostly from the standpoint of bio-mechanics. This was a landmark in the companies history and made a statement that there most valuable asset was the actual people who worked for them.
The term ASICS comes from the Latin term, “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” which when translated means, “a sound mind in a sound body”. This mantra of endorsing a healthy mind through a fit body has taken them to the top where they don’t plan on moving any time soon.
Advancements In The Running Field
ASICS absolutely leads the industry in their expansiveness of innovation and cutting edge technologies. Here are just some examples:
- Trusstic Technology – A firmly molded lining directly under the mid-foot. This gives extra stability and helps contain unwanted torsion.
- Duosole Material – An outsole piece that provides light and flexible traction.
- IGS – Or the “Impact Guidance System” is a technical shoe design that allows the runners gait to flow more naturally and smoothly.
- AHAR+ – On certain shoes, it is a thin, lightweight material on the outsole which reduces extra wear. Perfect for underpronators who want to get the most out of their shoe.
- Stability Cradle Material – A contoured midsole piece created to enhance guidance and overall fit.
- Biomorphic technology – Corrects a slight deformation in the upper, which creates a better, natural, more comfortable fit.
- Durasponge technology – A AHAR+ material put on shoes for runners that need extra durability.
- Speva Technology – A midsole material that allows for the shoe to fight breakdown, and also improves bounce-back.
- 3m Scotchlite Material – A super reflective material that amplifys light when its dark out.
- Transition Sole Material – An ultra dense midsole that amplify’s control and cuts down on back motion.
- Personal Heel Fit – A stable yet form fitting material that provides a perfect fit around the runners heel.
- Comfordry Sockliner technology – An insole that is tested and proven to wick away sweat/water fast. This creates a drier, cooler, and better overall environment for your shoe’s longevity.
- Doutruss technology – A duel density system that is soft on the lateral side while it’s more supportive on the medial side. This is for better arch and torsional stability.
- Trail Sensor System – This design ensures that with every gait cycle there is an even amount of weight applied to the heel. This will decrease the chance for injury.
- Wet Grip Rubber Material – An outsole material that is specifically designed to amplify traction on wet surfaces, keeping you safe from falling.
- Rhynoskin Technology – Another type of midsole that aids in guidance and enhanced fit.
- Anti Gravel Tongue – A specially designed tongue that prevents gravel and anything else from entering the shoe.
- Space Trusstic Technology – An intricate design that created a small pocket between the trusstic system and midsole. This allows for the midsole to be acted on more naturally, and therefore, a better overall foot function.
- Asics Gel Technology – The poster boy for all ASICS innovation, the asics gel technology is an advanced design that works on a special type of silicone. Placed in the midsole, this creates optimal shock absorption and an overall better shoe.
How They Organize Their Shoes
ASICS organizes there shoes into 8 different types (not including racing spikes). This is to target different types of runners (whether it be there weight, how much running their doing, where they’re running) and to cater to their specific needs.
- Kensei – The kensi collection currently only has one type of shoe: the Gel Kinsei 4. But new models are frequently coming out after more research and development. The Gel Kinsei is asics top of the line shoe and provides the full range of support, durability, and stability.
- The 33 Collection – This collection of shoes was created for low mileage, every day use to promote natural foot movement. Best used for novice’s, or people who just need a stable shoe to do everyday activity’s in.
- Structured Cushioning – These types of shoes are for runners that are looking for a little bit more support and stability that the typical stability shoe might provide. Ideal for overpronators, these shoes are some of ASICS best. Some of these include the Gel Kayano 17, Gel 3030, GT 2160, Gel 1160, Gel Phoenix 3, and the Gel Turbulent.
- Cushioning – These shoes are good for most any type of pronator. They have don’t have as much cushioning as the structured cushioning shoes, but that means they’re lighter and more versatile. If you are have a neutral arch i would definitely check these out. Some of these include the Gel Nimbus 13, Gel Cumulus 13, Gel pulse 3, Gel Fluent 4, Gel Equation 5, Gel Impression 3, Gel Kanbarra 6, and the Gel Strike 3.
- Maximum Support – These shoes are designed for the heavier runner who needs ample support on their feet. They’re called maximum support for a reason. Some of these include the Gel Evolution 6, Gel foundation 10, and the Gel fortitude 5.
- Engineered – These shoes have amazing stability due to the ASICS gel cushioning system. The heel of these shoes have shock absorption plates that make your run as smooth as it gets. Some of these include the Gel Kinetic 4, Gel Kushon 3, the Gel Tornado 2, the Gel Frantic 6, and the Gel Antare 3.
- Trail – These shoes are specifically made for those who love to get into the dirt and mud, and run off road. Designed with supportive backs to prevent ankle rolling, increased traction pads to prevent from slipping, and sleek designs, these shoes are top of the line. Some of these include the Gel Trail Sensor 5, the GT 2160 Trail, Gel Trabuco 14, Gel-trail Attack, Gel Aztec, Gel Kahana 5, and the Gel Enduro 7.
- Speed Collection – Perfect for banging out those pesky repeats, or tempo runs, these shoes are extremely lightweight and flexible. Some of these include the Gel Landreth 7, the Gel DS Trainer 16, The Gel DS Sky Speed 2, and the Gel Speedstar.
Best ASICS Running Shoes
ASICS make a lot of different running shoes, but we’ve filtered down the best asics runnings shoes down to the following three models.
1 Asics Gel-Nimbus 13
- Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars
- Price: $130
- Width: Fits Wide
- Weight: 11.6oz (Male) 9.4 oz (Female)
While this shoe is based around cushioning and support, ASICS has mastered their craft, and now ALSO made this one of the most versatile shoes on the market. Lighter then the previous version, this shoe sits at 11.6oz which makes it light enough to compete with any top of the line shoe. With AHAR material lining the bottom it makes for an incredible smooth run. Since this shoe is made for durability it will be able to last you longer than other nuetral shoes on the market, and the price is well worth the value. For these reasons, the ASICS gel-Nimbus 13 makes our editors pick.
2 Asics GT 2150
This shoe series won the prestegious Runners World Editors Choice in 2009. Given that the previous year’s model, the GT2140 also won, this win didn’t surprise too many people, especially runners familiar with the quality of the GT line. Reviews online are RAVE and with good reason: the asics GT 2150 are some of the best running shoes around, period. The inclusion of the DuoMax technology which uses two different materials for the midsole construction provides additional support and a more stable shoe. The GT 2150 are widely regarded to be lighter running shoes then the Asics Gel Kayano 16 on a whole, though as to which is better for your feet will depend on your style of running shoe.
3 Asics Gel Kayano 17
Why are these some of the best Asics running shoes? Well or one, the Gel Kayano 17 offers a good mix of cushioning and stability. This year’s model is slightly lighter than last year’s model (about half an ounce has been reduced) but critics say the fit is more or less the same. The Kayano has been a popular running shoe line and this newest addition to the Kayano family does the lineup proud. If you are a Asics running fan and you want maximum comfort and good stability in a shoe, then look seriously at this model. And certainly, if you like the previous Kanyanos, getting this year’s version is a no brainer.