With its graffiti inspired exterior, the Marathon Edition of the Gel Kayano 22 serves as both a fashion statement and the perfect ride.
ASICS, an acronym of the Latin phrase “anima sana in corpore sano” (which translates to “healthy soul in a healthy body”) was founded in 1949 by Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka. The company was originally known as Onitsuka Tiger, and specialized in basketball shoes. Throughout the decades, and as the number of sports increased in in Japan (and no doubt, due in part to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics), Onitsuka Tiger continued to expand its line of sneakers for each activity. The ASICS we know today is actually the result of a merger between Onitsuka Tiger, GTO, and Jelenk.
Onitsuka Tiger’s first marathon shoe, released in 1953, was actually modeled on the tabi – Japanese socks that separate the big toe from the other toes. Their Marathon Tabi convinced barefoot-style runners such as Toru Terasawa to adopt shoes, and marked the beginning of the company’s long success with marathon shoes. By the time their After Runner Shoes were developed for the 1956 Melbourne Games, Onitsuka was becoming a household name. In 1963, Phil Knight – a mid distance college runner and future co-founder of Nike – became the first to import Onitsuka Tiger shoes to the United States.
For long-distance runners, the ASICS Gel Kayano has been an indispensable option since 1993. This year’s Gel Kayano 22 comes with a longstanding reputation for comfort – snug, soft, and cushiony, it has been meticulously constructed to provide a consistently plush feeling throughout a long distance race. With its multiple technologies in each part of the sneaker, from the heel to the toe, the sole and the upper, this is the epitome of the company’s design philosophy, which focuses on every component of the sneaker and then harmonizes them together to work as one.
The Gel Kayano 22 features a number of improvements, including a new FluidFit™ upper – which offers a glove-like fit thanks to a stretch mesh that adapts to the individual shape of the runner’s foot. Their Heel Clutching System™ is also highly adaptable to different heel shapes, and provides improved support. With many runners who are over-pronators, essentially those with ‘flat feet’, the components of the cushioning system have been designed to be more supportive than ever before. The super lightweight FluidRide™ cushioning provides the level of bounce back that makes it possible to run farther.
Every runner is different, so it’s important to always try on running sneakers before purchasing them. But for those who have never considered ASICS shoes before, it may be just the edge needed to improve one’s marathon results. ASICS symbolizes in many ways the caliber of innovation and quality that became synonymous with Japan in the 20th Century, and continues to be a game-changer and influence on the global sneaker industry.
The design of the female version of the Kayano 22 takes into consideration how women are lighter and have a different shaped foot from men.
In case you need a reminder as you put the Kayano on, this is a marathon worthy shoe.
Places like the ever-reliable Super Runners Shop (various locations) will help you try on the shoe and find you the perfect fit.