The first time I ever set foot in a running store I was 23 years old and fairly new to the sport of running. Upon entering the store the smell of fresh rubber-soled-shoes filled the air. I was completely reluctant to stay for more than a few seconds since I literally knew nothing about running besides the mile test they make you do in gym class and my lame attempts at running over summer break during high school. The terms overpronation, gait, and PR were completely foreign.
A sales associate quickly approached me and asked me a series of questions before sitting me down and measuring my feet. He came back out with stacks of boxes with all different types of running shoes. The only brand I was ever really familiar with was Nike. I must have tried on a few pairs before finding the perfect shoe…my very first pair of ASICS.
I am not the most brand loyal person when it comes to running gear. In fact, the majority of my running shorts are from the sales rack of Marshalls and my shirts are usually old t-shirts that I’ve cut the sleeves off of. However, when it comes to running shoes you will never find me more loyal than I am to the ASICS brand. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried other brands like Nike (too narrow) and Brooks (too ugly). ASICS shoes are comfortable; help me perform my best; and have never let me down. My current pair, the ASICS Gel-Kayano 20, make me feel like a bad-ass whenever I’m running down the street. This is the 20th edition of this specific shoe, so they must be doing something right. There’s something about them that just screams “cool” to me. It also doesn’t hurt that marathon runner, Ryan Hall, has been sponsored by ASICS for eight years and says that the shoes “have been faithful to him throughout his athletic pursuits.”
ASICS is the acronym for the Latin phrase ‘Anima Sana In Corpore Sano’, which expresses their corporate philosophy of striving for a sound mind in a sound body. Have you ever heard someone say that running is their therapy? I, personally, use running and other forms of exercise as a way to reduce stress and stay centered and happy. This is what I believe it means to have a sound mind in a sound body. They even extend this belief beyond the obvious, stressing the importance of social and environmental considerations in their products. Obviously exercise is good for you and everyone knows that, but it’s also nice to know that the brand I’ve grown to love so much realizes that true harmony is greater than having a sound mind in a sound body. That’s the type of brand I’d like to stick with.