Launched back in 1949 by a Japanese sports aficionado, ASICS was originally a basketball shoe manufacturer. By the 1960s, the brand had expanded its repertoire of shoes and cemented itself as a favorite among Olympic wrestlers and track & field athletes.
During the 1970s, recreational running grew in popularity in the United States and ASICS capitalized on the new, burgeoning apparel industry.
Today, you won’t find the brand’s name etched onto any major professional sports teams, but their shoes remain a favorite among serious runners looking for a reliable and solid training shoe.
We’ve got a few people on our team who’ve been running for more than a decade — including a 4:17 miler, a 1:16 half-marathoner, and a sub-50 second 400m guy — and we’ve spent a lot of time testing out running shoes over the years.
When considering the best shoe, you’ve got to look past aesthetics and the “cool factor.” Nike Frees are sweet-looking, but they’re not going to give you the stability and support needed for longer, more intensive runs.
These bad boys are ugly, but they’re extremely comfortable, durable, firm, and designed to take a beating. They’re also great for overpronation — the rolling in of the foot that often happens when your foot strikes the ground.
If you’re historically prone to injury, have sensitive feet, or are training for a longer race, like a marathon, there’s no safe pick than the Gel-Kayano 24.
The Kayano has been the go-to high end running shoe for years — but the running shoe market is shifting toward more minimal shoes, and there are some noteworthy competitors out there.
The Brooks Glycerin 15 offers similar everyday running shoe traits at a comparable price point ($150), and is also consistently rated as a favorite among distance runners. The New Balance 860 v7 ($115) is also a formidable competitor, offering great stability and comfort.