MAGIC RUNNER Marathon Shoe is Released
At the time, marathon runners expect to develop blisters on their feet as a matter of course. Defeating this preconceived notion is the inspiration behind the attempt to develop blister-proof shoes.
Blisters are caused by the frictional heat generated by the impact of the foot on the ground. Inspired by the example of water-cooled automobile engines, water-filled soles are tried, but the experiment produces heavy shoes and soggy feet and is declared a failure. Next, inspired by the example of air-cooled motorcycle engines, MAGIC RUNNER shoes are created, incorporating an air vent system that circulates air in the shoe. Holes are opened in the toes and sides of the shoe, making it possible to pump out heat when the athlete's foot hits the ground using the bellows principle. This approach succeeds in keeping blisters to a minimum. The sole is curved deeply at the arch to ensure air is smoothly pumped in and out.
Kenji Kimihara (winner of the silver medal in the International Marathon in 1968) worn The Magic Runner shoe and and becomes a long-running product beloved by marathon runners.
Wide Variety of Athletic Shoes are Developed for Global Expansion
In addition to marathon and wrestling shoes, several other categories of sports athletic shoes are developed, including gymnastics shoes, soccer cleats, fencing shoes, and volleyball shoes, with many athletes enthusiastically adopting them. ONITSUKA marathon shoes are also successfully worn by the UK's Basil Heatley (winner of the silver medal in the International Marathon in 1964) and Japan's Kokichi Tsuburaya (winner of the bronze medal in the International Marathon in 1964).
ROTATION 6 Volleyball Shoe for 6-A-Side Play is Released
ONITSUKA launches a volleyball shoe perfect for the international six-a-side format in 1958.
The shoe is named ROTATION 6 after the all-player attack style of play in which the six players rotate positions. The shoe is designed with a heel sponge to promote jumping ability and cushioning to reduce fatigue for long-time play.
At the same time, the company also launches the ROTATION 9 shoe for the nine-a-side format.
Clarino Shoes are Released
Clarino synthetic leather is used in athletic shoes for the first time.
Clarino, which has outstanding water resistance, had been difficult to develop into athletic shoes due to its stiffness. However, improvements were made allowing it to be used in many product categories including marathon shoes, training shoes, and golf shoes.
Mexico Stripes are Unveiled
The Mexico line appear on products.
ONITSUKA traditionally announces a new original brand mark for every four years. In 1966, after an in-house design competition, the Mexico line (the current ASICS stripes) are introduced. Later this design will come to represent ONITSUKA TIGER, ASICSTIGER, and ASICS shoes.
RUNSPARK Series Track and Field Spikes are Released
The RUNSPARK series is released in 1966, after fixed-pin versions are offered to some track and field atheletes in 1964.
The series includes the RUNSPARK DS-SP, Japan's first track and field spike with interchangeable pins.
At this time, track and field events take place on dirt tracks, and since the track conditions change according to the weather, the athletes using fixed-pin spikes have to file and sharpen their own pins.
The revolutionary RUNSPARK DS-SP comes with three different interchangeable pin lengths, which allows adaptation to long- and short-distance events and jumping and throwing events without being affected by the weather.
Nylon Twill 3-Layer Marathon Shoe is Released
In 1954, nylon material starts being used in the uppers of athletic shoes, but the nylon is glued to the rubber and then the canvas cloth is glued on the back. In the second half of 1960, with mesh material yet to be developed, the world's first triple-layer material debuts, consisting of Nylon twill, Polyurethane foam, and Nylon tricot. It gives shoes outstanding breathability and a more pleasing fit on the foot.
CORTEZ Training Shoe is Released in the United States
This is a training shoe specifically for the US market.
The CORTEZ training shoe, later renamed the TIGER CORSAIR, is introduced on the United States market, where there is demand for a shoe with better cushioning. Whereas traditionally training shoes used a two-layer structure made up of an outsole sponge and heel wedge, the CORTEZ is notable for being the first model to use a three-layer structure, with a "sand sponge" added to increase the cushioning.