There is more to your favorite sneakers than meets the eye. Some of our favorite brands like ASICS and Nike have interesting histories. Find out some of the weirdest secrets about your athletic footwear!
#1. Secret Latin Roots
Starting out in 1964 as an American distribution company for Onitsuka Tiger Shoes, ASICS footwear is now a recognized as some of the best running shoes worldwide. But did you know what “ASICS” actually stands for? The name of the athletic company is a Latin acronym for “anima sana in corpore sano”. What in the world does that mean? It’s loosly translated as “healthy soul in a healthy body”. Whether or not the pun was intended, it is a great name for one of the most trusted shoe brands on earth.
#2. What Nike and the Rolls Royce have in Common
If you know just a little bit of Greek mythology, you know that Nike was the Greek goddess Nike. She was one of Styx’s four children. The four altogether were sentinels of Zeus’ thrown. She typically handed a sash to victors and was often depicted riding a chariot. In fact, during World War II victory medals depicted Nike, as does the Rolls Royce hood ornament? Even more interesting, Nike was also the name of a mid-twentieth century anti-aircraft missile system. Talk about getting a lot of mileage of a name!
#3. Winning Gold Barefoot
Believe it or not, Ehtiopia’s Abebe Bikila won a gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics without any shoes! He ran the marathon entirely barefoot. He didn’t do that again in 1964, instead wearing a pair of sneakers.
#4. 3D Printing Magic
New technology like 3D printing may be in the future of shoe companies like New Balance and Nike. Both companies have been experimenting with printing parts of their shoes. The strength of the shoe depends entirely on the type of material used for printing. While most 3D printing materials are too weak for long-term use, both companies are continuing to experiment with permanent synthetics.
#5. Running Shoes for Dogs
Some shoe companies like Skechers decided that making crazy ads was the way to go viral and stand side-by-side with companies like Adidas and ASICS. Skechers created two notable Superbowl commercials that either sent viewers laughing or eye-rolling. They featured a famous French Bulldog (Mr. Quiggly) wearing their running shoes. They also created an ad where a man outran a cheetah! ASICS decided to run an ad with men trying to out run a lion in parady of the original Superbowl ad.
#6. Women’s Lingerie and Sneakers
Surprisingly enough, a number of the technical innovative fabrics used for your running shoes actually started out as lingerie materials.
#7. How Do You Really Say “Hoka One One”?
The German sneaker brand Hoka One One has had to deal with years of mispronunciation. Supposedly, taken from the Maori phrase for “flying”, “Hoka One One” should be pronounced “Ho-Kah, Own-ay Own-ay”.