The name Asics is derived from the Latin phrase "sound mind, body," which means "to promote total health and fitness." Founded in 1949 by Kihaichi Onitsuka in Kobe, Japan, the company has been a leader in various manufacturing and technical achievements. This is evidenced by the company's support for the creation of Kobe's Sports Science Institute, which was established in 1990 to help athletes, scientists, and coaches develop new athletic apparel and footwear. Its GEL technology and streamlined structures allow shoes to absorb shock and provide proper form while also being a favorite for runners and walkers. The company's contemporary lifestyle models, which are made from leather, suede, and mesh, are being widely used in a variety of ways to change the status quo of the boutique shoe industry.