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ASICS started in 1949 with basketball sneakers made in founder Kihachiro Onitsuka's living room in Japan before making their way to the United States in 1977. In 1986 ASICS introduced its comfort-first Gel technology, designed to enhance cushioning, provide soft landings for the foot, and compete with Nike's Air efforts. Today kicks, such as the GT-II and Gel-Lyte 3, are enjoying a refresh as ASICS collaborates with boutique sneaker shops and prominent names in streetwear.