In the ’70′s when Asics was Tiger, the brand had a solid training shoe following, but runners flocked to the brand for their performance models. The Ohbori and Jayhawk flats, the Spartan B spike were on the feet of the best runners from that era. I remember distinctly photos of Alberto Salazar running for the mighty Ducks of Oregon wearing black dress socks and Tiger B’s. Rogers and Shorter won in Tigers and who could forget Allison Roe winning Boston and NYC in ’81 and setting the marathon world best in Tigers?
Mizuno is probably the envy of many brands within running shoe industry. Mizuno does virtually no advertising yet they remain one of the top brands year in and year out not by promotion, but primarily through a clear focus on their product. They make shoes each season that are consistent in road feel and fit so customers know what to expect. The cosmetics are generally well done with top quality materials and construction techniques used throughout adding to the perceived value of the shoes. Mizuno has a well earned reputation among experienced runners for providing shoes that perform well with little fanfare or hype, just solid shoes using proven technologies with little in the way of over the top changes each season.