Before they became Asics they were Onitsuka Tiger, producer of the state-of-the-art Japanese running shoes of the early '70s. In fact, when a young fella in Oregon by the name of Phil Knight started up a company he called Blue Ribbon Sports, it was Onitsuka Tigers that he started selling. Later on he decided to produce his own shoes and change the company name to Nike. The California is a later model—from 1978, natch—with bells and whistles like a reflective patch on the heels, and is seen here in pre-aged "vintage" form. They should be arriving at retailers soon.