"Fashionability and functionality must stand together. We never develop a design to make shoes that just look good. This is the philosophy behind ASICS's shoe designs." -Shigeyuki Mitsui
Everybody knows Asics. They're the go-to sneaker of the Soccer Mom, offered in neon colorways that scream, "I once joined a walking club and own a maltese." Outside of hardcore endurance runners, Asics' popularity is due mostly to their reasonable cost, great support, and athletic pedigree. I remember when I got my first pair. Even though my eyes wandered towards the more aesthetically-pleasing running shoes, my Mom's resounding praise of the GEL cushion technology (and her footing the bill) won out.
From that day on, I forever associated with Asics with unstylish compromise. So that's why, many years later, I even surprised myself when I added a pair of Asics to my master list of "Must Buy" sneakers. But here I am, excitedly glued to my computer to see what Asics designer Shigeyuki Mitsui will put out next. Asics' attention to detail and relentless dedication to quality sets this brand apart from any of its competitors: that's why, for today's column, I'll be walking you through some of the brand's detailed masterpieces below.
GEL LYTE III
The pride and joy of Asics. It was this silhouette that sparked the companies integration into sneaker culture and street style wearability. Even though the shoe has been around for over 25 years, the past few years have seen a huge increase in GLIII popularity. In my opinion, the best revamp thus far is the Asics x Reigning Champ Gel Lyte III, an homage to the Canadian sportswear maker's signature sweatshirts. All three colorways (Grey, Indian Ink, Black) are SOLD OUT, which speaks to its success.
GEL LYTE V
The older brother of the GLIII, this silhouette looks great with denim of every wash and canvas joggers. Because the sole is packed with more GEL technology, the midsole is more prominently ridged, lending the shoe a chunkier and more casual appearance. This is Asics' flagship casual shoe, so there is sure to be a colorway that will suit every wardrobe.
Just like the GEL-Lyte V, this shoe looks great with a pair of jeans. However, for those who like to dress up their retro runners, the less-texturized sole lends itself better to a cleaner look overall. Long story short: instead of a hoodie, try a sweater. I recommend cuffing most every pair of pants worn with both this shoe and the GEL-Lyte III.
Last but not least, the newest lifestyle sneaker from Asics is the GT-DS. Released in February 2016, this is probably the most unexpected design the ASICS has come out with yet. The GT-DS picks up styling cues from 1986's Gel Trainer-II, but reinterprets the overall look to fit a sleek modern wardrobe. This sneaker is perfect for your favorite Yeezy-inspired outfit, but cost a fraction of Boosts. These $100 sneakers, offered in white, red, and black, look best with the #hypebeast uniform of tapered sweats, a graphic tee, and a logo hat. Who says you can't ball on a budget?
Ronnie Fieg: The New Face of Asics
Asics best attribute is the companies possibility for mass consumption; everyone can rock a pair of GLIII, and should, at a reasonable price. However, the brand doesn't leave those looking for a little more hanging. Ronnie Fieg, the famous sneaker colorist know for collabs with adidas, Saucony, Herschel Supply Co, and New Balance, is Asics' golden boy. He has been releasing Asics hits one after another since he first collaborated with brand in 2007. My all time favorite is the Rose Gold GLV from way back in 2014. In March of this year, Ronnie Fieg released the uber fresh, uber limited "Sterling" GT-Cool Express. They hit the market selectively through KITH (Fieg's NYC sneaker boutique), retailing at $175 and sold out within seconds. That's the power of Ronnie Fieg, all put onto to the good looks of Asics.