The thing that’s great about most classic footwear designs is their timeless silhouettes and ubiquity to seamlessly blend into every style. But it’s also this very feature, of lacking in its own character, that make for their undeniable blandness.
However, some 30 years ago, ASICS designer Shingeyuki Mitsui thought otherwise when defining what a classic can also be. With the GEL-LYTE™ III 30th Anniversary edition sneaker, the iconic footwear is celebrating its legacy and unwavering fanfare with six new colourways; two currently in-stores, and four launching later this April, for both genders to commemorate the impressive milestone. And this one is anything but boring.
Bordering on the threshold of what the Japanese call busakawa, the GEL-LYTE™ III somehow manages to look both futuristic and hopelessly outdated. Perfectly apt for today’s ironic fugly-and-therefore-must-have shoe trend. What’s perhaps unique about the fanfare of this sneaker is that its success began decades ago, and its longevity is a stellar example of how going against the odds and subverting convention may sometimes be the best way to go when approaching design.
With the GEL-LYTE™ III 30th Anniversary edition, its original concept is similarly undiluted in boldness. The intentionally vibrant yellow and flash coral colourways are after all meant to be the antithesis of dark, formal footwear in its current narrative. And to say that these are anything less than distinctive would be a gross understatement.
Of course, iconic aesthetics alone is not the only thing the GEL-LYTE™ III is well-beloved for. At its core, the ASICS brand is renowned for its technological innovation in performance materials. And the GEL-LYTE™ III is first and foremost a running shoe. So, it is no exception that it comes replete with many of the brand’s signature trademarks.
The ingenious combination of nubuck, mesh, and premium leather on the sneakers upper delivers a high-quality finish with notable breathability for the foot. This also provides the GEL-LYTE™ III with a lightweight construction that makes it popular with competitive athletes.
Additionally, the featured padded heel collar, tri-density GEL cushioning midsole, and underfoot sock liner are oft-credited for serving unmatchable comfort even when in heavy use. Seasoned runners will also note the sneaker’s thick blown rubber outsole’s ability for traction even on wet surfaces.
Marrying iconic style with remarkable construction, it takes little for one to wonder how the ASICS GEL-LYTE™ III earned its storied status today. If anything else, word has it that they actually hold up more or less forever, a foolproof investment if we’ve ever heard one.