As 2019 comes to an end, ASICS can reflect on a year filled with celebration, rejuvenation and collaboration. Year after year, the heritage company continues to roll out a seemingly endless string of quality collaborations, with this year’s roster even featuring one from Sneaker Freaker. Along with the stellar lineup of drool-worthy team-ups, this year also saw a monumental milestone pass as the iconic GEL-Lyte III hit the ripe old age of 30. Join us as we cycle back through the amazing year that has been and gone.
ASICS' 2019 Highlight Reel
Date: December 29 2019
By: Mykal Hoang
It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane!
Ten years on from the release of the OG ‘Super Blue’ GEL-Lyte III, Ronnie Fieg and ASICS came together once again to pay homage to their iconic 2009 release with the ‘Super Blue’ Anniversary Pack. Containing a GEL-Lyte III and a GEL-Lyte 3.1 (now dubbed the GEL-Fieg), the uppers used hairy pig suede – which Fieg had never used before on an ASICS silhouette. Though definitely reminiscent of the original 2009 release, the reimagined version of the GL3 opted for a lighter palette on its hairy upper, while the GEL-Fieg went darker with a two-toned exposed GEL unit.
Two Fanged Attack!
Earlier this year, Sneaker Freaker spread some killer venom throughout the world of sneakers by once again sinking our fangs into a collaboration with ASICS. Paying homage to both the historical origins of ASICS as ‘Onitsuka Tiger’ and the venomous slithering serpents of Australia, the GEL-Lyte III ‘Tiger Snake’ packed a punch in its deadly details.
Everywhere across the world we saw collectors cop the bite from our buttery beige beast, and really felt the love as we posted out pairs to every corner of the globe. Shortly after, we dropped the ‘Neurotoxin’ GEL-Lyte III as a Friends and Family release, but you’ll have noticed that a limited amount of pairs hit our webstore because you, our avid readers, are our Friends and Family.
The Big 3-0
In a fight for favouritism between the most recognisable silhouettes in the sneakersphere, the GEL-Lyte III would do more than just hold its own. Since its first release 30 years ago, the silhouette broke the mould of sneaker convention thanks to its split tongue and refined GEL system. Over time, the GL3 transitioned from a high-tech sports runner to a lifestyle sneaker, and it became the canvas for key collaborative efforts by all the biggest names in the game, including END., Patta, Solebox and, of course, Sneaker Freaker!
To commemorate the silhouette’s 30th birthday, ASICS re-released the OG ‘Citrus’ colourway for what they said will be the last time ever. We caught up with GL3 designer Shigeyuki Mitsui when he was in town, and really picked his brain on how this legendary silhouette came about.
The Way of the Samurai
As we previously broke down in our 2020 Sneaker Trend Predictions, we’re quite sure of what the beginning of the next decade will have in store for sneakers. As trends repeatedly become uncool, ironically cool, and then unironically cool, it allows us a certain amount of foresight into what will be popping off in the years to come. As the next year draws closer, it would be safe to assume that the style of the 2000s will now be adored rather than cringed at. Arise the GEL-Kinsei, that got a headstart on things by returning to the streets in August this year.
Originally built for a life on the track, the high-tech runner now finds itself aligning perfectly with today’s aesthetic demands. Its curvature was designed to reflect the slight curve of a samurai sword, while the upper mimics the moving body plates of samurai armour, making it the perfect tech silhouette to resurrect just ahead of the 2020s.