ARTICLE BY Seb

The Sneakers That ASICS Need to Bring Back

ASICS GEL SENDAI

ASICS has been on a tear over the past few years thanks to innovative collaborative efforts and trendsetting footwear options. We even wrote an at-length feature detailing why we think they're set to have a massive 2022.

Although, their newer offerings have fans impatiently awaiting the next drop, their back catalogue is teaming with plenty of low-key hits. From Kinseis to Kayanos, here are the sneakers that ASICS needs to bring back!

ASICS GEL-Kinsei 2
Image Credit: @peklau1 (eBay)

ASICS GEL-Kinsei 2

Releasing in 2006 and taking three years to develop, the original ASICS GEL-Kinsei was christened as ‘The Next Generation Running Shoe’. When creating the OG, designer Hisanori Fujitahe was heavily influenced by samurai armour and its ability to protect the body while also allowing free movement. Two years later in 2008 ASICS came out with a sequel, named the GEL-Kinsei 2. The aggressive GEL-filled heel remained and so did the Solyte midsole. However, they revamped the forefoot area with six wide nibs, adding to its jarring appeal. Some say that sequels are never as good as the original, but we have to disagree when talking about the Kinsei 2!

The OG returned in 2019 via a collaboration with Affix and later in GR colourways. It didn’t get its well-deserved mainstream attention, but satisfied a niche audience of ASICS fanatics. Adding the Kinsei 2 to the retro roster in 2022 no doubt will indulge the same crowd but we can probably predict that the mainstream audience ain't ready for these!

ASICS GEL-Kayano VII

ASICS GEL-Kayano VII

The Gel-Kayano line transcends sneaker subcultures and since its inception in 1993 has been the top dog of ASICS’ running catalogue. Eight years after the OG released, the brand finally recognised its Kayano lineage by crafting the GEL-Kayano VII. Before the 2001 release, every time a Kayano hit shelves the model numbers/names were never numerically consistent.

The VII was approximately 28 grams lighter than its predecessor, the GEL-Kayano (TN001) and featured the newly-minted IGS (Impact Guidance System). A product of its time, we want to see the Kayano VII back on the streets! No midsole changes, no performance enhancements – just white and silver heat from 2001.

ASICS GEL-Sendai 2

ASICS GEL-Sendai 2

Another fan-favourite that needs to return is the weirdly wonderful ASICS GEL-Sendai 2. This pair follows a similar script to the Kinsei 2 however has slightly different upper and midsole tooling. Specifically, we need a retro of the ‘Onyx’ and ‘BloodSports’ colourways because copping those pairs on the aftermarket nowadays will definitely burn a hole in your pocket.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 20

In sneaker years, the GEL-Kayano 20 isn’t that old, nine years to be exact! But we think this GEL-filled pair is so good that it has to make a comeback. Hitting shelves in October of 2013, the 20 helped ring in the 20th anniversary of the Kayano line! Plenty of colourways hit shelves to honour the two-decades old archive but the most popular colourway was the notorious triple blacks. For collectors of ASICS running models, getting your hands on a pair of Kayano 20s is probably not an issue, but why would we not want them to return? ASICS, please bring back the triple blacks, ‘Starlets’ and ‘Grapes’.

luisaviaroma x ASICS GEL-Kyrios

ASICS GEL-Kyrios

The GEL-Kyrios debuted in 2020 and harked back to the ASICS of yesteryear, looking to 2005 and the GEL-Helios for inspiration. Interestingly, they also included tooling and midsole elements from Kiko Kostadinov’s collaborative GEL-Kiril. Sadly, it has since been discontinued and we have no idea why because it had plenty of low-key hits, such as the colourful LUISAVIAROMA collaboration! What we propose to you ASICS, is to bring back the GEL-Kyrios but keep the GEL-Helios’ OG sole.

ASICS GEL-Burst 1997
ASICS GEL-Burst 1997

ASICS GEL-Burst

In 1997 ASICS created the GEL-Burst basketball series, which was specifically designed for college and student-level players. We think the original GEL-Burst with it's ‘Magic Ventilation System’ actually looks more like a hardcore hiker that belongs on rugged mountain trails. It somewhat reminds us of the Salomon XA-Pro with that lateral and medial zig-zag panelling. Still active, the GEL-Burst basketball line's most recent releases have been modernised, looking like a beefed-up GEL-Kayano 25. But, we think it’s time to bring back the GEL-Burst in OG form, maybe even in a low-top version as well?

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