Exactly 30 years ago, the ASICS Gel-Lyte model combined innovative GEL cushioning with a progressive shoe design that’s still relevant. So relevant, ASICS Tiger brought back the original this summer in July for the 30th Anniversary celebrations. Now the ASICS GEL-Lyte adds four new color variations inspired by original colorways in two unisex models and two women’s models. They are out now with a EUR 100,- price tag at finer sneaker stores including Asphaltgold, Planet Sports, 43einhalb, Afew and Overkill.
The new drops include a beige unisex and a blue unisex model with 1980s-inspired color blocking.
Also, the two new women’s colorways in pink and teal pay homage to classic ASICS GEL-Lyte stylistics.
A quick historic re-cap
The comeback is a big occasion, because the ASICS GEL-Lyte had never been re-released before. While the ASICS GEL-Lyte III and GEL-Lyte V and GEL Kayano have seen countless gorgeous collab iterations over the years, this one’s freshly back on the streets.
In the mid-1980s, the ASICS research lab in Kobe, Japan started to implement a new cushioning material into shoes. Not air cushions or springs, but Silicone-based gel, manufactured by Japanese company Taica under the name Alpha GEL.
The technology released in 1986’s Freaks Alpha. The jogging shoe followed the classic ASICS runner formula, paired with Alpha GEL. It was a big hit in Japan but runners in Europe and North America still waited for running on GEL. They got it with 1986’s GT II silhouette, but only a small taste.
The big drop came in 1987 with the arrival of the GEL-Lyte. “Speed freaks, we’ve got your number… it’s 9.9,” read the ASICS advertisement, announcing a shoe that was only 9.9 ounces light – which was light as a feather at the time.
The rest is history. The color-blocking in a classic white, black, and neon orange colorway – plus reflective panels added to the upper for safety – created the stylistic blueprint for the entire GEL series.
Also make sure to read our History Check on 30 years of ASICS GEL-Lyte. And to join the festivities, we put the OG GEL-Lyte on the cover of our current SNEAKERS issue as our way of saying congrats to 30 years and running. Happy Anniversary!