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ASICS GEL-Lyte III – The Silhouette of Shigeyuki Mitsui

At ASICS, many sneakers are lined up in the front row and yet one silhouette stands out. The ASICS GEL-Lyte III is one of the oldest models and is one of the most popular sneakers alongside the GEL saga. The label is still distinguished by the high-quality iterations and the outstanding quality. But it certainly took a while for the sneaker to reach this point.

29.02.2020
05.02.2020

Kihachiro Onitsuka founded the company over 70 years ago. At that time, the label was still called Onitsuka Tiger and not ASICS. The goal of the 31-year-old entrepreneur was the production of high-quality sneakers, which should appeal especially to young people. With his sporty shoes, he wanted to encourage the younger generation to take up sport and at the same time promote the development associated with it.

Presumably, one should still be able to recognize that close connection to this very day. Sports activities promote both body and soul. In 1977, Onitsuka Tiger changed the name to ASICS. The five letters stand for "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano", which means, "A healthy mind in a healthy body".

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Sneaker Freaker x Asics Gel-Lyte III Tiger Snake, Pic by AFEW

Why is the ASICS GEL-Lyte III so popular?

At ASICS, you can find some shoes that have the name "GEL". This is due to the fact that the brand located in Kōbe introduced the GEL cushioning many years ago. In 1986, this technology revolutionized running and is still used underneath most new sneakers today. It is the basis for every ultimate running shoe and has been refined over the years. After four years, the famous designer Shigeyuki Mitsui then created the GEL-Lyte III. It is a silhouette that can not only be seen on the track or at the gym, but also as a lifestyle silhouette that has already set some trends.

The classic from 1990 has still not lost its shine after 30 years. Most sneakerheads probably recognize the spirit of the times by the forked tongue, which originally came from another sneaker. The GEL-LD RACER gave the inspiration for the current design. But today, nobody probably thinks of the old LD RACER and recognizes the GEL-Lyte III as a Grail on its own.

The '90s Sneaker Keeps Its Shape

Nowadays, the big sporting goods manufacturers are trying out a lot of things in order to be at the forefront of the sneaker market. Either they further develop a silhouette by trying out new materials, or they use the latest technologies to create a new hyped sneaker.

But at ASICS, tradition still counts. If you take a closer look at the development of the GEL-Lyte III, you will only see a few innovations at its core. The brand relies on the tried and tested design and scores points with users, who are looking for a newfangled style and at the same time hardly want any changes of the essentials. The GEL-Lyte III offers exactly this aesthetic. Artificial materials, details true to the original and the retro look are reminiscent of the old silhouette from 1990.

Many editions carry these characteristics and only change elements quite subtly. Due to the wide range of colours, a new sneaker can always be designed. ASICS rarely reaches for new materials and tries out something new.

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Foss x Asics Gel-Lyte III Gallery, Pic by asphaltgold

The Collabs with the ASICS GEL-Lyte III

In so many years, a lot of companies have naturally become aware of the brand with the tiger stripes. Labels like Mita, Patta or END have already worked with ASICS and designed a GEL-Lyte. The GEL-Lyte III was considered particularly often. Its iconic shape, subtle details and features make this sneaker an undeniably honourable shoe.

 

With such partners, elegant, funny and simple sneakers are created. With FOSS, ASICS has designed an artistic shoe that is not made for running. Most of the sneaker looks plain and comes in white, while the back is painted completely black. It is actually more like a regular shoe, if it weren't for the bottom sole. Under the shoe, you can easily recognize an artistic painting that resembles the universe.

Even the international footwear magazine Sneaker Freaker has worked with ASICS. An elegant cream-coloured upper and a pink speckled sole make this collab simply perfect.

One of the last unique versions is the ASICS GEL-Lyte III OG "Kobe Beef". In our opinion, it is in fact one of the best colourways ASICS has ever released. The sneakers remind us of Kobe beef from Japan. But what many people don't know is that Kobe beef is not a breed on its own, but only comes from the region — the same region that ASICS originates from. The sneakers have even more refined details. The rear area is usually marked with "GEL-Lyte III". This time, Japanese characters decorate the whole area, while the #90 on the heel tab stands for the same year the GEL-Lyte III was born.

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Asics Gel-Lyte III OG Kobe Beef, Pic by solebox