ASICS Tiger Just Reinvented Its Classic Gel-Kayano Series for Utmost Comfort
There’s a long table inside Singapore’s Red Dot Design Museum covered with sheets of drawings. It mimics the atmosphere of a worktable in retail production, although several times in length, with overhead lights giving clearer insight to these illustrations. Here are sketches of some of ASICS Tiger most iconic silhouettes, some from the early ’90s, including incarnations of the GT-Magic Trainer, the Gel-Kayano Trainer, and of course, the Gel-Lyte III.
The backbone of many of ASICS Tiger’s designs is its gel technology, which was launched in 1986 as one of the most comfortable advancements in athletic sneakers. The gel is inserted into the midsole, placed usually at the rearfoot or the forefoot, absorbing any impact that the foot makes as it lands. This protects the body from the wear and tear associated with sports like running, narrowing the margin for injury aside from adding substantial comfort.
To see how far ASICS’ gel technology and sneaker design have come, observe the collaborations made for the 25th anniversary of the Gel-Lyte III in 2015—AFEW’s “Koi,” swathed in rough suede and dipped in the colors of the Japanese flag; Footpatrol’s “Squad,” inspired by the retailer’s gas mask logo that represents the British struggle in World War II; and Parisian retailer Colette’s “Dotty,” decked out in their iconic blue Pantone polka dots.
But the pièce de résistance has to be the Gel-Kayano Trainer Knit, an update of the original sneaker featuring a low-top or mid-top silhouette with a stretch knit upper, which provides comfortable sock-like fit. There is also a new and completely stunning Gel-Lyte Komachi, the brand’s first women’s-only sneaker model.
ASICS is all about embracing its heritage through innovation. Nostalgia and classics have their place, but there is always a new frontier, and what better way to break through than with comfortable kicks?
Asics Tiger Gel-Kayano Trainer Knit Low
Asics Tiger Gel-Kayano Trainer Knit Mid-Top