Having been exposed to a steady stream of heritage ASICS product
, it's tough to lose our minds over the same silhouettes time and time again. But who would have thought that - after its mid '00s re-release to relative apathy from the masses but unbridled enthusiasm — the Gel Lyte III would go on to become a hype phenomenon? When we went and grabbed the retros off the racks for less than £30 all those years ago, we did it with a heavy heart. It's always nice to grab a come-up, but great shoes gathering dust can also put the kibosh on future projects. Still, it meant we got the OG makeups, as rocked by Lo-Life crew members and dad-runners alike for next to nothing. It was one of the few times that we got a "Where'd you get those?
" from friends' fathers.
Then, something happened - Patta dropped their Gel Lyte III, causing such mayhem that folks travelled from all over Amsterdam to grab a pair. ALIFE killed it with a brace of colourways and Solebox's take managed to keep colour change gimmickry restrained. Patta made a comeback with the premiere of the Gel Lyte Speed too, offering some great guest colourways, but that shoe never seemed to resonate like the Gel Lyte III does — we attribute that to the split-tongue similarities to the III, and shoe lacking a point-of-difference when the forefoot isn't a weight shaving, ultra breathable all-mesh affair.
But the ASICS hype wagon maintained its pace - our man in NYC, Ronnie Fieg went tonal and nubuck for his last few seasons of SMUs, dipped his toes into some pastel colours and kids started sleeping outside David Z stores. Hanon Shop released one of the best IIIs ever last year, in fiery tones. Then Ronnie opened up KITH and they queued some more — in fact, just before this New Year began, kids were sleeping rough or setting their alarms for milkman times to patiently wait for Ronnie and Patta's reinterpretations of the Gel Saga IIs, a budget runner from the early 1990's. Between that phenomena and US-made New Balance in grey flying out the store faster than we can stock it, things have definitely changed for the better, with an audience ditching the Dunk and frequently looking beyond the Jordan to pick up something a little different. After the AM1 was flogged to death in recent years, there was always room for other running designs to fill a gap.
This duo of inline colourways are good. There's still room in our hearts for a little speckle (and by the impending rumble of White/Cement Jordan IV hype, we're not alone there), and while the Black/Red III evokes an older makeup a little too much, the Red, White, Navy and Yellow on that Lyte Speed, that offers the mesh forefoot (good for the warmer months, but probably not the logical road choice at the moment) takes a traditional ASICS running palette and executes it perfectly by deploying the accent colours in all the right places. More like this please, ASICS. Both shoes should be on sale in the Crooked Tongues store tomorrow.