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A Brief History: The ASICS Gel Lyte III vs. History

ASICS Gel Lyte III

Discovering the Asics Gel Lyte III History

The Asics Gel Lyte III history is filled with curious episodes. It is even more interesting to know that a shoe that is one of the most important of all Asics’ catalog almost lost its way in the middle of the brand’s archives.

When you consider some of your favorite sneakers, history and nostalgia are often a recurring theme. From the courts of basketball and tennis to the different terrains runners face, the categories are almost endless.

Particularly, running sneakers are more often celebrated for their brilliance from back in the day. In fact, success often leads a sneaker to see more iterations during its store runs.

As it turns out, one of the most recognizable runners ever is initially lost in history. Specifically, the ASICS Gel Lyte III was a sneaker that left as quickly as it came.

Asics Gel Lyte III Black
Asics Gel Lyte III Black

Asics Gel Lyte III: All About Performance

The story of the GLIII is interesting both for its technical details and for the brand’s philosophy. ASICS is a company that prides itself on meeting performance standards. The GLIII was another example in that rich history.

The midsole is thicker than most runners at the time, the foam was solid, and the split tongue is a unique take. Each of those properties advertises as less of a world-beating spec and more of a common sense solution to your running needs.

In fact, this sneaker sees one of the shortest initial lifespans you can imagine. ASICS immediately moves on to the Gel Lyte Ultra.

Afew x Asics Gel-Lyte-III
Afew x Asics Gel-Lyte-III

That’s just what the company is about, keeping it moving. They show no interest in rehashing too much of the past. That’s one of the reasons why the return of the Gel Mai was such a surprise.

You can imagine how shocking it was for the GLIII’s designer, Shigeyuki Mitsui, when the shoe burst in popularity years after its release.

In 2015, the sneaker turned 25 and was hitting its peak in terms of sales. This time, it isn’t because of anything functional. Not many people are going out to buy the ASICS Gel Lyte III because it helps optimize their runs.

After all, the brand has a massive collection of elite modern runners that stand alone in the category. Instead, there is a very real appreciation for the thoughtful design that went into this classic model.

Asics Gel Lyte III ‘Scratch and Sniff’ Pack
Asics Gel Lyte III ‘Scratch and Sniff’ Pack

With all of its advanced tech, the GLIII stands out more in the current sneaker scene for its unforgettable aesthetic. This is pretty remarkable when you consider that Mitsui had to fight his higher-ups on its visual design.

The Gel Lyte III was the first ASICS model to get an emphasis on its look. Senior development team members within the company stressed that this was unnecessary and that it was all about what was inside the shoe.

Thankfully, they would eventually relent. The rest, of course, is history. Thankfully, the GLIII refuses to be lost in that history.

Cult Edge