With the release of the Sean Wotherspoon x atmos x ASICS Gel-Lyte III creating buzz, we thought it was the perfect time to revisit some of our very favorite ASICS collaborations throughout the years.
ASICS makes sneakers for a “sound mind and sound body.” It helped Phil Knight and Nike—then known as Blue Ribbon Sports—get its footing in the 1960s when Knight convinced higher ups at Onitsuka Tiger—the precursor to ASICS—that there was a market for the brand’s athletic footwear in the U.S.
More recently, ASICS has carved out a lane for itself in the collaborative spectrum, linking with small independent boutiques and upstart designers alike to produce countless collections and colorways that have left us salivating for more. Naturally, it’s impossible to name them all, so here’s just a few of the best ASICS collaborations worth checking out.
Thought we’d jump right into one of Ronnie Fieg’s many classics from back in the day? We’ll get there. But first, let’s show some love to the newest entrant to enter ASICS’s collaborative umbrella, Sean Wotherspoon and atmos’s ASICS Gel-Lyte III. Wotherspoon takes the corduroy aesthetic with him from his Nike days and applies it liberally to the Gel-Lyte III, including the removable ASICS stripes.
As potent as one of Miami’s coca leaf plants, the Concepts x ASICS Gel-Respector “Coca” finds ASICS underrated Gel-Respector getting into the collaboration action. The performance runner originally debuted in 1991 and was brought back by the Boston-area boutique as part of this collaboration with ASICS in December 2015.
Three sneakers in and we have our second Ronnie Fieg mention. It’s well deserved, though. Fieg and his streetwear emporium, Kith, are an important part of the ASICS paradigm. Long before Kith was serving cereal out of its boutiques, Fieg was cutting his teeth in the design game while serving as head buyer at David Z. in New York City. While managing the shop’s SMU (special make-up) category Fieg formed a special bond with the folks at ASICS. He would go on to produce a litany of ASICS collaborations with both David Z. and, later, Kith. The “East Coast Project” effectively launched Kith into streetwear’s stratosphere in 2013.
The stuff obscure sneaker collaborations dreams are made of, this BAIT x ASICS Gel-Saga “Phantom Lagoons” was released exclusively at BAIT’s flagship store in Diamond Bar, California in 2013 and ranks as one of the best pairs of ASICS around. It followed in the footsteps of BAIT’s “Rings Pack” with ASICS, which was no easy feat considering the excitement of that project.
There’s a tangible “Popeye Magazine” quality to this atmos x ASICS Gel-Lyte III “Camo” that simply cannot be ignored. Atmos’ association with Duck Camo can be traced back to its collaborations with Nike and ASICS over the years, both of which have undoubtedly been featured in the pages of one of the longest running fashion magazines in the world.
The blue carpenter bee is the type of insect that will leave you alone as long as you leave it alone. It’s fuzzy and blue, and it’s indigenous to Southeast Asia. Oh, and it inspires a pretty great collaboration in this Solebox x ASICS Gel-Lyte III number.
“What The Fieg?” A medley of Ronnie Fieg’s greatest work with ASICS, this Gel-Lyte III “Homage” indeed salutes the numerous Fieg x ASICS colorways we’ve all lusted for over the years. Fieg dubbed it as a “wearable collage” of his previous work, and includes 13 designs in total. Most notable are the “Cove,” “Leatherback,” and “Salmon Toe.”
Ahead of its planned retail release at Bodega’s boutiques in Los Angeles and Boston, pairs of the ASICS Gel-Lyte V “Gore-Tex” or “Get Wet” were hidden at various locations around the world in 2014. The “Get Wet” was ahead of its time in other ways, too. As more and more brands are incorporating materials like reflective 3M and weatherproof Gore-Tex into the design of their sneakers, Bodega and ASICS Gel-Lyte V were already on that wave in the middle of the last decade when other brands were focusing heavily on monochromatic styles. What’s more, each pair purchased from Bodega featured a USB drive with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of how the project came together.
As if it weren’t already evident that 2013 was a special year for Ronnie Fieg, Kith, and ASICS, the trio came to terms with a fiery “Volcano” Gel-Lyte V that symbolized “Kith growing out of its active stage, and into its future stage of eruption” that Fall. Like every one of Fieg’s forays with ASICS, premium materials like pigskin leather dot this smoking hot colorway.