Size and fit

The Asics Gel Kayano 5 OG’s sizing is unisex. As a low-cut shoe, it allows the ankle to move freely. Meanwhile, the mesh and leather upper provide a durable, flexible, and breathable feel. It also has a lace-up system that secures and tightens the fit.

Asics Gel Kayano 5 OG Style

With its retro-inspired athletic style, the low-top Asics Gel Kayano 5 OG can easily be paired with athleisure wear. It comes in its original 1999 colorway of white/black, which adds to the vintage feel. Other colorways include stone gray/stone gray, black/black, white/white, mid grey/steel grey, and birch/moon rock.

Casual clothes such as pants, shorts, and jeans would also go well with the sneaker’s trendy bulky style. For the ladies, the model can be paired with dresses or skirts for a chic flair. A full 1990s look can be achieved with a colorful ensemble, such as a neon jacket, t-shirt or pants that will match the shoe’s elaborate upper.

Notable Features

The 1990s-style Asics Gel Kayano 5 OG shoes deliver some good retro feels with their silhouette, which mostly stays true to the original model. This edition has a bulky midsole and a busy upper design made up of mesh material and leather overlays. Despite the bulky look, the shoe has been made to be lighter than its predecessor.

On the sides of the sneaker is the Tigerstripe branding, complemented by bold and directional tooling. The outsole features the iconic Gel technology for cushioning. It is visible on the midsole and can also be touched through a window outside the heel, offering an authentic retro vibe.

Asics Gel Kayano 5 OG History

The origins of Asics shoes can be traced back to the founding of one of its subsidiaries, Onitsuka Tiger, famous for its range of classic casual sneakers. It was founded by Kihachiro Onitsuka in 1949, a former military officer. He held the firm belief that sports could be the gateway for the post-war Japanese youth to thrive and improve their self-esteem.

During the company's early days, Onitsuka produced basketball footwear that was similar to a straw sandal. Many people dismissed it, so he then sought to improve the design and make the shoes fit with the fast start-and-stop movement on the court. On the soles, he added cups and small spaces, which became highly efficient and thus the brand’s kicks became popular across the country.

  Nike partnership

Onitsuka Tiger became the starting point of one other major footwear brand – Nike. Back in 1964, the sports giant was known as Blue Ribbon Sports, established by Philip Knight and Bill Bowerman. Knight traveled to Japan and convinced Onitsuka Tiger to let his company be the American distributor of Onitsuka shoes. The partnership continued until 1971 when Knight and his team turned to produce their own products.

  Transition into Asics     

It was also in 1964 that Onitsuka Tiger first went public. A couple of years later, the now-iconic Asics stripe was introduced, featured on the Limber model. Another Onitsuka Tiger shoe famously bore the stripe as well – the Limber Leather, now known as the Mexico 66.

In 1972, Onitsuka, GTO, and JELENK merged their financial assets and athletic designs, building a regional sales office at Hokkaido in time for that year’s Winter Olympics. Five years later, all brands under the company were combined to form ASICS, an acronym which stands for the Latin “anima sana in corpore sano.” It means “healthy soul in a healthy body,” which was Kihachiro Onitsuka’s guiding principle.

Asics still sells its vintage line of kicks under the Onitsuka Tiger brand, which is geared towards casual fashion. Meanwhile, Asics footwear is built more for sports performance rather than lifestyle wear.

  The Asics Gel Kayano series

Now an iconic series, the Asics Gel Kayano line from Asics began in 1993 with the Kayano Trainer. It was named after designer Toshikazu Kayano and was marketed as a serious high-mileage running shoe. It had skeletal Tiger stripes for support, along with visible THETA Gel on the heel and P-Gel on the forefoot.

The upper was made up of mesh material with Coolmax, along with some suede reinforcement. Two years later, the second iteration in the line was dropped, named simply the Asics Gel Kayano (TN500), which retained much of the first shoe’s style.

It was only in 2001, eight years after the launch of the first model, did Asics designate current Kayano shoes with a number, starting with that year’s Asics Gel Kayano 7.

  The Asics Gel Kayano 5

In 1999, the Asics Gel Kayano V was released. It was very similar to the fourth Kayano edition in terms of style. However, it toned some details down a bit, such as making the side stripe smaller and adding a tonal Gel logo located on the midsole.

Now, the vintage silhouette has finally made its return in the Asics Gel Kayano V OG shoes. This re-release maintains the iconic details of the original. Its legendary comfort is also retained, enhanced with an even more lightweight built. Classic 90’s aesthetic is represented by the bulky silhouette and the multiple overlays.

This reissue is for people looking for a classic pair of running-inspired Asics sneakers, as well as for those who enjoyed wearing the original model back in the 1990s. With a street-ready appeal, these shoes make the wearer ready to go. 

Additional Info

  • This shoe uses the original TRUSSTIC technology. It reinforces the region around the sole's middle, thereby supporting lateral movements and preventing the sneaker from twisting.
  • The Asics Gel Kayano 5 OG’s release date was on November 17, 2018.

Facts / Specs

Style: Dad, Retro, Chunky
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: Asics Gel, Asics Gel Kayano
Closure: Laces
Designed by: Toshikazu Kayano
Material: Leather, Mesh, Rubber Sole, EVA / Fabric

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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.