Asics Gel Lyte V History
Despite its many achievements, Asics never stopped its pursuit of perfection. Aiming to provide fitness lovers, regardless of sport, as well as casual walkers with the best footwear and apparel possible, this company unceasingly pushed their limits to meet and exceed the demands and needs of their loyal followers.
As a result of divergent thinking, Asics’ Research and Development team came up with the idea of incorporating Alpha Gel in their shoes. This material, also used in ballpoint pens and rockets, when injected in the EVA midsole, provided the sneaker with superior cushioning.
The famous Gel Technology led to the production of various innovative footwear. The Gel Lyte series houses the most popular shoes that feature this tech. The first model in this line entered the scene in 1987. However, the most enduring entry is arguably the Gel Lyte V. It is hailed, not only for its optimal comfort but also for its intimidating lightweight construction.
Launched in 1993, this model combined its predecessors' innovative tech into a sleek, performance-boosting silhouette. Featuring a P-Gel cushioning at the forefoot and a V-Gel padding around the heel as well as a stability insert and a mono-sock liner to provide 360 degrees of comfort, this proved to be a great addition to the already famous collection.
However, despite its prominence in the market during that time, this disappeared from the spotlight and left its fans craving for more. Fortunately, after 20 years of unending wait, Asics finally re-released the Gel Lyte V in 2013. Soon after, designers, artists and sneaker retailers across the globe connected with the brand to revamp the shoe in various materials and colorways. Some of the most sought after collaborations in the sneaker world used the Gel Lyte V as its platform.
Asics Gel Lyte V colorways, collaborations
The resurfacing of the Asics Gel Lyte V OG colorway in 2013 sparked renewed interest into the 20-year-old silhouette that is now equipped with an updated GEL cushioning material and foot-hugging inner sleeve. The design of the OG Asics Gel Lyte V comes in a combination of white mesh and suede with contrasting Asics black branding detail with hits of green and deep purple.
Keeping up the interest on the retro running shoe, the Asics Gel Lyte V also came up with a “Brasil” colorway that features a green upper with a yellow tongue. Accents of yellow and blue are found at the heel and lining over a white midsole with the design releasing early 2014 in anticipation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil.
Other colorways that also dropped in 2013 include the Asics Gel Lyte V Grey/Purple, Asics Gel Lyte V White/Purple/Teal, Asics Gel Lyte V White/Fiery Red, and Asics Gel Lyte V Off White/Purple colorways.
It was also in 2013 that shoe retailers started collaborating with the Japanese brand to create some memorable iterations of the Asics Gel Lyte V sneaker. First in the line is Kith founder and shoe designer Ronnie Fieg who came out with the Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte V “Volcano” colorway. First look at the design shows an upper that blends shades of red with a beige tongue and branding stripes with a set of dotted rope laces.
Another sneaker shop Extra Butter from Long Island, New York also collaborated on Gel Lyte V iteration together with other shoe models from the brand. The result of the collaboration is the Extra Butter x Asics Gel Lyte V “Snake charmer” comprising a premium saddle brown leather and black suede upper with a purple paisley neoprene inner lining, and a glossy black snakeskin brand logo.
In 2014, the collaborations continued with the Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte V “Cove” with a Miami Beach-inspired blue tonal colorway. Another variant is the Ronnie Fieg x Asics Gel Lyte V “Mint Leaf” that shows a tonal upper with a contrasting outsole with mesh portions in the upper for breathability.
Other sneaker retailers also came out with their take on the Asics Gel Lyte V that includes UBIQ x Asics Gel Lyte V “Midnight Bloom” with Philadelphia-based sneaker retailer UBIQ. The design consists of pink paneling at the back and midsole with white at the front and navy nubuck at the heel counter.
One of Boston’s best sneaker shops Bodega also came out with a collaboration on the retro running shoe with a bright purple, yellow, grey, red, and cream colors on the heel panel. The upper also features Gore-Tex all over the sneaker which comes handy especially during the rains of spring all the way to winter. For the Fall/Winter 2014, the Asics Gel Lyte V “Gore-Tex” was also dropped for a winter-ready waterproof sneaker.
The year 2014 seems not enough for Ronnie Fieg who also dropped two more colorways of the Asics Gel Lyte V called the “Rose Gold” and “Sage” colorways. UK’s Offspring sneaker retailer also came up with a design together with Asics and its subsidiary Onitsuka Tiger for the Offspring x Asics x Onitsuka Tiger 2014 Summer "Desert" Pack.
LA’s premium sneaker boutique Undefeated also released the Undefeated x Asics Gel Lyte V “False Flag” for a winter drop. The black leather upper with speckled grey midsole comes with a military orange heel cap with insoles decorated with vintage military zonal maps and coordinates and comes in reflective woven laces.
Several other sneaker shops and brands also collaborated on the Gel Lyte V that includes Highs and Lows, Diamond Supply and Co., Whiz Limited, Commonwealth, Mita Sneakers, Naked, SBTC and Kicks Labs, and Saint Alfred.
The years 2016 to 2018 also ushered new collaborations with United Arrows & Sons, Offspring, Colette, Size?, Limited Edt, as well as other regular collaborators like Kith, Concepts, Sneakersnstuff among other brands making the Asics Gel Lyte V sneaker as among the most collaborated shoes of the Japanese footwear brand.