We spent 7.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

8 reasons to buy

  • Numerous reviewers find these shoes well executed from the time the design was made to the actual release.
  • A few months before the actual release of this collaboration sneaker, the Solebox x Asics Gel Lyte III has already created a lot of buzz and interest because of its futuristic design and colorway.
  • More popularly called the “Blue Carpenter Bee” collaboration, the design is a well thought out design from top to bottom with bee accent detailing and bee graphics in the outsole and insole.
  • A lot of observers took notice of the Solebox branding reflective accents on this Asics Gel Lyte sneaker which boosted the appeal and overall finish of the retro sneaker.
  • A couple of online reviewers find the Electric Blue colorway very presentable and modern that it can easily compete with contemporary designs form other brands.
  • The socklike interior and the signature Gel cushioning system of the low-top sneaker are effective in bringing comfort when wearing the sneaker.
  • Several reviewers say the use of premium materials like suede, nubuck, and the split tongue construction gives the shoe a beautiful combination of design and materials quality.
  • The collaboration design was instantly sold out at Solebox that many of those who wanted to cop a pair bought them at a higher price.

4 reasons not to buy

  • One reviewer says with the steep pricing the low-top design seems “less worth it” considering some tacky use of materials and execution of the entire concept.
  • Another reviewer says the design “could have used some 3M Reflective lace highlights” to give the collaboration design sophistication and class given that it is a Solebox collaboration.
  • For a shoe that is priced at a premium, some were disappointed that the finish of the Solebox x Asics Gel Lyte III is not as polished and high quality than expected.
  • Some say that while the collaboration shoe makes has the makings of a good running kick “it was not worthy enough for them to buy immediately.”

Bottom line

With a creative concept of a Blue Carpenter Bee, which also serves as its colorway, the Solebox x Asics Gel Lyte III collaboration translates the idea seamlessly with the blue split tongue and with a mesh grid on the side that resembles the wings of a bee. Complementing the futuristic colorway are bee graphics of the insole, and translucent sole that many reviewers agree has been the main centerpiece of the design that features premium nubuck and suede that is worth copping despite its slightly steep pricing.


Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collaboration: Solebox
Collection: Asics Gel Lyte
Price: $160
Colorways: Black
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are sneaker fanatics, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

  • First look | Sneaker X9

  • First look | The Camp Out

  • First look | WuWu Man

  • First look | Solebox

  • First look | Lyle Football

Become an expert

The limited edition sneakers that were instantly sold out a few days after its release came out only in men’s sizing starting with US size seven up to 13 in medium width. Women may opt for the design by reducing the men’s size by a full size down. The shoe comes in co-branded laces with two other spare shoelaces to choose.

The Blue Carpenter Bee colorway has sparked interest among the retro sneaker community for its futuristic look and bee-inspired design that is obvious with literal bee graphic accents. Solebox branding highlights are also splattered all over the retro low-top sneaker for a premium finish.

The nubuck upper in Gel Lyte III silhouette is best paired with cropped jeans or a denim jogger. To further elevate the style and give emphasis to the sneaker, wearers may opt to roll their jeans a bit. Style-savvy sneaker fans may also opt for tattered shorts for that street-style look that seems to be a hit among the millennial generation.

The upper composed of microsuede and nubuck in typical Gel Lyte III silhouette is further aesthetically elevated with Carpenter Bee accents and Solebox details. The main highlight of the design remains to be the Gel cushioning system of the Gel Lyte III that provides enhanced cushioning and shock absorption that lasts all day.

Berlin-based shoe boutique Solebox has been running collaborations with various brands for retro sneakers, and Asics Gel Lyte III has been the silhouette given a new European styling. As early as 2012, teasers of the electric blue colorway coming out in the sneaker community pages. However, the Solebox x Asics Gel Lyte III was released only four years later. The design was initially thought to be shelved but was eventually released in 2016 as the Blue Carpenter Bee colorway.

The design is named after an Australian bee which can also be found in Southeast Asia; the Blue Carpenter Bee pays homage to this stingless insect with metallic black uppers in nubuck material. The design also involves an electric blue treatment on the signature split tongue of the Gel Lyte III. The shoe also has bee-design graphics in the insole and transparent part of the outsole.

The German sneaker boutique’s branding comes splattered all over from the laces, the sole, and the reflective back heel. The sneaker’s release date was on May 7, 2016. The anticipation for the sneakers release resulted with many fans of the Gel Lyte III silhouette making online reservations as early as a few weeks before the release. By the time the shoe was released by Solebox, it was quickly sold out with online resellers and collectors selling them at an even higher price a few months later.

  • Solebox branding at the translucent sole, reflective back heel, and shoelaces.
  • Grid-like mesh finish at the side and back panel resembles that of the Blue Carpenter Bee’s wings.
  • Bee graphics at the insole and outsole maintains the entire concept of the design.
  • Split-tongue design in microsuede material for additional comfort.
  • Perforations at the nubuck upper toe box add extra ventilation to the sneaker.