Who should buy the ASICS Gel Lyte III

Give this kick a shot if:

  • you’re after lightweight sneaks from ASICS
  • you want a shoe you can wear hands-free
  • comfort is your top priority

ASICS Gel Lyte III gel lyte 3

Who should NOT buy it

If you’re looking for equally appealing throwback ASICS running sneakers below $120, check out the ff:

  • Gel Lyte which carries the same DNA as the Gel Lyte III but is priced at $10 less
  • Gel 1090, made with a chunky sole at sub-$100
  • Gel Kayano 14, way cheaper but a bit retro-futuristic

ASICS Gel Lyte III no

ASICS Gel Lyte III plugs in the ‘90s fashion

ASICS Gel Lyte III hasn't gone obsolete even as it crossed over from a running shoe to an everyday beater. It still flaunts flawless layers of suede, leather, and mesh and the ASICS stripes. Runners from the '90s and sneaker enthusiasts who appreciate this kick's old-school style continue to embrace it. 


Comfort you can't trade-off

Gel units injected into its midsole offer optimum comfort. Several reviewers say it's surprisingly plush even when worn for long hours. It stays true to its running heritage by keeping a tri-density foamed midsole that offers good shock absorption and responsiveness balance.

ASICS Gel Lyte III gel

Adjusting to its shape isn't challenging

The shoe needs minimal break-in time, a few reviewers have said.

ASICS Gel Lyte III break in

Slipping in and out hassle-free, hands-free

Getting in and out of this shoe involves minimal effort with its remarkable, well-padded split tongue design. Reviewers thanked Japanese designer Shigeyuki Mitsui as the tongue sticks to the center and doesn’t slip to the sides. As demoed by vloggers, they can also slip this shoe on hands-free, something they find really cool about the Gel Lyte III. 

ASICS Gel Lyte III tongue

It lets the feet breathe

Its mesh underlay, punctured leather strips, and textile lining allow this shoe to breathe that patrons of running-inspired kicks enjoy sporting this day in and out.

ASICS Gel Lyte III breathable

Incredibly light 

Those who admire this shoe talk big about its lightweight build despite the premium detailing.

ASICS Gel Lyte III light

Superb traction

ASICS buyers have no gripe about its grip. They say its rubber outsole with flex grooves delivers reliable traction and flexibility.

ASICS Gel Lyte III traction

It puts life to a boring day

Colorways come in heaps. According to those lovestruck by this style, it’s far from looking and feeling dull. Even the monochromatic selections look plush and classy. Apart from its fascinating colorways, style-savvy sneakerheads love pairing this up with denim, joggers, skinny pants, tracks, shorts, plus a lot more street wardrobes.  

Looking back at the Gel Lyte III beginnings

The ASICS Gel-Lyte III was designed by Shigeyuki Mitsui and was initially released in 1990. It was branded as an ultimate performance running shoe since it was lighter, more pleasing, and performance-driven than many other shoes at that time. It featured the iconic split tongue that replaced the traditional design found in most shoes. In the world of fashion, the split tongue was the main selling point, but for runners, it was the tri-density compression-molded EVA midsole that really stood out.

Unknown to many, Mitsui had to face fierce opposition from Asics's executive ranks, even before the Gel-Lyte III saw the light of day. Like the birth of many innovative and out-of-the-box ideas, the proposed design and aesthetics offended more than a few of Mitsui’s bosses. They feared that this new shoe would compromise ASICS’ concept of performance over style.

Luckily, they eventually came to their senses, and the shoe was approved for construction and release. In hindsight, they could not have figured out that the performance and style of the shoe would eventually make it one of the most sought-after in ASICS’ history.


When the shoe was unveiled, it caused quite a stir in the running community as it radically changed the concept of how a running shoe should look. The Gel-Lyte III immediately pushed the boundaries of lifestyle and performance shoes with its eye-catching colors and unique design.

Coupled with the well-muscled upper construction and the meaty sole, runners were up for a surprise during the shoe’s release. True to Asics' commitment to performance-driven shoes, the Gel-Lyte III ranked as one of the surprising underdogs as a top running shoe in the early part of the 90s mainly because it addressed the needs of runners for more cushioning and support.

ASICS Gel Lyte III 3

Colorways and collaborations

Two years after its first release, the Gel-Lyte III was gone. It made a comeback in the mid-2000s and quickly caught fire in the world of sneakers. Today, because of the new colorways and material combinations, it is considered one of the most popular retro running sneakers offered by ASICS. People can find the ASICS Gel Lyte III in black, white, grey, yellow, and red, among other colorways.

Also, the silhouette of ASICS Gel Lyte III has been used in different collaborative works to create a variety of innovative and revolutionary iterations for the followers, men and women alike. Some of the notable collaborations are:

  • Kicks Lab x ASICS Gel Lyte III “KL-Shinobi – released on March 31, 2018
  • Beams x Afew x ASICS Gel Lyte III “Orange Koi” – released on November 10, 2018
  • Solebox x Atmos x ASICS Gel Lyte III – released on October 13, 2018
  • 24 Kilates x ASICS Gel Lyte III – released on September 29, 2018
  • La MJC x ASICS Gel Lyte III – released on September 8, 2018
  • x ASICS Gel Lyte III – released on March 8, 2018
  • Solebox x The Sun x ASICS Gel Lyte III – released on August 23, 2018
  • Patta x ASICS Gel Lyte III – released on June 9, 2018
  • ASICS Gel Lyte III x Ronnie Fieg “Super Green” – Originally released in 2013 and the 3.1 version was released in 2016

Facts / Specs

Style: Retro, Sporty
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: ASICS Gel Lyte, ASICS Gel
Closure: Laces
Designed by: Shigeyuki Mitsui
Material: Leather, Suede, Mesh, Rubber Sole, Denim / Fabric

Compare popularity Interactive

Compare the popularity of another shoe to ASICS Gel Lyte III:

ASICS Gel Lyte III unboxing and on-feet videos

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.