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Influenced Sneaker Roundup: Part One

REVIEWInfluenced Loves The Gel Lyte III

We have been discussing launching a sneaker section to our blog/podcast for some time and we have now finally got around to it. I have decided to start the segment by discussing my favourite silhouette of all time Asics Gel Lyte III. This is without doubt the comfiest trainer I have ever owned and I am still adding to a pretty decent collection on them.

As described by Asics “The GEL-LYTE™ III is an undeniable icon in the sneaker world. Designed 30 years ago by ASICS designer Shigeyuki Mitsui, it’s signature split-tongue design revolutionised the concept of fit and comfort in the realm of running shoes.  Three decades later the flagship running shoe still continues to spark curiosity & excitement.”

This is a statement I dare anybody to disagree with, “I designed these shoes 30 years ago hoping to create something fun and exciting to wear. This is still true today.” —Designer Shigeyuki Mitsui.

This is a multifaceted sneaker which can by styled is so many ways as well as being practical to wear in certain sporting activities. There are some serious designers who have taken the show to another level such as Ronnie Feig (Kith), Sean Wotherspoon, 24 Kilates, END, Collette, Hanon, Afew and SlamJam to name a few.

So here Sneaker Ben and I are going to each give you out top 5 Asics Gel Lyte III

Mark – Mr Influenced Podcast

In no order these are my top 5. Please note that I’m sure we’d both agree that Ronnie Feig / KITH have produced some of the most iconic Gel Lyte III available however they are so difficult to obtain in the UK we haven’t added to our lists.

1. Colette Dotty – 25th Anniversary shoe release June 2015 Limited to just 2,000 pairs I am lucky to own these. The pattern, colourway and exceptional sneaker design make these one of my faves as they are so bold.

2. Maldives – These are a standard colourway released by Asics so they are not rare or limited however I love the contrast between the soft light grey and the almost aquatic blue, they are soft in colour and feel, perfect for the spring/ summer vibe.

3. Hanon Wildcats – Released October 2011 the Aberdeen sneaker store is one I regularly buy from online although I have never visited the store in person. The colourway screams US high school sports, varsity jackets and cheer leaders. These are quite rare and due to this resale value is very high breaking the £1,000 mark.

4. Colette X LA MJC – Originally release in December 2008 these are one of my holy grails of Gel Lyte III. Michael Dupouy of La MJC fame is a modern-day renaissance man. He’s covered the best of street culture every year since 2006 with his ALL GONE books. He works closely with Paris-based Club 75 for special releases and pop-ups. And now he’s re-releasing the classic GEL-Lyte III that he first teamed up with ASICS for in 2008. Originally released in a run of only 100 pairs, the special La MJC sneakers featured a retro mix of materials and colours — nodding to the running shoes of the late ’90s — and turned the heads of sneaker lovers the world over with their bold burgundy, mint, and pink detailing. Ten years after their original release, the special GEL-Lyte IIIs are came back with all the famous detailing from the first release — plus a few special additions. Made entirely in Japan, the premium kicks arrived with three sets of laces and two interchangeable insoles. They also come packaged in a giant tote bag with a backpack, a cap, and a pair of socks.

5. END x Wasabi – Released March 2018. I feel like I am forever entering raffles via END and this is one of those sneakers I just did not get. The Wasabi offers a bold tone and as with most END design the material quality and structure is very high. The subtle dark with pink highlights triggers the whole shoe off.

SNEAKER BEN – Our Resident Expert

I have a vast array of this silhouette, too many to count. Easy to style by colour coding, making a statement shoe out of or reinventing with new contrasting lacing. Here are my top 5. 

1. AFEW KOI – One of the rarest and most desirable Gel Lyte III, AFEW made a statement with this shoe following t up with a sequel in an orange colourway. The original released in 2015 the shoe dropped with a beautiful wooden bento box, a special booklet about the shoe, Afew x Asics chopsticks, co-branded dustbag, and two pairs of extra laces in Wasabi and Soy. The Asics GL3 Afew Koi represents the history of Japan Day and draws from the legendary Koi fish for inspiration.

2.Packer Dirty Buck – Another shoe from 2015 celebrating Gel Lyte III’s 25th Birthday. Celebrating the iconic birthday produced an epic collaboration with Packer shoes. The 'Dirty Buck' colourway appears to have manifolded from the 'dirty buck' coloured, Oxford-style dress shoe that commonly sits on a slightly pink tanned sole. Even though the shoe is styled like the usual 30-year-old yo-pro, this shoe keeps it street with 3M accents towards the toe and Packer branding on the rear.

3. WOEI Cervidae – Released in 2012 to celebrate their 5th Anniversary Rotterdam’s Woei ‘Patta’s et Pret a Porter’ store have teamed up with Japanese trainer manufacturer Asics to rework the iconic the GEL Lyte III.

The sneaker itself is a truly premium affair that takes inspiration from the harsh European Tundra and those who live and thrive there.

4. Patta - The Patta x ASICS GEL-Lyte III is the Dutch brand, Patta’s collaboration with Japanese brand, ASICS, which marked the first time the Patta’s logo is seen in the final project, as well as the comeback of the GEL Lyte III model. Taking inspiration from Amsterdam’s Coat of Arms (black, red, and three Saint Andrew’s Crosses), these kicks come in with an innovative split tongue, suede upper, speckled sole, mismatched inner sole with graphics, and Patta and ASICS branding on the heel, side panel, and sole. This particular collab is a limited edition with only 250 pairs worldwide.

5. Clot SandAnother shoe released in 2015 by Asics Celebrating 25 years of the iconic Gel-Lyte III model. We saw a huge array of premium materials and stand out colourways in this year. This pair – the ASICS X CLOT Gel Lyte III Pack Clay – is one such release which takes on a muted colourway and ultra-premium suede.

Be sure to join us in sharing, celebrating and exploring the Sneakers we love on social media:

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Written by Mark 

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