Asics Gel-Kayano and the Awakening of 'Vintage Tech' in Sneakers"

In 2018 Asics presents the Kayano 5 OG, at a time when the sneaker market is establishing itself in the fashion world with a series of "voluminous" silhouettes .


  During the Paris fashion week the major fashion brands (Gucci, Chanel, Prada) paraded with 90s running sneakers, and in the the Gel-Kayano 5 OG stood out in the original colorway white and blue.. At that time the sneaker was not yet available on the market and this obviously created hype about the shoe. The launch was scheduled for the 25th anniversary of the silhouette, in the same 2018 but for the winter collection.

Taking a step back, Toshikazu Kayano was a designer of the Japanese brand, called to design a running shoe after the success of some technical volleyball and basketball models, and for his experience in the United States, not a given in those years, where he saw the multi-functional trainers, for both indoor and outdoor use, on the rise. (Nike Cross Trainer or Reebok for fitness ).


The birth of Gel-Kayano in the early 90s

" Top running shoes ", this was the eloquent slogan that accompanied the shoe, ambitious in design and aesthetics, for fall winter 93'. The goal was to have one of the best training shoes in the world, without thinking about the price at which it would be released onto the market. The price was in fact very high for the times, almost double compared to other models of the brand; in the spring 94' collection it was $149.95.

Toshikazu Kayano had free access to the Asics technical laboratories to develop the technology of the shoe and to the historical archive to develop its aesthetics: the idea that inspired the model was the cockroach , thinking of different cases and materials to "protect" the foot and without these compromising the necessary flexibility and stability.

The first Gel-Kayano was an almost immediate success among runners who became devoted wearers.

Kayano designed the first 13 silhouettes of the series.


Vintage tech & Visible tech:

During the 80s and 90s in the sneaker market there was a battle between brands to achieve the best technology on sports shoes, and that technologies gradually became "visible" like Nike Air or Asics Gel cushioning developed with these aesthetic standards to simplify the perception of the quality of the product to the average consumer. Therefore the concept of vintage tech is closely linked to visiible technology.


Today's trend


2023 was the 30th anniversary of the Gel-Kayano and affirmed the 14 version of the shoe, aesthetically perfect for the fashion and street standards of the moment. Certainly collaborations like Ronnie Fieg, jjjjound in 2022 and Cecilie Bahnsen (who today worked on the GT 2160) have helped create awareness about the silhouette and vintage tech.

Vintage tech trend's, i.e. the running shoe from the 90s or early 2000s along with court ( driven by Adidas ) and soccer shoes , has also been intercepted excellently by other companies with a running "core" : the collaboration that deserves a mention is the one by Saucony with Jae Tips and the new on the Grid Shadow 2, while New Balance has made the 530 a global success for women's sneakers.

Post from our Instagram

The process that began in 2018, although certainly slowed down by the pandemic, definitively ended in 2023, with the consecration of the sports shoe. Asics' focus on visible Gel technology will also include the Quantum-Gel 360 for this spring summer 2024 and subsequent fall winter which will once again be the protagonists in Paris this time for the Olympics. The shape was in fact chosen for the first chapter of the collaboration with CP Company presented again in Paris at the fashion week during the month of January 2024.