If you had to choose one thing ASICS is known for (and there are many), it would be the Japanese brand’s proprietary GEL cushioning technology. The first GEL-based running shoes were released in 1986, when ASICS presented the GT-2 and the FREAKS, both of which featured Alpha Gel cushioning in their tooling. Fast-forward to 2019 and GEL is still one of the best cushioning systems around, so much so that both casual lifestyle and high performance ASICS shoes feature the tech.
Now, ASICS is bringing back the ASICS GEL-1090 and presents the GEL-NANDI 360, both of which will be available exclusively via Highsnobiety Shop on November 6. Find out more about each model below ahead of their exclusive release.
The ASICS GEL-1090 was first released in 2004 as an alternative to the premium KAYANO running line, one that continues to this day and has also seen a retro in the form of the GEL-KAYANO 5 OG. As with many performance sneakers, the design team that worked on the GEL-1090 pulled inspiration from an unlikely source: motorsports. The no-frills upper recalls the streamlined and aerodynamic form of a race car. Breaking up the shoe's performance design is a claw-print graphic on the toebox, as though the shoe was clawed by a ferocious animal.
Featuring GEL technology, the model was no slouch when it came to comfort, something valued both on and off the running track. In addition, its relatively simple design, characterized by the sleek and clean lines on the ASICS branding on the side, as well as the synthetic overlays on the heel and toe box, personified the “less is more” approach to sneaker design. Now, 15 years after being pulled from the market, the ASICS GEL-1090 returns in its original state, offering a retro performance sneaker that doesn’t scream ’90s sportswear. Its understated design and subtle details have withstood the test of time and are a welcome addition to an ever-growing catalogue of retro running sneakers.
ASICS GEL-Nandi 360
With the GEL-Nandi 360, ASICS has produced yet another hybrid sneaker that bridges the gap between modern technology and retro sportswear design. It joins the likes of the ASICS GEL-KAYANO 5 360, which also pairs a QUANTUM GEL sole with a archival upper design, in ASICS’ growing collection of past-meets-future sneakers.
The original GEL-NANDI was a rugged trail-running sneaker that had an exaggerated outsole for better traction and durable upper designed to withstand the elements. ASICS has taken this and added a full-length, QUANTUM GEL sole unit to the rugged upper. The new tooling provides increased cushioning and comfort and is paired with a decidedly retro-looking upper, which doesn’t sacrifice form for function. It features a durable toe overlay as well as a ripstop mesh underlay for added protection. The outsole retains the original version’s trail-readiness by incorporating the lugged design of the QUANTUM 360 5 Trail.
The ASICS GEL-1090 and the GEL-NANDI 360 will be available via Highsnobiety Shop on November 6.
To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, follow @Highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, check our sneaker release date calendar and subscribe to our sneaker chatbot on Facebook to receive lightning quick updates to your inbox.