ASICS has been causing a major stir over the last 12 months thanks to a slew of impactful releases including last year’s timely relaunch of the GEL-KAYANO 5. Now, the Japanese sportswear giant is continuing on its tear with the re-release of another archive favorite, the GEL-KINSEI.
First released in 2006, the GEL-KINSEI was one of the most technical running shoes on the market at the time and was instantly hailed as revolutionary. Its designer Hisanori Fujita was heavily inspired by samurai armor and wanted the sneaker to replicate the way in which it protects the body while still allowing it to move freely. This influence fed into its overall construction – the angle of the sneaker’s heel mirrors the angle of a samurai’s katana swords – as well as aesthetic details such the silver colorway of the OG that recalls a shining suit of armor.
What made the GEL-KINSEI so groundbreaking was its exceptional technical design. The upper boasted a biomorphic fit and the sole unit combined ASICS’ trademark Impact Guidance System with its weight-reducing Trusstic System technology. The latter has been integrated into countless ASICS’ sneakers since, but the GEL-KINSEI marked its debut. Placed under the arch of the shoe, the Trusstic System reduces its overall weight and extends the life of the sole unit, which is a critical consideration for a high mileage runner.
The most innovative element of the sneaker’s construction though is found in its heel. Three sections of exposed GEL technology in the rearfoot were designed to serve two main functions. Firstly, to cushion the foot upon impact and secondly, to stabilize the foot as it transitions from heel to toe. It is now the sneaker’s most visually identifying element, making it easy to spot on foot and on the shelf.
Relaunching today in its OG colorway, the 2019 re-release of the GEl-KINSEI stays true to its former design, featuring the technologies that made it such a pioneer in the first place and a bold techno-modernist early-millennium look. Over a decade on from its first release, the GEL–KINSEI brings back everything we loved about the OG for summer 2019.
The GEL-KINSEI drops worldwide today in glacier grey for €190/$180. Cop them now at ASICS stores, select sneaker retailers, and ASICS.com.
- Photographer: Marcus Gaab