The Bape x Asics Gel-1090 is a rarity. It’s a good-looking sneaker that bears iconic design elements but is based on an old-school runner silhouette, making it super comfortable. It makes a strong case as to why you need to consider adding comfortable retro running sneakers that provide great arch support into your rotation, especially if they also look good.
Like most retro runners, the Bape x Asics Gel-1090 has a traditional EVA foam midsole with encapsulated Gel units in the heel and forefoot. When you first put it on, it will not feel as comfortable as most modern runners – you don’t immediately feel the bounce of the midsole. However, this rigidity doesn’t last very long. In our testing, you can easily break in the midsole within an hour or two of walking around and begin to feel the cushioning from EVA foam and the energy return from the encapsulated Gel units.
An added benefit of an EVA midsole is its added durability. Even under intense use, it is very unlikely that the foam would bottom out or break down within a year. Combined with the thick rubber on the outsole, the Bape x Asics Gel-1090 has the necessary construction to be a long-term daily beater – one that will actually turn a few heads.
As with most runners from the ‘90s and 2000s, stability has been a primary focus in most of their designs. As such, the comfort you feel after breaking them in is one without compromises. The stiffness of an EVA midsole would already keep your foot planted with each step, but the addition of the crisscross plates at the midfoot prevents the arch from flexing, enhancing stability. It also provides arch support – a necessity for those with flat or wide feet.
If you have ever worn a modern running shoe for a full day out and ended your day with aching calves or sore ankles, it might be due to their over-cushioned midsoles. Having a retro EVA midsole could help reduce the strain on your legs to keep you stable on varying terrains.
Most importantly, the uppers on retro running sneakers are generally constructed out of materials you are familiar with. This offers a sense of predictability, especially when it comes to sizing and shopping online. The Bape x Asics Gel-1090 specifically comes with a full mesh upper accented by suede overlays and a synthetic lateral vector logo. This combination offers lockdown at key points, decent breathability and a true-to-size fit.
Bape has taken the motorcycle-inspired retro runner and given it a military make-over. The entire midsole has been blackened out while the upper is covered in Bape’s signature military green ABC camo print. Adding a pop of color are the loud hits of orange on the lateral vectors and medial tiger shark motif. Co-branding appears on the heel, insole and tongue tab of the sneaker.
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Though some might find the sneaker’s design incredibly loud, there is no denying that it will draw attention without causing too much discomfort to the user. Plus, the instantly recognizable Bape motifs and logos mean everyone who is in-the-know can easily identify that this is no ordinary Asics retro.
If you are looking for daily kicks that are comfortable, provide arch support and have some hype to them, you cannot go wrong with retro sneakers like the Bape x Asics Gel-1090. Its predictable sizing, traditional construction and stable midsole make it a comfortable fuss-free sneaker with no compromises.
You can cop the Bape x Asics Gel-1090 or any other colorway of the retro runner at Asics.com. They retail for S$139 per pair.