How the GEL-Kayano 14 became Asics’ flashiest sneaker

How the GEL-Kayano 14 became Asics’ flashiest sneaker

Resurfacing 12 years after its release in 2008, the Asics GEL-Kayano 14 has exploded in popularity. Here’s why these sneakers are loved by runners, Y2K enthusiasts and dad shoe lovers alike. 

Asics Kayano 14: Its History And Rise To Mainstream Popularity

History behind the GEL-Kayano 14

Released in 2008, the Asics GEL-Kayano 14 was extremely comfortable and ahead of its time in terms of technology, scoring the International Editor’s Choice prize in Runner’s World annual awards. A favorite among runners, many were disappointed when Asics eventually released its successor the GEL-Kayano 15 in 2009.

Constructing an icon

First retro-ed in 2020, the GEL-Kayano 14 is known for featuring running technologies that help to enhance performance while providing support for runners. Asics’ GEL technology in the heel gives runners great shock absorption and enhanced stability. In the middle part of the sole, Asics’ TRUSSTIC technology keeps the sneaker lightweight while maintaining the stability of the shoe. 

The shoes have a busy upper, featuring a mesh base and its distinct panels, which elegantly extend towards the biomorphic outsoles. We can’t forget Asics’ signature tiger stripe insignia, which is often constructed out of reflective silver material, a bold nod to the runners of the early 2000s. 

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A key sneaker in the Kayano line

Apart from its functionality, the Kayano 14 is known for its rich history. It is the first sneaker in the GEL-Kayano line to be created by someone other than its namesake, Toshikazu Kayano. The GEL-Kayano 14 was instead created by Hidenori Yamashita, who is also responsible for relaunching the shoe in 2020. 

Yamashita based the design of the sneaker on the concept of “flash”. As he explains, “‘Flash’ for me references that burst of action where the runner lands at the heel and pushes away at the toes. Whether it’s the color, the lines, the materials, the silhouette or the texture, all aspects of the GEL-KAYANO 14 shoe are designed with that idea of ‘flash’ in mind.”

Return of the GEL-Kayano 14 to mainstream popularity

Thankfully, the silhouette was relaunched in 2020. Arriving just as the Y2K trend hit the mainstream, the Gel Kayano 14 offered the retro styling and all-day comfort sneakerheads were looking for. It quickly became the must-have sneaker from Asics. Notable tastemakers like Kith and JJJJound have also contributed to its rise, releasing minimalistic colorways that fit perfectly into the growing aesthetic. 

We have curated some of the best Asics Kayano 14 colorways and collaborations out right now! Scroll to view the full list. 

The Angelo Baque x Gel Kayano 14 'Rebirth of Cool' by Asics.

Angelo Baque x Gel Kayano 14 ‘Rebirth of Cool’
S$373 (US9)

The BEAMS x Gel Kayano 14 GORE-TEX 'Mosquito Net' by Asics.

BEAMS x Gel Kayano 14 GORE-TEX ‘Mosquito Net’
S$312 (US9)

The Kiko Kostadinov x UB1-S Gel Kayano 14 'Classic Red Blue' by Asics.

Kiko Kostadinov x UB1-S Gel Kayano 14 ‘Classic Red Blue’
S$246 (US9)

The Gel Kayano 14 'Pure Silver Red' by Asics.

Gel Kayano 14 ‘Pure Silver Red’
S$266 (US9)

The JJJJound x Gel Kayano 14 'Silver Black' by Asics.

JJJJound x Gel Kayano 14 ‘Silver Black’
S$1,491 (US9)

The Gel Kayano 14 'Silver Cream' by Asics.

Gel Kayano 14 ‘Silver Cream’
S$266 (US9)

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