Sneaker News Top 30 of 2012
22 | ASICS GEL SAGA II
“Asics Gel Saga” is both a proper name for a shoe and an accurate way of referring to the rise of the performance standout’s recent emergence in the eyes of sneaker connoisseurs. New York’s Ronnie Fieg has contributed quite a bit to both. In fact, one could convincingly argue that Fieg and some other recent collaborators’ work with the Onitsuka Tiger brand has paved the way for eager consumer demand for a wider range of classic models that now includes the early 90′s Asics Gel Saga II. While the Gel Lyte III has long been the darling of the Asics Gel classic lineup, the Saga II has been quietly building some nice momentum. 2011 saw the return of the quintessential black/purple OG colorway, followed by a big end-of-year splash made by Kith’s ‘Mazarine Blue’ edition and Patta’s Amsterdam-inspired collab, giving us a nice prelude to this year’s proper comeback campaign.
It started in January when Asics resurrected a couple more original colorways including the expressive ‘Pirate Black’ and a lightened up version of the white/royal/orange classic. It was a fitting start with plenty of other friends set to join in the fray, starting in spring when
the wine lovers at Barcelona’s 24 Kilates came through with a Feria de Abril theme and limited numbers of a special colorway inspired by the Tio Pepe wine bottle. PYS’ Bait got in on the Olympic theme with the ‘Black Ring’ version in August and Foot Patrol added to the 2012 offerings with a golden gumsole drop in September.
Kith’s release of the majestic ‘Neptune’ installment proved to be the most sought after of them all, first in an aaand-it’s-gone July Kithstrike and then a proper release in August. The premium nubuck construction in steely tones with just a hint of lavender had a similar vibe to Fieg’s ‘Steel Blue’ for New Balance with a little bit of the famed “Cove” GL3 mixed in for good measure. The Gel Saga II’s tale is still being written with new colorways on tap for 2013, it appears to have solidified a spot in the ongoing release rotation, both inline and through more upcoming collaborative efforts. Whether they’ll ever catch up to the mainstay Gel Lyte III or other classic staples like the Gel Lyte Speed and GT-II remains to be seen, but the warm reception thus far suggests good things to come for fans of the resurgent Gel Saga II model.