Meet the model-tested sneaker you’ll be seeing everywhere

The ASICS GEL-KAYANO LEGACY is spring’s go-to shoe. Just ask the SUPER mgmt models

With the arrival of spring promising more tempestuous weather on top of the 200+ days of rain we’ve already seen in 2023, it’s never been a better time for a practical shoe audit. And while winter may have trauma bonded you to your socks-and-shearling sandals, the latest release from ASICS is making a case for the return of the dad sneaker.

A metallic-toned, Mondrian-inspired reinvention of its classic GEL-KAYANO which celebrates its 30th birthday this year, the new GEL-KAYANO LEGACY is proof that life begins at thirty.

Launched in Aotearoa this week, the unisex sneaker is available in two colourways. An homage to the retro shades that the style explored in its early days, the white base version features navy, black and primary coloured accents that make it a perfect match for your vintage college sweater. The second version takes an icy turn with a silver and grey-blue motif – a nod to the steely and spacey designs of the 2000s. 

Not just an aesthetic inspiration, memory lane was fertile ground for the ASICS design team, who took elements from eight specific GEL-KAYANO series (initially whittled down from a group of 30) in designing the technical aspects of the shoe. But don’t think this sneaker is all substance, no style. As experienced by our friends at modelling agency SUPER mgmt, who wore their GEL-KAYANO LEGACYs from show to show at fashion week, this practical-footwear-turned-statement piece lends itself to effortless styling.

Whether you pair yours with workwear for an unironic, ergonomic power walk to the office, style with a blazer and baggy jeans for a scandi-cool dinner look, layer with knee-high socks à la SUPER mgmt’s Isla Cutts in service of a more calf-friendly take on the thigh-high boot trend, or embrace its metallic form and function as nature intended – to hit the treadmill – the GEL-KAYANO LEGACY is your ticket to off-duty spring dressing.

Versatile by design, the man who masterminded the original GEL-KAYANO, Toshikazu Kayano, says it’s exciting how shoe designs “that were originally intended for performance have developed a cross-over into various lifestyle realms.”

And be it the ASICS GEL-KAYANO LEGACY x SUPER mgmt, or dad sneakers and spring dresses, what can we say? We love a crossover moment.

Photography: Katherine Lowe, SUPER mgmt