The sneaker world is rife with collaborative relationships, but perhaps the most impactful of these is the collaboration between ASICS and Ronnie Fieg, and KITH. Initial collaboration efforts by Fieg gave us the GEL-LYTE III line, which marked a significant shift in the world of sneakers and a new era for footwear partnerships and limited editions. Now, as part of the popular “KXTH" collection and in celebration of KITH’s first ten years in business, KITH and ASICS have graced shelves everywhere with a new sneaker. Let’s take a closer look at the Asics GEL-LYTE V "Salmon Toe."
KITH x ASICS Collaborations
KITH’s relationship with ASICS is arguably its most popular and impactful. The collaboration was born in 2007 when the brands released three GEL-Lyte IIIs featuring bold patents, metallic, and pastels. Thanks to this line, the color-blocking aesthetic permeated the sneaker world, evolving over the years to become more refined and form a visual identity for KITH. The KITH x ASICS collaboration has executed countless drops, but their Holy Grail remains the "Salmon Toe" and "Leatherback." Since both of the colorways have a wide and dedicated fan base, it only makes sense that the brands produced both versions for the GEL-Lyte V edition. The GEL-Lyte V release is Fieg's first V model since 2015, and it features all the fresh materials and classic elements for which the brand is famous. In fact, you do not really need to be introduced to the sneakers to know what they are – they display the majestic color clocking aesthetic of past shoes from the line. The only change – included to mark KITH's 10-year milestone – is the KXTH logo debossed at the heel. Over the years, fans of Fieg and ASICS have received the “Salmon Toe” positively. This most recent release is a nod to the brands’ past and future work. It came just a week before Fieg received the 2021 Person of the Year award at the FNAAs for his talent and ‘bold business acumen.’
Overview and Design
KITH celebrated its 10th anniversary in November 2021 in several iconic ways, including unveiling a collection book. As part of the celebration, Ronnie Fieg also announced two new collaborations for the KITH x Asics Gel-Lyte V line. One of the sneakers in this line is the KITH x ASICS Gel Lyte V “Salmon Toe.” Fieg first made information about the Salmon Toe available through a Zoom Panel he hosted in November 2021. Fieg sent out a Twitter post inviting current owners of the Asics Gel Lyte 3 "Leather Back," 'Salmon Toe," or "Salmon Toe 2.0" to share pictures of the shoe alongside their email and today's date. Per the post, KITH would then email participants the link to join a Zoom panel where they would get a special gift from the sneaker guru. The upper on the KITH x ASICS Gel Lyte V "Salmon Toe'' is made of pigskin suede and contrasts perfectly with the shite synthetic leather stripes on the side and perforated toe box. The color scheme is predominantly navy and pink, with each tongue featuring alternating Fieg and ASICS branding. Additionally, the sneaker makers embossed 'KXTH' on the heel overlay and incorporated a white EVA midsole in the heel for extra Gel cushioning.
Production and Release
KITH confirmed that it would be releasing two KITH x ASICS Gel-Lyte Vs on Black Friday last year, which landed on November 26, 2021. The line included two iconic colorways, the "Leather Back" and "Salmon Toe," and was made available at KITH.com from 11 AM ET. For $165 a pair, customers can also get either sneaker at KITH stores. Instead of elevating Fieg’s famous Gel-Lyte III, KITH and ASICS decided to design the more refined Gel-Lyte Vs. Dropping a day after Thanksgiving, the sneakers featured a familiar colorway in a new model. KITH launched the "Leather Back" and "Salmon Toe" colorways when it established its first Manhattan and Brooklyn boutiques years ago. Although the "Leather Back" has a beautiful design, the "Salmon Toe" has always stolen more hearts with its iconic color-blocking grace. It is one of the best colorways Fieg has ever produced and has stood the test of time to become the brand's signature identity. Overall, it is difficult to pinpoint why the “Salmon Toe'' V is a more beloved colorway – it goes beyond nostalgia. Maybe it is the shade of blue that precedes the toebox, offering a somewhat contrasted but understated blend with the pinkish toebox. All we can say is that KITH and ASICS have outdone themselves yet again.
The KITH x Asics Gel-Lyte V “Salmon Toe '' and “Leather Back” colorways were originally released as Gel-Lyte IIIs over 10 years ago through the Manhattan and Brooklyn stores. In their latest effort, KITH and ASICA have fitted the “Salmon Toe'' with pigskin suede uppers in line with their color blocking signature. The sneaker also comes with “KXTH” branding on the heel and sockliner as a nod to the brand’s anniversary. Additionally, the “Salmon Toe” is adorned with ASICS and Fieg branding on the tongues in an alternating design. Each shoe from this line, including the KITH x Asics Gel-Lyte V "Leather Back," is packed into a custom box and sold in a KXTH dust bag.
The latest KITH x ASICS Gel Lyte V collaborations were released in November 2021 as a celebration of KITH’s 10th Anniversary. While the shoes maintain many of the elements Fieg and ASICS have come to be known for, they are special because they revisit the iconic “Leather Back” and ‘’Salmon Toe” colorways first seen in the Gel Lyte III. The colorways are more refined, and the branding even more clever. The embossing on the tongue is also a great addition. You can buy the KITH x Asics GEL-LYTE V "Salmon Toe" at KITH stores and KITH.com for $165 a pair.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith