Whilst Nike and Adidas are still raking in the largest profits, the “It” sneaker brand of the last few years has debatably been New Balance. At first, as the cool brand making a comeback for those in the know, to nowadays when it has been reaccepted into popular culture by everyone, it seems like New Balance is on top of the world. But as we look into the future, we wonder how long this trend can last, and when it does pass, who will overtake it to become the new hottest sneaker brand?
Image: Slick Sneakers
Over the last few months, we think it has become clear that the brand that stands the most chance of taking New Balance’s crown of coolness in the next few years is ASICS, and here’s why.
First and foremost, ASICS are the kings of a specific style of shoe, the 2000s runner. Known for its mesh panelling paired with a usually leather frame, this style of sneaker came before the great takeover of plastics and synthetic materials, but as the industry was starting to move away from the traditional bulky leather models of the 90s. Such ASICS 2000’s designs from the Cumulus, Nimbus and Kayano lines are great examples of this style.
But why do we think this shoe is going to see a return to popularity? For a start, it follows nicely on from New Balance’s classic leather and suede looks. As people start to get tired of the 990s and the 992s, ASICS’ Sport style catalogue offers similar shoes that work in the same kind of outfits and for the same overall aesthetic. But crucially, with enough difference to give the consumer something new to get excited about.
Image: Sneaker News
Moreover, last year’s release of the Balenciaga Runner is significant, because the model, whilst relatively successful, was hounded online for ripping off ASICS aesthetic, with many fans claiming the shoes were too close to the Japanese brand’s products for comfort. For ASICS, this was a huge win, as not only is Balenciaga peddling this style of the shoe back into fashion, but the story gave some positive press to ASICS, reminding the public of their products.
Finally, the tipping point that we think will be looked back on as the start of ASICS’ return to popular fashion, was the release of the JJJJound x ASICS Gel-Kayano 14 earlier this year. Selling out instantly and fetching prices over double its retail price, JJJJound was one of the first collaborators to attract buzz around New Balance and their models, and it looks like he may have just done it again. This time, on behalf of ASICS.