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GENESIS OF GEL™: ASICS Sportstyle Celebrates The 35th Anniversary of The GT-II™

A landmark in ASICS innovation and GEL™ technology, the 1986 ASICS GT-II™ returns for 2021 as a faithful recreation of the original model.

The 2021 GT-II™ is an homage to the original performance runner from 1986. The first globally available ASICS model to feature GEL™ technology, the GT-II™ takes its name from the grand tourer (gran turismo) sports cars, capable of high speed and long-distance driving.


ASICS Sportstyle is celebrating the 35th birthday of the GT-II™ with a reintroduction of the model’s original colorway in “White/Monaco Blue,” as well as an additional anniversary colorway in “Glacier Gray/ASICS Blue.” The 2021 version also features several sections of the upper being composed of recycled materials, which includes mesh and synthetic suede.

GEL™ technology also appeared in a Japanese-exclusive model, the Freaks α. The GT-II™ was introduced as the first globally available model to feature ASICS GEL™ cushioning technology.

The ASICS Sportstyle GT-II™ “White Monaco Blue” and Glacier Gray/ASICS Blue” are now available on

ASICS GT-II™ Q&A: ASICS Footwear Developer, Kazuki Toba 

Why is the GT-II™ an important shoe for ASICS innovation?

The GT-II™ is very closely tied with ASICS’ GEL™ technology. At first, GEL™ technology itself was used as a shock-absorption material in space shuttles. Then, an ASICS employee wondered if GEL could be used for footwear design. This was the start of ASICS GEL™ technology.

GT-II™ was the first global model to adopt GEL™ technology together with the model sold in Japan called Freaks α. At that time, the GT-II™ was developed as an overseas model, and the Freaks α was developed as a domestic model, and was sold separately in 1986.

What is the significance of the colorways?

We brought back the colorway “White/Monaco Blue” colorway of the original GT-II™ from 1986.

Then, the second “Glacier Gray/ASICS Blue” colorway is a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the GT-II™.

Where does the name GT-II™ come from?

The name refers to the naming convention of grand tourer (gran turismo) sports cars, which are capable of high speed and long-distance driving. These are the same principles behind the GT-II™, which is a shoe meant for long-distance running.

What are the differences between the 1986 GT-II™ and the 2021 version?

The 2021 GT-II™ is an homage to the original version from 1986. We went to great lengths to ensure this 2021 version is nearly identical to the original, in terms of shape. The upper shape and the fit are both a faithful recreation of the version from 1986. The new model also uses recycled materials for the upper, making it more sustainable.

My favorite detail of the 2021 version is the cut of the ankle collar. I feel like this is the most beautiful part. When I modified the pattern, I focused on this point.

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