Lately, I’ve been ruminating on the idea that certain brands have signature collaborators in this era of hyped sneakers. Nike with Social Status/A Ma Maniére, New Balance with Bodega. And I think it’s fair to say that for Asics it’s Kith. And that comes through in a big way with the brand’s upcoming Gel-Lyte III collab with Kith and Marvel’s X-Men, set to drop on July 28 at 11 a.m. ET.
The ASICS GEL-Lyte III "X-Men" collection by Kith releases on Friday, July 28th ️— Sneaker News (@SneakerNews) July 25, 2023
Which is your favorite pair? pic.twitter.com/DnBnH9vMmO
Kith is a noted streetwear boutique in New York founded in 2011 by Ronnie Fieg. The brand has since expanded to eight brick-and-mortar locations and is one of the most well-known streetwear brands and boutiques in the world. As noted in the excellent Complex Sneaker of the Year book published in 2020, Fieg told the Complex Sneakers Podcast that he has such an affinity for the Gel-Lyte III because as a kid his mom bought him the model instead of the more expensive Reebok Pumps and he had to wear them until they fell apart.
The Gel-Lyte III debuted in 1990 and is most well-known for its unconventional split tongue that the brand says on its website was originally inspired by the GEL-LD RACER shoe. The shoe also features the brand’s Gel technology in the heel, as at the time every brand was looking for its version of Nike Air.
This release is noteworthy as it celebrates the X-Men’s 60th anniversary and draws on the art of collecting. Fieg went into this notion in greater detail in a video on the Kith website, noting that one of the first things he collected was Marvel trading cards. That greatly influences this drop, as it will be a mystery/blind box drop with several nods to the experience of opening a pack of trading cards. From the box turning into something reminiscent of the old boxes trading cards used to be displayed in back in the day, to the shoes coming in a foil bag, if you’ve ever bought a pack of cards before this experience will give you deja vu. Additionally, every pair comes with a reproduction of Upper Deck’s X-Men trading card corresponding to the character whose colorway you have received, with some including an ultra-rare edition that has been PSA graded and comes in a Kith-branded PSA slab, the first time another brand’s logo has appeared on the slabs.
Going back to the notion of the experience of opening up a pack of trading cards, it’s worth keeping in mind that as a mystery/blind box release you won’t know what pair you’re receiving when you purchase (or at least attempt to purchase) this collab. There are seven colorways for six characters — Gambit, Cyclops, Beast, Rogue, Storm and Wolverine, who gets two colors (one for his 1975 look and the other for his 1980 look). All pairs will feature X-Men branding on one side and Fieg’s name on the other where Asics traditionally appears on the Gel-Lyte III. The materials on each pair look excellent and will be different based on what character you receive. Each shoe will also have one insole with the name of its character as well as one with Kith branding plus additional laces. If I had to rank, I would say my rankings of these colorways would go:
- Cyclops (my favorite colorway of the pack)
- Wolverine 1975 (my favorite mutant, like many others I’m sure)
- Storm (the most wearable color of the pack)
- Wolverine 1980 (my least favorite colorway of the pack)
It should be noted that there has already been a quick strike drop last week during San Diego Comic-Con (in fact, I was lucky enough to hit on this drop and am anxiously awaiting my pair) and a raffle also began earlier this week before Friday’s standard online drop.
Marvel | Kith for ASICS for X-Men Remastered GEL-LYTE III.— Kith (@KITH) July 25, 2023
Enter the drawing via the Kith App, open now until 11:59PM EST & 11:59AM CET on 7/27.
The full collection releases globally this Friday. https://t.co/5Rco0IPn8y pic.twitter.com/ZUa3db5C99
Interestingly, it appears as though StockX will have one type of listing for unopened pairs with the trading card included and a different type for each individual pair without the trading card. For me, I would lean toward the unopened pair if I were going to hit the secondary market so as to get the full intended experience, but I imagine that listing will be significantly more expensive. So ultimately, it will be up to you to decide what’s most important if you have to turn to the secondary market after the initial release.
Kith will also have a special capsule celebrating the X-Men, featuring everything from jackets to knits to hoodies to T-shirts to hats.
Marvel | Kith for X-Men – 60th Anniversary Collection.— Kith (@KITH) July 26, 2023
Available Friday at all Kith shops, 11AM EST on https://t.co/846RyI5Wgk, 11AM CET on https://t.co/F6kWt2Y6F1 & the Kith App.https://t.co/gIepMNuKF4 pic.twitter.com/khOcfDRkrc
This is a VERY anticipated release, so if you’re going for a pair or any of the other items in the collection, best of luck!
Kith x X-Men x Asics Gel-Lyte III Release Details
|Sneaker||Release Date||Retail Price|
|Sneaker||Release Date||Retail Price|
|Kith x Marvel X-Men x Asics GEL-LYTE III||July 28||$195|
To see more of this month’s releases, check out our release date calendar.