The year 2000 was an interesting one. It was the year that Y2K didn’t happen, Nokia has just released its then highly coveted 3210, boy bands reigned supreme and, no doubt as a result, Von Dutch hats were a thing as was (sadly) embellished denim. It was also the year that ASICS released the GEL-NANDI, a model as conspicuous as the time’s fashion trends, not for its brashness, but for its progressive design and distinguished colorway.
Twenty years later, ASICS is re-releasing the GEL-NANDI OG, an ode to the original but re-invigorated for 2020.
The GEL-NANDI came to be thanks to ASICS’ designer Shigeyuki Mitsui, who wanted to create a shoe specifically for trail runners that could cope with the demands of mixed terrain. At the time, trail running wasn’t the mainstream sport it is now – even marathon running didn’t shoot to popularity until the back half of that decade. For that reason, the shoe that Mitsui created was designed with performance in mind and it featured a technical upper, innovative rugged tooling and traction-maximizing outsole. Nevertheless, its ability to perform was not at the expense of aesthetics. The fluid lines of its layered leather and mesh upper would stand the test of time and, unlike a Nokia 3210 that, if it were brought back, would stand in stark contrast to the sleek devices we are glued to today, the GEL-NANDI slips seamlessly into the current sneaker landscape, as timely now as it was twenty years ago.
For the re-release, ASICS designer Yuuki Okumura has re-invigorated the silhouette with a new midsole and tooling that are as progressive now as the original was in in 2000. Meanwhile, the upper, which resurfaced last November on the GEL-NANDI 360, remains unchanged utilizing the same mixed material pattern as its 2000s predecessor.
On the development of the sneaker, Okumura says, “With trends in performance trail running resurfacing once again, we wanted to bring back one of our pioneering designs from the archive and repurpose it for today’s sneaker and street style consumer with a series of OG and all-new color offerings.”
The glacier grey/peacoat colorway is the first to drop and sees the sneaker channel the early millennium feel with bright orange and navy accents set against a grey mesh base.
The GEL-NANDI OG retails for $130 and is available from June 19 on asics.com, in all ASICS stores, and selected outlets worldwide.