Kiko Kostadinov is unstoppable, dropping banger sneaker after banger sneaker as part of his studio’s ongoing partnership ASICS. Kostadinov’s latest ASICS shoe, however, steps away from tradition, kinda.
Past Kiko Kostadinov Studio ASICS sneakers have reflected the high-spec dreams of Kostadinov and his team, who eschew conventional fashion whims in favor of next-gen running sneakers reliably technical and comfortable.
The ASICS Jogger X81 is a little different. Like most of the other shoes overseen by Kostadinov, it doesn’t directly mention the British designer or his studio in the English marketing copy.
In Asia, where the shoes are launching on July 7 (a couple months after the American market), they’re inexplicably denoted as part of the “Kiko Curation” series, though.
Dover Street Market Singapore and the Japanese ASICS outlets retain the “Kiko Curation” text while the American ASICS’ web store, where the Jogger X81 retails for $100, eschew the descriptor.
It’s an interesting distinction but one that ultimately doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, you’ve got a retro runner covered in Kostadinov’s archival fingerprints.
Inspired by classic ASICS jogging shoes — hence the name — the Jogger X81 utilizes eco-conscious recycled paper (!), low-impact polyester, and synthetic leather for its Tiger Arrow-inspired upper and the hole-y cushioning, which ASICS asserts was inspired by the GN-11 ULTIMATE.
Specifically, Kostadinov and co. updated the padding with large external holes that taper inwards, which reportedly makes the shoe more stable, with ASICS Caldera outsole in place to keep soil and dirt out of the tread. Like all of the other ASICS footwear overseen by Kostadinov, the Jogger X81 is a fully functional running shoe that just so happens to be envisioned by a fashion designer.
The Jogger X81 is reportedly only the first Fall/Winter 2022 sneaker silhouette to come from Kostadinov and ASICS and will be fleshed out in the future with more colorways.
Despite its old-school facade, this ain’t your grandpa’s running shoe.