Today we’re taking a quick look at the ASICS Lyte classic and reviewing its features as a retro inspired sneaker. Despite its retro looks this is a style that was introduced fairly recently by ASICS. As you guessed the brand used the ASICS GEL-Lyte III, one of its flagship retros and came up with a simplified version at a lower price. This new version keeps many of the design characteristics of the iconic model so in terms of style it is very close to it. The biggest difference is the absence of any GEL technology in the midsole. So if you’re an ASICS fan and you’ve been wearing them for years you will not find that cushy feeling in these. The Lyte classic is a modern take on a classic much like the Waffle Debut is for Nike or the Retropy F2 is for adidas

How They Fit

We got on our hands a pair of the ASICS Lyte Classic in black and gray which was a 2022 release. Despite being made of leather they felt very lightweight out of the box and they look very stylish. Once on foot we noticed how narrow the toe box gets in the front which made us wish we went a half size up on these. If not sure about your size you can check out the ASICS size chart here. Even with the right size it looks like some break in may be needed which is usually the case with all leather sneakers. As you put them on you’ll notice that all the plush feeling ASICS are known for is not there. They feel much like a usual classic like the Gazelle or Cortez

ASICS GEL Lyte Classic black gray4

ASICS GEL Lyte Classic black gray3


The ASICS Lyte Classic comes in two versions which either feature mesh with leather overlays or all leather upper. Given that we got the latter type we noticed how nice they are for the cold season when you’re not into wearing your sneakerboots.They do not have any perforations for breathability which is a bit of a drawback when the weather gets a bit warm. There is basic cushioning around the heel area and tongue which provides just that, basic comfort. The shoes feature an Ortholite insole that is removable, a collaboration that we’ve seen a lot with many other retro insoles.  Ortholite insole lasts longer and provides superior comfort than the classic EVA ones. 

Sole Unit 

The sole unit of the ASICS Lyte Classic is made of re-engineered EVA in a very simple setup. For the casual buyer looking for a stylish retro looking shoe this is not an issue as the cushioning is pretty decent given that it’s being used for everyday wear and not so much for athletic activities. For the ASICS fans, however, expecting the cushion and arch support they’ve been experiencing for years this will not do it, it does not come anywhere near the cushy feeling of the ASICS GEL-Lyte III or any of the other shoes featuring the GEL technology. This is something that we’ve noticed from the beginning of our ASICS Lyte Classic review and trying them on more only cemented that initial impression. The removable Ortholite insole adds some cushion . much live we’ve seen at the Quantum 180 and the Venture 9.

ASICS GEL Lyte Classic black gray2

ASICS GEL Lyte Classic black gray1

Bottom Line

To conclude our ASICS Lyte Classic review this is a nice addition to the line of retro inspired shoes on the market. If you’re looking for a low priced everyday shoe this is surely one to consider, especially that you can find it on sale online. It is an excellent shoe for every day shoe but if you need to stand up for hours keep in mind that this shoe provides limited arch support. It is a durable shoe, however, that will last for a long time.