My first impression of the “Kenun” was that the shoe was uninspired and lacked the eye catching edges of an NMD or 247. I thought so little of the shoe that I didn’t even drop a story on the site to cover the release. The outsole seemed too “alphaBounce” and the upper with its engineered mesh wasn’t bold; it was just the same old thing.
Mita Sneakers, a Japanese sportswear shop, is infamous for collabs and they have created some of the most coveted kicks in sneaker lore. The Kenun, which is Japanese for the cirrus cloud, needed something fresh to make it stand out. What’s interesting here is that ASICS reverts to a tactic that led to adidas’ early resurgence, digital printed upper. The Mita Kenun is meant to evoke the Megalodon Shark. That concept transfers instantly on first glance at the newly designed Kenun.
“The original ASICS GEL-KENUN was designed to evoke the image of a cirrus cloud, which we call ‘Kenun’ in Japanese” said Mr. Shigeyuki Kunii, mita sneakers’ lead designer and creative director. “But to make a more disruptive statement, I imagined something far away from the sky for my design, diving into the deep sea and taking inspiration from the ancient legend of the Megalodon shark”.
The dark navy color of the GEL-KENUN SHINKAI represents the Megalodon lurking in the deep sea -“SHINKAI” and the tongue and heel tab styled expresses the shark fins. The printed midsole changes color in different lights to mimic the shifting lights that hit the ocean floor. On the insole is an original graphic of a shark’s shadow and teeth, and mita sneakers’ signature chain-link fence design. The forefoot features ASICS’ signature statement stripes adorned with a shark tooth motif.
The release arrives on October 6th on ASICS and October 7th in store at Mita. Will it be a hot item… No, but it is definitely much better than the original drop.