High heels have always done me dirty. On my prom night, I was strutting my stuff in my over-the-top, cobalt-blue gown, when the unimaginable happened: My heel cracked off and as I recall, flew across the angst-filled room. (I never saw that heel again, but it’s for the best.) I’ve had an aversion to heels and other kinds of uncomfortable footwear ever since—not to mention the blisters and pain that always come with an ill-fitting pair of shoes. That’s why, for me, it’s comfy, practical sneakers for life.
From my beloved canvas Vans to Converse All Stars to Nike Air Force 1s, I’ll take comfort over style any day when it comes to my feet. But there’s one issue: All my sneakers are mostly white duplicates of each other. I have a habit of rebuying the same pair of sneakers when I’m a fan. (In elementary and middle school, I bought Adidas Superstars every single year.) Unfortunately, as an #adult, my sneaker collection still hasn’t evolved very much. My white leather Adidas Superstars upgraded to Stan Smiths—not a big difference, but what can I say? I like familiarity.
I’m also a runner, and I’ve always been intrigued with that “tech man wearing running shoes with jeans” look. It looks comfy and sort of retro, and after doing some research on the ol’ interwebs, I came across a shoe which fed me that precise vibe: the Asics Gel-1130.
This epic shoe hit the market in 2021, so I found it just in time. (Or rather, it found me.) The style is inspired by Asics’ OGs, the Gel-Kayano 14, which feature similar aesthetics to my sleek trainers. The Gel-1130 has a more modern upgrade, though, while also feeding into that retro style with its dad-core profile. Although you could certainly run in these, I don’t—that’s what my beloved Hokas are for—but they’re comfortable enough to get some serious steps in while walking around the city, since its gel-heel technology provides all-day cushioning, stability, and shock absorption.
Asics describes the Gel-1130 as having “a late 2000s runners aesthetic.” That phrase alone got me hooked, and made me desire a nylon tracksuit that makes that swishy sound everytime you walk. I had never owned a pair of Asics, but I’ve always been in love with the timeless design of old school running shoes. I was originally eyeing New Balance’s 530 sneakers, but they’re always impossible for me to snag. Don’t be fooled, though, Asics’ Gel-1130s aren’t any less popular. They’re very much a smoking-hot unisex shoe with a lot of colors and sizes, many of which are sold out on both Amazon and the brand’s website. (I’m glad I copped them while I did, but don’t worry—there are still a bunch left.)
Now to the nitty gritty. These have a 4.7-star average rating on the Asics site and are my self-proclaimed ultimate errand shoe. According to one reviewer, they’re also beloved by Parisians, which increases my adoration for them, since I’m a sucker for European street style. “Fabulous trainers loved by Parisians,” one Asics’ reviewer writes. “Love the color—subdued but flashy. Very young and fresh!”. I love pairing the shoes with a low-profile yet Pinterest-approved fit, or throwing them on to get a bagel while still wearing the clothes I slept in. They’re truly a jack-of-all-trades shoe, just how I like ‘em.
The Asics Gel-1130 is a functional, dashing, and comfortable sneaker, and I’m stoked that I chose it to give my street shoe lineup a touch of throwback zest. It may not be your typical go-to look—and it might give you a touch of dad vibes—but I think it’s honestly the epitome of cool streetwear. Think European, Google, and retro endurance runner, but in one package deal. I’m here for it.
Asics Gel-1130 are available for purchase on Asics’ website.
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