Asics Gel Lyte V

Initially released in 1993, the Asics Gel Lyte V was re-introduced 20 years later in bright, new, retro-styled colorways. The Gel Lyte III is its predecessor. There’s no version IV since in Japan four is considered an unlucky number. The updated Asics shoe features some distinct differences from its tongue to its overall design. If you want a casual shoe with retro vibes, the Lyte is a solid pick.

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Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
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Where to Buy
Backcountry Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Available in a myriad of attractive colorways
  • Great cushioning
  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Soft feel underfoot
  • Supportive
  • Cons
    • Not a great choice for running
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the Asics Gel Lyte V is essentially the same as its predecessor. A rubber sole with Flex Grooves provides both traction and durability. Reviewers greatly appreciated the deep outsole grooves and agreed that they really enhanced the ride feel of the shoe.
      The Lyte’s midsole includes the same GEL cushioning as seen in the III. While the GEL material is the same, the feel is slightly different. Reviewers describe the V as feeling softer underfoot, while the III feels firmer. Reviewers found there was a good amount of cushioning in the V, enough to keep feet comfortable for all-day wear. One notable difference from the III is that the V does not feature a plastic heel piece, reviewers felt this was mostly an aesthetic difference, however.

      The upper gets a total redesign with the V. The overall look of the Lyte V is very different from its sister-shoe. The most significant difference is the move from a unique split tongue design (III) to an attached tongue. The V also features added ankle collar padding for a plusher feel around the heel and ankle. The overlays on the V are entirely different, too. In addition, the Asics branding is featured in a different spot.

      Because of the attached tongue design, the upper has a much snugger fit than the III. The V also comes in a variety of versions with different upper materials. Different upper constructions are available at different price points. Some versions available are mesh, suede, and nylon. Inside the Lyte, there’s a quick-dry neoprene lining. In terms of reflectivity, it depends on the colorway you choose. Some offer reflective detailing at the back of the shoe. A few Lyte V colorways are also made with waterproof Goretex material.

      There is no listed weight information available for the Asics Gel Lyte V but from the look and material used, it appears to be of an average weight range.
      This will all depend on which version of the shoe you select. Options range from mesh to waterproof Goretex. Mesh will offer the best ventilation, while Goretex may decrease breathability. The shoe’s neoprene liner, however, ensures that moisture is kept at a minimum inside the shoe. Most reviewers seemed happy with the V’s ability to circulate air.

      As a lifestyle shoe, it’s crucial that the Lyte V be comfortable for all-day wear. Reviewers agreed that the shoe was a good choice for casual activities where long periods of wear were likely. Reviewers liked the lightweight feel of the shoe and really loved the Gel cushioning. A slightly wider fit than the III's makes the V's more accommodating, and the very flexible nature of the outsole makes for a great heel to toe transition.
      While the Lyte colorways are fresh and modern, the overall look is retro and classic. The ‘90s shoe keeps its throwback design but gets a whole slew of new colorways with its latest release. The look is different from its previous edition (the Lyte III) thanks to newly placed overlays, freshly positioned branding, and a bunch of new colors. Reviewers loved the look of the Lyte V and appreciated the vast array of colorways available for purchase.
      The shoe offers an average level of durability compared to other street shoes. For everyday wear, they hold up just fine, according to reviewers. The rubber outsole is sturdy across the board, and each upper design offers its own degree of durability. The mesh upper, for instance, may not feel as tough as the Goretex construction.

      The degree of protection you’ll get from the Lyte V depends on the construction you choose. The mesh style will provide a greater amount of ventilation while the Goretex version will keep snow and water from soaking you to the bone. In each version, however, the Gel cushioning provides a great shock absorbing platform.
      The Gel V’s midsole is slightly softer than the III, so the feel underfoot isn’t as energetic. Reviewers still really liked the plush feel of the V, though.
      Wearers of the Lyte V will receive an average amount of support thanks to a well-structured sock-like upper. For those needing help with over or under pronation, this shoe will not provide enough support but should be good enough for the average runner.
      The Lyte is intended as a streetwear shoe. While some reviewers mentioned that they used the sneaker for running, we wouldn’t recommend them for serious training. These are better kept for casual situations and activities.
      Reviewers felt the Lyte V was well-priced for a street shoe. Compared to other similarly designed shoes, the price seems like a steal. Many reviewers were quick to mention that they owned several versions and colorways of the shoe.
      The rubber outsole seems to work just fine when it comes to grip. Expect a bit of slipping and sliding when dealing with slick surfaces, but otherwise, wearers should get enough traction.
      Deep flex grooves in the outsole make for a very flexible heel to toe transition. The result is a shoe that moves with the user. Reviewers really liked the flexible design of the Lyte.
      Although the V lacks the plastic heel shank of the III, the design is still just as stable and supportive. Reviewers had no complaints in this department and felt the fit of the shoe was snug enough to offer an average amount of stability.
      There’s no mention of drop height anywhere for the Asics Gel Lyte V, but the shoe does have a fairly well-built heel, so don’t expect a zero-drop experience.
      Key Features
      - Update to the Gel Lyte III
      - Rubber outsole with deep flex grooves
      - Asics GEL cushioning (slightly softer than in the III)
      - Attached tongue and foot-hugging fit
      - Available in several upper materials (mesh, nylon, suede, Goretex)
      - Quick-dry neoprene lining
      - Some colorways include reflective detailing

      Bottom Line
      The Gel Lyte V is a good looking casual wear sneaker with a lightweight feel. Available in a variety of upper designs and styles, there’s certainly a version that will suit any individuals particular needs. A true to size fit, attached tongue, and GEL cushioning make the V a super comfy all-day sneaker choice. Its price makes it a steal, too, so it’s easy to buy multiple colorways for your shoe collection.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
      See Deal
      By Steph Coelho
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 24. 2021

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