18. ASICS Gel Lyte III
The ASICS Gel Lyte III trumped the prior Gel Lyte instalments with that split tongue application. Gel is one of the few technologies that seemed to be more than just a placebo to hike up prices and talk nonsense in advertisements, but on the Lyte III, it really came of age. Now a new breed are hoarding colorways with boosts from Patta and Mr. Fieg, and back in the day, serious runners and NYC-based connoisseurs looking for bragging rights and the perfect Polo and North Face accompaniment were preoccupied with that comfortable fit via the model's bizarre split-tongue, featherweight feel and use of pop color. The Gel Lyte V a couple of years later is strong, but it rode the wave of sock-like neoprene fits of the era rather than offering total originality like this.