Five years is a long time in the sneaker business. Most shops fail before then. Many people lose interest in sneakers before they even get to that point. But occasionally, someone hustles so relentlessly that the sneaker world actually changes around them. That’s definitely the case with Ronnie Fieg.
He dropped this Navy-Aqua colorway of the ASICS Gel Lyte III back in June of 2010. In the five years that have passed, the sneaker business has grown tremendously and ASICS themselves have also increased their presence exponentially.
Back in 2010, it was rare that you saw ASICS in a sneaker boutique. Now it’s a mainstay. Five years ago, hardly any mall stores carried ASICS retro product. Today, the entire Foot Locker family of brands and retailers like Finish Line, carry a wide assortment of general releases.
You see a lot of people trying to discredit Ronnie Fieg as “hype” or “just a fad” on social media but when you step back and look at things you realize that’s nowhere near the case. The beginning years were filled with colorways that may have failed to reach the hypebeasts and even a lesser-known launch of the Kith clothing line, long before the Manhattan and Brooklyn boutiques were opened. Ronnie’s relentless hustle is what has made him successful and in my opinion, the Navy-Aqua GL3 was the turning point. It was the point that everything that followed turned to gold.
It’s crazy what can happen in five years, but if you ask Ronnie, I’m sure he’d tell you he knew he would make it happen all along. That’s what hustlers do, they make it happen.
Nick Engvall is a sneaker enthusiast with over 15 years of experience in the footwear business. He has written for publications such as Complex, Sole Collector, and Sneaker News, helped companies like Eastbay, Finish Line, Foot Locker, StockX, and Stadium Goods better connect with their consumers, has an addiction to burritos and Sour Patch Kids, and owns way too many shoes for his own good.