The ASICS City Icons Pack: 26.2 Miles Of History

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the following cities: Boston, Paris, Barcelona, Tokyo, London, and Stockholm? Is it their rich history? Or their gorgeous scenery? There are many things that tie these amazing cities together and one of these connections is that they all play host to some of the world’s greatest marathons.

ASICS City Icons Pack Featured

ASICS designed six special colorways of their famous GEL-Nimbus 20 that pay homage to both these incredible locales and the thousands upon thousands of runners who accept the challenge of running in these historic marathons.

We got a chance to sit down with ASICS Marketplace Merchandiser Paul Lang to chat about the inspiration behind the ASICS City Icons Pack and why the GEL-Nimbus 20 is the perfect shoe for every aspiring long-distance runner.

Let’s talk about the cities that were chosen for this pack— what went in to the selection process?

“For this collection, we chose global cities that have a deep marathon tradition; locations where runners find themselves surrounded by beautiful architecture, gorgeous parks, and passionate athletes all chasing big goals. The history of Boston, the beauty of Paris, the energy of Barcelona, Tokyo’s electric nights, London’s majesty, and Stockholm’s grace are all captured in unique ways, while the shoes share a design DNA that brings the collection together wonderfully.”

I’ve heard that the shoe colors are based on the official race colors of that city’s marathon. Do the colors take inspiration from the city itself? How so?

Each model uses a base inspired from a major running moment in its respective city. The name of each city is boldly splashed across the side of each shoe to tie the collection together, but with color unique to that city’s story. ASICS is the official footwear sponsor of the Paris, Barcelona, and Stockholm Marathons, so those shoes actually feature the official race colors of those cities. As an added bonus for those three models, each features a lace loop of the official race logo.”

It looks like each sockliner has callouts of city icons. Can you tell us what is featured for each city?

Each of the models actually has two city icon discoverables:”

  • ASICS City Icons Pack 1
    "On the Boston version, the gold domed state house of Massachusetts appears on the tongue, while the sockliner is the fascinating Zakim Bridge."
  • ASICS City Icons Pack 2
    "The Paris edition showcases the iconic Eiffel Tower, while the sockliner displays an illuminated dusk scene of the 'City of Light.'"
  • ASICS City Icons Pack 3
    "London features the city’s iconic double decker bus headed right at you on the sockliner, and if you look at the tongue, you’ll get a glimpse of Big Ben towering over the city!"
  • ASICS City Icons Pack 4
    "Barcelona’s model hosts the famously unfinished Sagrada Familia Church on its tongue, while the sockliner brings the city’s energetic mosaic tiles to life."
  • ASICS City Icons Pack 5
    "The Stockholm model offers the official Marathon logo on the sockliner of the shoe and if you were to travel to the Kaknästornet Tower, pictured on the tongue, you would be treated to the best view of all of Stockholm.”
  • ASICS City Icons Pack 6
    "Tokyo’s sockliner focuses on the bright city lights at night and the tongue proudly displays Tokyo Tower, the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower."

Let’s talk about the GEL-Nimbus. Why is it the perfect marathon shoe? And why was it the perfect shoe to release a special pack like this for?

“History! This is the 20th edition of the Gel-Nimbus, the most cushioned running shoe in the ASICS offering, and runners have trusted our GEL cushion to cross the finish line at countless marathons around the globe. The Gel-Nimbus 20 will help protect on the longest training runs and all the way through the finish line on those victorious race days.”  

Can we expect more releases like this next year? Are there any other cities that you’d like to make a special colorway for in the future?

At ASICS, we love the opportunity to share a little extra design love for our runner’s favorite shoes and cities. In fall of 2018, you’ll see an exciting New York City edition of our flagship stability model, the GEL-Kayano 25, and in the spring of 2019 there’s a REALLY special City Icon shoe being worked on to celebrate historic Boston, the home of ASICS’ new product innovation lab.”


The ASICS City Icons Pack is available in Men’s and Women’s sizes now at eastbay.com.

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