Beams and Asics’s latest sneaker may be the answer to one of the peskiest of all outdoor obstacles of all: mosquito bites on your ankles. Officially known as the Bespoke Gel-Kayano 14 Gore-Tex, the sneaker is packed with features that will protect you against the elements and nature’s most annoying foes.
Protect your ankles — Although high socks and thick pants could potentially offer enough protection from bites, that much coverage isn’t always an option during the damp summer months. It’s unclear just how much the nets will defer the insects, considering their proboscis can bite through certain materials. Nonetheless, zippers, stud fasteners, and pull-tab closures secure the black mosquito net from the toe box all the way above the wearer’s ankle. The sneaker’s name itself is even a playful pun that bridges the Japanese words for “mosquito” (“Kaya” [蚊帳]) and “no” (の).
You can wear the sneaker pretty comfortably without the net too, a helpful feature considering the shoes will release post-mosquito season. The Gel-Kayano 14 still stands on its own as an attractive chunky sneaker. Black dresses the synthetic leather upper almost in its entirety, save for a bright red pull tab on the forefoot strap. Gore-Tex material provides a layer of waterproof protection and mesh peeks through the overlays for breathability.
Down below, the sneaker sits on a lifted, aged-looking sole and finishes off with a black outsole. Gel tech in the midsole provides shock-absorbing capabilities and the upper zipper adds an unfinished look should you choose to eighty-six the mosquito net. Branding is kept to a minimum with the Gore-Tex indicator near the toe, “Gel” embossed into the heel, the Asics logo on the tongue, and a co-branded insole.
When it comes to wild, technical outdoor gear, Beams and Asics always try to keep people on their toes. The two have no shortage of collabs under their belt, including a souvenir jacket-inspired Gel-Lyte III, and also specialize in some great independent productions. The Gel-Kayano 14 is just the latest footwear contribution with functionality packed in, as others have experimented with pouches, break-apart capabilities, and more.
Make it yours — The Bespoke Gel-Kayano 14 Gore-Tex will drop sometime in October via Beams’s website with a price tag of about $230 — but you’ll need the help of a proxy to secure it. You also don’t need to live in the tropics to realize these may be just what your sneaker collection needs. Your ankles will surely thank you.