Review of the ASICS EX89

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Our full review of the EX89 men’s sneaker, one of the best alternatives in the market to the popular Nike Dunks and New Balance 550’s.

Navigate the review of the Asics EX89:

History of ASICS EX89

The EX89 men’s sneaker is the heir to the GEL-EXTREME basketball shoe from 1989. Originally created by Toshikazu Kayano in the late 80’s, the EX89 comes from Asics gel technology which reduces overall force. Gel is cleverly placed towards the back and front of the foot. The rearfoot GEL technology lessens impact from the heel while forefoot GEL technology improves shock absorption with onward motion. The EX89 has upgraded ASICS FF BLAST technology which improves the fit on the heel with added foam. Created for the basketball court, the EX89 is durable enough to wear constantly as an every day casual shoe.

Featured Product:

Size: 10.5

Color: White/Clay Grey

Other ASICS EX89 color ways Options

Width: Standard

What are ASICS EX89 made ofMaterials:

  • Leather upper
  • Padded collar
  • Perforated toe box
  • TPU eyelets
  • TPU heel counter
  • Flat cotton laces
  • Aged foam cream midsole
  • Thick Rubber outsole

ASICS EX89 Pros and Cons fit and sizing details


  • Run true to size
  • Top notch traction
  • Can wear all day
  • Noticeable heel cushioning
  • Comfortable toe box
  • Very light and comfortable tongue that molds to the top of your foot
  • Easy to wipe down and clean
  • The ASICS EX89 are unisex


  • Stiffer than expected. Especially the upper leather
  • Slight creasing
  • Not a shoe to easily slip on or off
  • Tongue can get dirty quickly
  • Does not go well with all types of pants. Baggier or loose fitting the better
  • Chunkier style shoe

ASICS EX89 Material Quality Breakdown

A breakdown of the materials on the ASICS EX89

Back view of the ASICS EX89 showing the midsole
The interior profile of the ASICS EX89
The profile of the ASICS EX89
Asics branding throughout the thick rubber midsole

Leather Upper Quality on the ASICS EX89

The upper on the ASICS EX89 is built with different leather overlays, with the classic Asics branding weaved into both sides of the shoe. The leather isn’t plush or premium and is definitely on the stiff side.

Aesthetically, the leather stripes on side panel has perforated detailing that weaves through the leather overlays. Pair this with the cream outsole and it creates a great throwback look.

There isn’t a lot of give and the leather is prone to creasing. Having said that, the leather is durable and can withstand wear and tear if you decide to make these your primary sneaker for every day use.

The asics logo on the side panel of the ASICS EX89
the leather upper of the Asics EX89

Asics EX89 comfort

The ortholite foam insoles on the ASICS EX89

The EX89 comes with Ortholite foam insoles which compress way less over time. So the cushion and fit won’t change much the more you wear them into the ground.

The terry cloth padded collar on the ASICS EX89
soft padded collar

Hate to use the word cozy when it comes to casual streetwear but the padded collar is very cozy and comfortable with retro looking material. Combination of a terry cloth and cotton feel.

Asics EX89 Comfort – The foam tongue

Adding to the overall comfort of the Asics EX89 is the foam tongue. The tongue is lightweight and has nice interior padding that molds to the top of your foot. The Asics branded patch is a nice touch and goes with the knitted exterior nicely.

The lightweight asics branded mesh tongue on the ASICS EX89
the mesh tongue on the Asics EX89

ASICS EX89 Insole and Midsole Insights – TPU heel counter

Overhead view of the ASICS EX89
The TPU heel counter on the ASICS EX89

The TPU heel counter gives more stability to the heel. The cream color from the aged midsole extends up a bit further. Not sure its needed for streetwear and everyday casual occasions like walks to the office, but the added support is noticeable and its a nice combo with the traction of the outsole.

The asics branding on the back of the ASICS EX89 with the TPU heel counter and sail midsole
Embroidered Asics branding on the heel with the TPU heel counter of the EX89

The Outsole and ASICS EX89 Design Elements

The rubber outsole on the ASICS EX89
the rubber outsole design of the EX89

The creator, Toshikazu Kayano, designed the rubber outsole to mirror the outline of a city from above. The inspiration came from his first visit to America. The design is sweet but the traction is unreal in wet or dry conditions. Ideal grip for city walks or long commutes on your feet.

Perforated ASICS EX89 Toebox

I’ve heard reviews that the toe box needs to be broken in over time but after several wears I didn’t find that to be the case. Felt sturdy but comfortable

The ASICS EX89 perforate toe box

The toe box was wide and roomy enough without being incredibly tight and narrow

ASICS EX89 On Feet worn with Jeans

The ASICS EX89 Shoe on feet worn with jeans in doors
Front view of the ASICS EX89 on feet worn with jeans
The back view of the ASICS EX89 on feet worn with jeans

ASICS EX89 On Feet worn with Khakis

ASICS EX89 On Feet worn with khaki pants indoors
The ASICS EX89 On Feet worn with khaki pants side view
The ASICS EX89 On Feet worn with khaki pants view from the back

Why You Should Buy ASICS EX89 Shoe

  • If you’re looking for a less common retro casual shoe that isn’t a Panda Dunk or New Balance 550
  • If you need a durable sneaker with good traction for long walking commutes or long days on your feet
  • If you need a stylish shoe that can go with any casual setting thats also widely available for purchase

Why You Shouldn’t Buy ASICS EX89 Shoe

  • If you want a slimmer, less chunkier shoe
  • If you want a shoe that has a bit more give and isn’t stiff
  • Not looking for a shoe that has basketball origin or characteristics

ASICS EX89 versatility and styling for everyday use

ASICS EX89 for the Office: Highly recommend. The design and silhouette makes the EX89 a very safe choice for the office and even better for the walk to work. Will go great with khakis, chinos, or jeans.

ASICS EX89 for Casual Outing: Recommend. As mentioned skinnier jeans aren’t a great combo with the EX89 since they’re a bit chunkier so looser pants are better.

ASICS EX89 for lounging: Highly recommend. With the basketball DNA, they’ll go great with sweats, shorts, etc.

Where to buy ASICS EX89 Shoe: Amazon