Ash AS-Extreme Review
Combining the efforts of an Italian businessman and a prominent French designer, Ash has been dressing the elite for nearly two decades. Their on-trend clothing is extremely popular among the fashion savvy. Including both basic staples and innovative designs, Ash covers all the bases with their cool accessories and clothing. Taking note of the “ugly sneaker” wave, Ash created the Extreme sneaker. This adorable platform option is retro and fun while managing to stay current. Clean aesthetics, supreme construction, and a sturdy sole all help make this athleisure sneaker one worth coveting.
Editor's Pros & Cons
- Very Stable
- Retro 90s Look
- Durable Construction
- Fantastic Traction
- Not Flexible
Sneakers such as the Extreme by Ash are often referred to as “ugly sneakers” but they really aren’t ugly in the traditional sense. This ugly-cute style is an ode to the chunky sneakers of the past that we wore and loved. This has chevron details due to the overlays on the upper. Waves cut across the shoe vertically and make an extremely unique side view. The round toe’s leather overlays look slightly offset from the mesh and materials below it. For the sole, it meets the ground almost fully, with cutouts coming up from it and adding depth to the appearance of the outsole and midsole. Their brand name is on the heel tag and adds to the branding of the shoe in a cute way. Ash is embroidered with an asterisk floating on the "h". The shape of the shoe overall is trapezoidal, with the outsole fanning out and away from the upper. On the bottom of the Extreme by Ash is great traction, but it also has an adorable line of stars to both aid in grip and add a unique spin on the classic outsole. If you love throwback styles, this is one of the cutest ones around. It is reminiscent of the Balenciaga sneaker that debuted but a bit more accessible and different. It puts a new spin on an increasingly popular style right now.
Sneakers are all about what they’re made from. When a sneaker has a fully textile upper that has manmade materials, especially materials that aren’t designed specifically for breathability, it is usually quite uncomfortable to wear. You generally want something that has a blend of mesh and natural materials, much like this Extreme sneaker by Ash. The mesh is perforated and allows for quite a bit of airflow in the sneaker despite it being a synthetic material. The leather is a great natural fabric due to its breathability, and it will serve you well in this sneaker by Ash. Though the tongue and collar rise up a bit from the upper of the shoe, it is generally pretty low rise, which means you will have plenty of room for heat to escape from the shoe, and it won’t be held in at the opening. The lining is textured fabric that helps wick away the moisture within the shoe as well. While this isn’t going to be at an athletic shoe’s level of breathability, it is still quite nice to wear as an athleisure option.
A mix of retro and futuristic elements, alien-inspired looks have been making a huge comeback recently in media. This Extreme sneaker by Ash has two nearly-iridescent silver looks that are out of this world. Not only is the shiny silver cool to look at, but in the like it shines with a holographic quality, showing off colors beyond just silver. The black and silver option is more of a black and gray, so it is a lot less flashy. The tougher, more masculine shoe could be perfect for those who aren’t into any frills. Personally, the multicolor silver option is an absolute favorite, with bright orange accents and the colorful sheen, it is as interesting as it is unique. For those who love the look of an all-white athleisure sneaker, there is a color palette for them too!
Due to these sneakers bulk, you would expect it to have quite a bit of cushioning. While it does have a cushioned footbed, it relies mostly on the very thick midsole to cushion and comfort your step. With a padded tongue and collar, overall the shoe will feel very soft when enveloping your foot. This Extreme by Ash will have no problem absorbing shock from the ground. Its heel height is two inches, but it has a platform just slightly shorter, providing arch support which will protect your foot from strain and aches and pain. The lacing system loops in a way that won’t pull on any one part of the shoe, causing an uneven fit. It is customizable to your foot, and the high tongue and collar help to extend the comfort without restricting the ankles motion. This shoe is a great and protective athleisure shoe. It will feel great throughout the day during any number of activities. The lining is incredibly soft and won’t rub you or chafe even if wearing low no-show socks or going sockless. For a casual shoe, this Extreme sneaker has phenomenal performance in the comfort department.
Materials are a huge part of a shoe's durability. Ash only uses the best materials for all their gear, whether that be shoes, handbags, or clothing. The upper begins using mesh all over, for great breathability and give in the fabric. Then they accent it with nubuck and leather overlays. One of the reasons to love leather is that it is extremely resilient. It will wear in without cracking or breaking on a shoe like this, and protect the more delicate fabrics from tears or fraying. Shoe lovers know to look for leather overlays and construction in sneakers because their staying power is fantastic compared to synthetic materials. A rubber outsole makes this a built-to-last option from heel to toe. While many athleisure sneakers utilize foam in their outsoles, which is very light but prone to wear relatively quickly, the rubber on the Extreme will hold up to a lot of wear. This Ash could easily be a daily sneaker without compromising its integrity.
With a base this thick, the Extreme sneaker is not very flexible at all. The upper will bend and give with your foot due to its mesh and leather components, but the sole will not budge. Due to this being an athleisure sneaker, this isn’t that big a deal. The flexibility won’t be an issue if you’re wearing this casually, and the lack of flexibility may even improve the way you walk, as your gait or weight bearing won’t affect the shoe very much after you break it in. The lack of flexibility just causes problems with very particular activities. This isn’t a gym shoe or running shoe, so the stiffness of the base shouldn’t interfere with its wear. The upper does have a lot of flex in it, and it will work with your foot at all angles, you just won’t have the full range of motion in terms of how your foot flexes. This doesn’t seem to be a huge issue at all for the Extreme sneaker by Ash but if flexibility is a dealbreaker for you then you’ll need to find a lighter, more streamlined option to best fit your preferences.
This Extreme sneaker by Ash has a lot going on. Though the shoe itself is a basic look, the details elevate it to something different entirely. The iridescent silver elements on a couple of the color options are really interesting, and not something you see in a lot of athleisure wear. The sole has some interesting design elements as well. An upper of leather and polyurethane holds up well over time and also will break in to be very comfortable. The thick and chunky outsole has a shape that goes beyond just bulk. There are cuts into it that add texture and interest to the sneaker. Ash uses an extended collar and tongue which switches up the levels you would normally see on a shoe such as this one. The result is a textured and multi-faceted sneaker that has many visual elements. Still, this Extreme sneaker manages to not look too busy nor does it clash. Instead, it just has the kind of appearance that will constantly draw eyes to it and highlight its unique features as opposed to them competing with one another for attention.
While this may look like your run-of-the-mill athleisure sneaker, it is actually quite the designer item. Huge fashion houses have put out sneakers like this one with an old-school aesthetic, at ridiculously high prices. Buying from fashion houses is expensive for a multitude of reasons and with brands that are more recognizable, we often accept the high prices due to the name. Ash isn’t as popular around the world as some of the other trending retro sneakers, but they also are slightly less money than a lot of the big name designers putting the same style out. The problem is, they are still very expensive. Many people can’t really spend what Ash is asking for this athleisure sneaker, unless they have a lot of disposable income, or feel comfortable investing in a shoe. For passionate shoe-wearers, they will be totally pleased to get such a unique sneaker at a price that more affordable than some other imported brands. It is disappointing that these aren’t a totally accessible option for this style, but if you absolutely love the chunky old-school vibe of these athleisure Extremes, then there are other options out there at a much lower price. You may even find that you prefer other brands. The common brand name sneakers all make a similar shoe to this but they tend to be more basic and synthetic. Don’t be discouraged if this Ash style is out of your price range, it will be a breeze to find something similar and get the look at a lower price. It just won’t be the Extreme, and it won’t have all the elements that make it such an interesting pair of shoes.
When we walk, the shock from the impact of our feet against the ground can be quite the strain on our bodies. Every foot strike in a platform sneaker such as this is going to be heel first, so guarding the foot against facing that impact is pertinent. Not only does the rubber outsole have exceptional energy return which will help you avoid fatigue while wearing, but specifically on the heel, there is an area designed to meet the ground first and absorb most of the impact of your step. The two inches of heel put a lot of material between your foot and the ground, which you will notice immediately when you’re wearing them. Padding on the upper further helps to ground each step you take. This shoe truly does protect your ankles and joints from the impact of walking, and because they are so structured, it will bear almost all the brunt of your feet against the ground.
As far as stability goes, you can’t really go wrong with a shoe that is designed like the Ash Extreme sneaker. The shame is truly unique, in that the base of the sole is much wider and longer than the upper itself. The outsole has a much greater surface area than just the perimeter of the upper itself. This balances the shoe naturally because all its weight is concentrated at the bottom of the shoe. For the wearer, this helps to give a good foundation when walking or standing. This shoe will feel sturdy on any surface. The traction on this shoe is awesome with gripping pads on both the heel and toe, making for a very grounded feeling when wearing this sneaker by Ash. The stars on the outsole aren’t just for aesthetics, they also create a grip that goes in every direction so that the Extreme is prepared for any surface it encounters.
Vintage sneakers can be hard to get your hands on in great condition. If you are a sneaker fan, you know that you have to look to brands creating throwback styles to find the 90s shoe styles of your dreams. The Extreme by Ash is just the thing for those looking for a fun ode to that era of footwear. Though the price is high on this Ash athleisure style, if you can afford them they make for an awesome addition to your wardrobe. Not a shoe for athletic endeavors, this is more casual wear and should be considered as such before buying. The alien vibes of the iridescent silver options will have you mooning over the Extreme.