I saw GEL written on its back side but I don't experience any gel effect. Those dark blue strips which you are seeing in the image are not that dark. They are normal blue but still they look good. over all shoes are good, resemble Onitsuka's GSM shoes. I wish they had similar one red strip on it just like Onitsuka's GSM. I gave them 3 stars because of suede patches, simplicity, classical yet trendy.