Sneakers are here to stay. Well, they were not ever going away in the first place.
But it seems like the next big trend is trail shoes worn as casualwear. In the same way that dad shoes’ functional aesthetic is so appealing, the minimalistic technical nature of trail runners or hiking shoes has attracted the attention of the young and beautiful. And Nike’s noticed.
Nike has come out guns blazing with a new trail runner-inspired shoe as part of their new ISPA line. Enter the ISPA OverReact Sandal: a shoe that might just be so ugly it’s actually beautiful.
Not quite a sandal, not quite a sneaker, these chunky monkeys are certainly divisive, to say the least. Like anything limited Nike puts out, they’re sure to sell like hotcakes, but not everyone’s on the ISPA hype train: commenters on Instagram coming up with gems like “if throw up was a shoe,” “love the treading in chewing gum look” and “who made these – Robinson Crusoe?”
Nike already has a technical trail running imprint called ACG (All Conditions Gear) but they’ve decided to really push the boat out with ISPA (Improvise, Scavenge, Protect and Adapt). Where ACG is focused on the great outdoors, ISPA is focused on “improving an athlete’s interaction with the built environment.”
The ISPA sneaker is lightweight and durable with an ultra-cushioned midsole for extra comfort. Using data, it is designed to provide cushioning where it is most needed. The fabric between the foot and the midsole has been removed, so you step directly on the React foam, giving you plush cushioning as you walk. The tread pattern throughout the outsole and midsole nods to improvised traction systems that delivers a tough grip for your outdoor adventure. A stripped-down upper reveals intertwined layers that help keep your foot secure when on the move while the heel loop helps you slip the shoe on and off easily.
So, what do you think? Yay or nay?