No matter how good your favorite pair of running shoes perform, the same old silhouette can get boring after a while. Sometimes, you just want a pair that genuinely looks fresh. That’s why we’re loving the new NikeLab Payaa, a stylish-looking new silhouette that marries innovative aesthetics with technical performance.
At first glance, the pair looks like a brawnier version of the Roshe Run, combining the minimalist upper with even thicker soles and a new lacing system. According to Nike, though, the shoes are actually based on the payaaqek, a native Alaskan boot that “exemplifies simplicity,” making it an ideal inspiration for the similarly simple-focused design.
The NikeLab Payaa has a stretchy one-piece upper that’s made from a combination of mesh and foam, providing a sock-like fit, comfortable wear, and plenty of breathability. It uses a bungee-style lacing system with an integrated lock, which should allow slipping on and taking off in a jiffy, all while making it easy to adjust the fit at any time. That upper is built atop a combined midsole and outsole, which looks a little too thick for a lightweight running shoe. Fortunately, that outsole is actually cored out, reducing the footwear’s overall weight while enhancing its flexibility during your runs. It features a leather insole and a foam collar for added comfort.
Available in six colorways (each one in a minimalist, monotone scheme), the NikeLab Payaa is priced at $100.