Now a long standing partnership, Nike and Jun Takahashi return once again for another take on his GIRA (Gyakusou International Running Association) line. Once again, the collaboration is a coming together of minds that puts functionality and aesthetics firmly balanced alongside each other to create a striking proposition that you wouldn’t normally get when it comes to active wear.
As well as a host of apparel pieces, the stand out from the collection has to be the ZoomX Vaporfly Next%. Often being let loose on their most advanced technologies, Takahashi brings the famous elite runner and adds his GIRA spin to it creating a visually different silhouette with all the benefits of the standard Vaporfly Next%.
To celebrate the launch, our friends over at ‘Vaporfly World Wide’ got an early look at the collection and offered us their insights to this latest collaboration. We sat down with Arran who heads up their Instagram who tells us more about his love of running and why this latest collection is that good!
The Gyakusou x Nike apparel and ZoomX Vaporfly Next% will be launching online on Friday 9th July (Available online from 08:00AM BST), priced from £45 – £260.
Footpatrol: Hey Arran, thanks for joining us at Footpatrol, how have you been?
Arran Mcaskill: Very very well thank you. A lot of exciting stuff is coming up this summer with the Euros and then the Olympics so there’s plenty of good vibes. Also been training a lot for the Berlin Marathon in September so that’s keeping me busy.
FP: So, you’re one of the cogs over at Vaporfly Worldwide, could you give our audience a bit more information about who you guys are and what it is you do?
AM: Vaporfly Worldwide was originally founded back in 2017 by my friend Jerry, soon after Nike announced the Breaking2 project. The account was originally created towards sneakerheads with Nike’s new ZoomX technology at the time. Gradually, the account shifted into the runners community we have now – which is when I got involved. I now curate our instagram feed and run our website – giving runners all the information they need on upcoming releases for the Vaporfly variations. Now we have started to create a lot of our own content, allowing me to be a lot more creative.
FP: Forgetting the odd injury here and there, this last year, running has been a real saviour to a lot of people and I think we’ve seen a lot more people take it on. What is it about running you enjoy so much?
AM: I entered the London Marathon 2018, and fell in love with running. The feeling you get once you’ve finished a run is unmatchable in my opinion. It gives me a sense of freedom and exerting myself to the fullest within my individual limits. You get out what you put in from running, and I find that very rewarding.
FP: Though it has its many physical gains, we can’t help but ignore the mental health benefits also, is this something you’ve found a benefit also?
AM: 100% agree. For me and so many other runners, it offers so much more than keeping physically fit. When I’m running, I don’t have to talk or listen to anybody else – it gives me that headspace with minimal distractions that I wouldn’t get from anything else.
FP: The real reason we’re here to talk today is because Nike and Undercover Lab have come together once again for their next Gyakusou instalment. What is it to you that makes this collection so special?
AM: As with any Gyakusou collection, it provides functionality alongside aesthetics. Normally with activewear functionality comes first – but with this Gyakusou release they get the balance just right. There are some great new materials that are used in the new apparel and shoes. Such as a new proprietary knit technology used in the new half tights. The colours and graphics are also a modern twist on some of Nike’s iconic graphics from their early days of track and field – I really appreciate these well thought out details. What I also love about this collection is that there has been consideration taken that runners do more than just run. Pockets now giving me the ability to carry more than just keys, so I can enjoy the city of London after my run.
FP: We must admit, we do enjoy the almost secretive nature that comes with the Gyakusou collections, we don’t know what it is but it always has a sense of mystery about it…
We can’t chat and ignore the main piece to this latest collection, the Vaporfly NEXT%. Though visually based more on the first iteration of the NEXT%, there are a lot more changes going on the more you look, how are they to run in? Are there any noticeable differences?
AM: The new Vaporfly NEXT% x Gyaksou has some very cool new updates, with clear iconic Gyakusou branding, but it still feels familiar to run in. It’s very much based on the first iteration of NEXT% with it still having predominantly the Vaporweave upper. There is additional support around the arch of the foot and surrounding the toe box which is a noticeable difference compared to the previous models. I now find myself running in these more for my speed sessions compared to the updated NEXT%2. The lockdown and structure of the shoe just works for me a lot more – although every runner will have their different preferences.
Another obvious change is the lacing system. Despite the laces being thicker and weighing more, with the new eyelet lacing system it now puts less pressure on the top of my feet.
FP: Which colour way will you be choosing most?
AM: I’ve been using the ‘Midnight Spruce’ colour for my training, and I’ll be saving the Red colour for an upcoming race I have.
FP: Massive thank you for joining us, look forward to seeing more from you and the team in the future.