Dad Fad Fades

Undad shoesTop: Asics X Kiko Kostadinov Gel-Deva 1. Photo Asics. Bottom: Nike Zoom Vomero 5 SP. Photo: Nike

By Ray Zhang

If two of this month’s releases are any indication, chunky sneakers—described as ugly or dad (I don’t know which is worse)—are on the wane.

Asics, together with Kiko Kostadinov, the London-based Bulgarian designer now heading Mackintosh, has released the Gel-Deva 1, a shoe that could be part of the costumes of the Mad Max series. French Vogue may call them dad shoes, but I beg to differ as these are a lot less bulky than, say, Puma’s Thunder Spectra. Mr Kostadinov, now very much followed by discerning sneakerheads, isn’t such an obvious designer. His Gel-Deva series, first seen last season, feature an intricate upper rather than a bulky silhouette. Those who like to tinker with motherboards may find this utterly appealing.

Not to be outdone, Nike has released their own somewhat similar looking shoe (I am not saying they’re copying here). Also with a (partial) stripey upper and a not-so-complicated mid-sole, the Zoom Vomero 5 SP is a shoe made famous by A-Cold-Wall* when the latter released a version with Nike featuring an architectonic heel also described as a “heel sculpture”. I don’t know about you, but I seriously do not like kicks with rear protrusion.

Between the two, it is obvious to me that the emphasis is now not on girth and heft. Sneakers really should’t be part of an obstacle course when making manoeuvres to the exit of a crowded MRT train. It’s really about time.
Asics X Kiko Kostadinov Gel-Deva 1, SGD499, is available at DSMS. Nike Zoom Vomero 5 SP, SGD239, is available in Nike stores

Floral In The Twill

Asics Gel Lyte V Floral Denim

Denim for sneakers is not a new idea. Most of the denims used for sport shoes have been the regular cloth we see in jeans. They could be raw, bleached, or distressed, but they have not been given a treatment such as these on the Asics Gel Lyte V, a reiteration using Japanese textile, proudly declared on a fabric hang tag that’s secured to the shoe’s eyelet.

Strictly speaking, this isn’t quite denim (it looks more like Oxford to us), but the twill weave and the blue is extremely similar. When paired with a pair of denim jeans, the kindred spirit is inescapable. What makes it unusual is the floral pattern interwoven into the fabric, a treatment also seen in the same shoe model released as “Bamboo”, both a reminder to the uninitiated of Asics’s Japanese founding and heritage.

While some brands are investing in technology that can make the most unusual knits or the most ornate technical jacquards, Asics have been giving some creative treatments to traditional twills. The floral denim is innovation habit that has also seen the introduction of dark denim with polka dots (on the Gel Lyte III). This should work in Asics’s favour considering how well liked Japanese denims are.

The Gel Lyte V was first released in 1993 and feature Asics’s gel cushioning and a fit that has been described as “sock-like”. The combined features have placed the Gel Lyte V as one of the best running shoes of all time, inducing sneaker giants such as Ronnie Fieg to produce their own interpretations. We’re not sure how prominent this shoe is on the running track, but with the floral denim, we’re sure they will be seen a lot on city pavements.

Asics Gel Lyte V “Floral Denim” for men and women, SGD189, is available at Onitsuka Tiger, Pedder on Scotts, Star 360 and select stockists. Photo: Jim Sim