Nike has a reputation as the bells and whistles shoe company – the one that always has to be the most colorful, the one with the most features, the craziest designs – but Payaa shoe line is a completely different story. For once Nike is going minimalistic in both color and design, and the result is mighty attractive.
Payaa, if you were curious, comes from the Inuit word payaaquek, a traditional Alaskan boot based on minimalistic (survivalist, really) standards. How much the Payaa actually draws from its namesake is debatable, but the over design of this show is smooth, smooth, smooth, with a simple curved design like a gentle swoosh and a growing outsole for increased heel stability.
Sure there are plenty of colors to choose from, like blue or red, but they are all uniform color options with no McDonald’s-like variations or neon flare (and black, in our opinion, still looks best).
However, the minimalism of the shoe goes beyond appearance. The upper portion is make from a one-piece mesh designed for easy on/off, form-fitting use. The lace system uses subtle lace locks to save time and space – no tying these shoes, or worrying about ragged knots and laces out on the street. The outsole is cored out to reduce weight, while the insole is made with leather and a foam collar for protection and comfort.
All in all, the Payaa is an impressive and mature offering from Nike. The price, around $100, is also reasonable, especially with holiday deals on the horizon. Check out the store and different color options….but beware of out-of-stock notifications. Availability for this shoe is limited.