The origin of the latest Nike ISPA design, the three-quarter-high VaporMax Flyknit Gator, offers a simple solution for the modern-day bicycle commuter. ISPA, a programme spearheaded by Nike Sportswear's special projects, stands for Improvise, Scavenge, Protect and Adapt. It takes the tried-and-true Nike ethos of listening to the athlete, then goes further by improving the interaction between the athlete and the built environment. For all the reasons that make lightweight Flyknit ultra responsive, it's less ideal in the autumn rain for hardcore commuters.
So what's the solution? Drawing on all four tenants of the ISPA design process, the inspiration for the Gator has been scavenged from bicyclists and adapted into a sleek removable shroud that protects the VaporMax Flyknit from the wet weather. It's difficult to compete for attention with a VaporMax sole, but the Coastal Blue and Volt shroud with full-foot zip is so striking it steals all the looks. The shroud and shoe are sold together, and the shroud can also be removed and transplanted to protect other existing Nike Air VaporMax styles.