In 1999 Japanese-American designer Daiki Suzuki launched Engineered Garments in New York City. Inspired by his longstanding obsession with vintage workwear and military apparel, EG remains a highly revered brand capable of blending American and Japanese design sensibilities—with engineered-like craftsmanship, hence the name—like no other. And in 2018 Suzuki released the HOKA ONE ONE x Engineered Garments Hupana shoe.
I’ll admit, I was quite surprised when the collab dropped at the end of March. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Men’s fashion is in a weird spot right now—ugly is in. Maximalism is in. (Back me up, GQ!) The outdoor aesthetic is hot right now too, as is fitness apparel. And those in know have been repping (and running and hiking in) HOKA’s insanely functional shoes for years now. So really, HOKA and Engineered Garments makes perfect sense, if you really think about it.
But the best part of running is not thinking about it, so we’ll leave the potential think piece at that and instead dive into the designs themselves. With six colorways in total, the “special release” as EG prefers, features the NYC-based brand’s characteristic asymmetrical application of black and blue, white and grey on the left and right shoes. Out of left field come the additions of two vibrant colorways reportedly inspired by the flags of Jamaica and Cuba.
The Hupana silhouette is low slung, lightweight, and knit, with a surprisingly underwhelming sole. The wild design characteristics HOKA is known for have been severely scaled back here, and we’re largely OK with it. We’ve been running around Brooklyn in the black/blue color way for a few days now and have nothing but posi things to say—comfy out of the box, and low-key enough to wear around town, from the track to the office.
So, what's not to love?