For the sneakerhead Hans Abdullah and budding young actor Hariz Hamdan, finding ways to keep themselves uplifted every day comes easy — through their passions and things they love, with the #LiveUplifted campaign by ASICS.
‘Sportstyle’ is a term that’s popped up more and more as of late and is often interchangeable with ‘athleisure’, both describing casual, comfortable sports garb with a stylish, streetwear flair — and with the release of ASICS’ latest Jogger X81, the brand seeks to inspire all to live uplifted. ASICS’ newest addition to its Sportstyle line is a beautiful mesh of contemporary and old-school, having been influenced by classic ASICS jogging shoes with a youthful touch.
Self-proclaimed sneakerhead Hans Abdullah, whose shoe closet has knowingly expanded to more than half his room, describes the Jogger X81 as a pair of running shoes that that doesn’t ‘break necks’ or try too hard to be what it isn’t — it is simply a pair that perfectly compliments an outfit without overstating it or taking any attention away from it.
In the spirit of the ASICS’ #LiveUplifted campaign that runs together with the Jogger X81, the brand zeroes in on what it means to traverse each day with happiness, hope and optimism. ASICS presents the question: what gets you through the tough times and helps you persevere?
For 29-year-old Hans, music is an integral part of his daily life. Without music, he is akin to having no true voice: “I have a background in music, and for me music is really the best thing. Whenever I’m feeling down or when I struggle with some self-doubt, I turn that negative emotion into writing — whether it’s a song or a poem. It takes away the negativity because [it has] already taken shape into another form. So, what I do to uplift myself is that I like to write music and I like to verbalise these thoughts that I have.”
Hans sees the creativity to express oneself, as well as the act of creating itself, as a means to keep a positive outlook on life. Besides music, Hans also nurtures every sneakerhead’s dream of designing his own pair of shoes one day. Since his early teen years, Hans has always had the passion for his shoe-collecting hobby, and so while he would constantly look up photos online or spend time on virtual forums, counting down the day he would be able to afford the shoes himself.
“I really want to, eventually,” Hans says, of designing his own pair of shoes. “But I’m not 100% sure I deserve it just yet. Of course, I have my ideas. And I would definitely love to be able to get the opportunity one day.”
As a fan of low-cut sneakers, Hans is a long-time admirer of ASICS GEL-1090™, citing them as his favourite nowadays. The unique material of the shoes play a part in making them look completely different depending on the colourway. Similar in its uppers’ design, Hans notes how flexible the ones on the ASICS Jogger X81 are, and how breathable they are — proving very useful for long-term wear in the Malaysian weather.
“I wore it outside during the day, in Chinatown, and it was completely okay. My feet didn’t sweat at all,” Hans comments, almost businesslike as he slips into the ‘shoe review’ voice. “I think it’s a very good overall everyday shoe. It’s probably not a shoe that’s meant to be superbly eye-catching. It’s just a very nice shoe that complements an outfit without overstating or overpowering [or taking away from] the outfit. With a proper outfit, it would look very nice.”
With his job involving him to wear and review various types of sneakers, it’s crucial for Hans to really know what he’s talking about. When the shoes he has on prove to be uncomfortable, he’ll know it in an instant.
“One time, I was stuck wearing a super uncomfortable pair of shoes for close to two hours, and my feet were absolutely destroyed,” Hans recounts. “My mood was horrible for the whole day. When I have blisters on my feet, I can’t wear shoes, which means I can’t do my job to review them. So, having a good pair of shoes is really the most important thing for me, to avoid all that. A pair of shoes is supposed to take you from point A to point B. It only has one job, you know!”
In similar fashion, budding young actor Hariz Hamdan finds his means to live uplifted every day through the art of acting. Adventurous and constantly seeking new things to try out, the 20-year-old full-time actor relishes both the joy and challenges that come with his job.
“With acting, I get to play many different characters,” Hariz elaborates. “I can be a firefighter or a policeman, or a nurse or something. I would say that it has changed me mentally because I’ve had to adapt to new characters. But I take it as a challenge, and it’s been really fun so far.”
Hariz was first influenced to join the industry by watching superhero movies, such as Marvel and DC films. The movies spurred him on to become an actor and hone his craft toward roles that either come easy to him or serve to challenge him. For Hariz, acting is more than just a means of living each day with an uplifted outlook — it helps him empathise with the kind of characters he plays and puts him in the shoes of someone else, allowing him to understand the struggles they might go through in real life.
“My self-image issues growing up actually affected me as an actor,” Hariz opens up about his journey to get to where he is. “When you’re acting, you want to look good on screen — that’s how you strive. But I always tend to compare myself to others, and eventually I start doubting myself. That’s why I don’t look at social media that much, because I think it can be quite dangerous for my mental health.”
For most of his childhood and school life, Hariz underwent body weight issues that stem from being called names. But instead of letting the comments get him down, Hariz instead took a page from his personal favourite Superman, Henry Cavill’s book and channelled that negativity into improving himself instead. He began working out and dedicated himself to a goal that he has since achieved. He is determined not to take any criticism his way as a bad thing, but instead as fuel for him to become a better version of himself.
“Taking that first step is the most important thing,” Hariz affirms. “It’s good to take these things slowly — just be patient and don’t expect it to happen all at once. If you want to change yourself, you have to take it slow. Start going to the gym slowly, start working out slowly, start eating healthy slowly and over time it will get better.”
When it comes to his style, Hariz has gained newfound confidence over the years to dress himself according to his preferences. He says of the ASICS Jogger X81: “From the ‘looks’ side, it’s super comfortable. And I also really like the nubuck — it makes the shoes look very premium.” He considers the Jogger X81 a ‘smart casual’ type of shoes, which he would personally pair with slacks and a T-shirt, along with a suit for any kind of semi-formal event.
Drawing inspiration from its series of archived designs of jogging shoes, the ASICS Jogger X81 revamps the 1980s look with modern tech features. The makeup of the shoes also pays homage to Japan’s deep-rooted emphasis on clean environment by featuring recycled paper, synthetic leather, and polyester in its build.
Learn more about the ASICS Jogger X81 by heading to its official website HERE.
concept MARTIN TEO | production THREEBOX STUDIO | joggerx81 shoes ASICS SPORTSTYLE | hair & makeup ERANTHE LOO | location FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON KUALA LUMPUR, CHINATOWN
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur