Running has a new home in Melbourne – Up There Athletics on Flinders Lane.

James Barrett and Brendan Mitchell opened menswear boutique Up There 10 years ago, on the CBD’s McKillop Street. It’s stocked with high-end fashion brands like Kapital and Engineered Garments, and a strong rotation of sneakers, which prompted this expansion.

“When we floated the idea of an athletics-dedicated shop – internally – four to five years ago, our enthusiasm to get it operating grew every day,” Barrett tells Broadsheet.

The unisex offering at Up There Athletics is extensive, covering all your athletic needs. You can shop brands such as Satisfy, District Vision and Soar, as well as Nike, Adidas and New Balance (with more to come). And aside from top-of-the-range running shoes and clothing, you’ll also find accessories such as performance eyewear, soft flasks, and Salt & Stone skincare products.

When asked how he envisioned the store’s design, Barrett says, “We believed running products – and more importantly, the culture – deserved some heroing. The store needed to be welcoming, bright, refreshing, comfortable and relaxed, which I think we achieved.”

Working with long-time friend, collaborator and designer James Cameron – and AJ Storen of furniture studio Moonpool – they brought to life an aesthetic that Cameron describes as “strong athletic brutalism”. The space was inspired by the architecture of some of the most iconic athletic tracks and indoor stadiums in the world, as well as the modernist colour palette of architects like Le Corbusier and van der Rohe. In addition to structure, decor further reflects track and field, as seen in the giant oval rugs and tiered timber seating.

Fostering a sense of community is also important for Barrett and Mitchell. “Even before we opened the doors, the involvement and interest from the wider running community have been incredible,” Barrett says. Right now their main initiative is Shop Run, a run club which runners of all levels are welcome to join every Monday afternoon at 5.30pm. But they’re also currently working on other events including meditation and yoga classes.

Up There Athletics
179 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Mon to Sat 11am¬–5pm
Sun 12pm–4pm