Much of our sneaker coverage these days focuses on the move from bold, technical designs toward a quieter, retro-tinged style in recent seasons. As most brands begin digging manically through their archives to revive old silhouettes, it’s blatantly obvious that Oliver Rousteing has no intention of following suit. The Balmain Unicorn Sneakers are about as defiant as they could be.
Balmain is no stranger to a head-turning silhouette. While most luxury houses have explored the boundaries of striking sneakers with big proportions, though, Balmain has been working its way up to something beyond striking. Last season we couldn’t help noticing the B-Bold Sneakers, and this season, the Balmain Unicorn Sneakers have come along and blown them out of the water.
These huge sneakers feature a surprisingly sleek upper cut from neoprene. What makes up their gargantuan size is the rubber sole unit and the cage that secures the upper. Standing at a height of three inches, the sole unit makes up most of the shoe and if that didn’t make it the center of attention, then the bright blue and highlighter yellow finish does.
The cage that runs around the neoprene upper is rendered here in a rainbow gradient, upping the color levels considerably. This is not a pair for those wishing to fly under the radar; this pair says “Stop what you’re doing and look at me.”
But while the out-there colorway steals the first impression, there’s no way around the fact that this is a technically impressive design. Although smaller, independent shoe designers often conceptualize shoes of this nature, the gumption needed for a luxury label to run with a design this divisive is impressive to say the least.
Like it or not, Rousteing’s Balmain can’t be accused of following the pack, and who knows, fast-forward to 2050, and we might all be sporting a pair of Balmain Unicorn Sneakers.
Shop the Balmain Unicorn Sneakers below.
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