Adidas turned sugar cane into the wildest boot you’ll ever see

Collaborator Mr. Bailey challenges the distinction between manmade and natural.

Mr. Bailey is one with nature. After creating an unsold sneaker in 2020 inspired by extinct mollusks, the artist and founder of Concept Kicks is pairing up with Adidas once again to unveil the grand OZLUCENT sneaker-boot. The latest collaboration builds on the marine biology theme as a way to reconnect with nature.

The bigger the better — Similar to Mr. Bailey’s limited-edition Adidas Superstar sneaker, the upcoming OZLUCENT is an absolute monolith of a boot. Granted the boot is still in its prototype phase, it looks more like something you’d wear in space or on the ocean floor than on an errand.

Mr. Bailey
Mr. Bailey

The boot is primarily black, with the color covering the sole and its accompanying zipper sockliner. The sockliner extends past the ankle and features a tiny Mr. Bailey pinwheel logo. Geometric shapes decorate the midsole and upper, which are constructed using a thick rubber material. Down below, the shoe’s foundation breaks into three pieces: the sole and two caged caps that encompass the front and back. In lieu of a traditional lacing system, a thin bungee cord is secured with Mr. Bailey’s traditional pull tab.

The designer took to Instagram to give some insight into the shoe’s construction and its behind-the-scenes process, as well as a look at its eco-friendly packaging. The sustainable dustbag is made with sugar cane and cellulose, while the outer box is made from mushrooms. “[The Ozlucent] was an experiment not only in our design process but also in how far boundaries of design can be pushed,” he said in one video.

Natural-born inspiration — Mr. Bailey himself has been inspired by marine life and nature and allowed his personal design philosophies to be guided by the ethos “nature is our greatest luxury.” He explained in the video that thinking of humans as natural organisms and products of nature can allow us to reconnect with and be inspired by the natural world and its own design systems and build on them with current technology.

The collaboration is ongoing, so you can expect more avant-garde, boundary-pushing kicks from the duo in the future. Adidas announced the partnership would allow Mr. Bailey to reimagine various Adidas OZWORLD silhouettes and “challenge the artificial distinction between manmade production and the natural world.”

According to Bailey, the OZLUCENT’s unveiling represents the “first embryonic stage of the lifecycle of this product rollout.” If you want to learn more, you’ll have to keep a close eye on Mr. Bailey’s Instagram and the Adidas Confirmed app for more deets.