Demna Gvasalia has a Chazz Michael Michaels sense of what gets the people going, and the Balenciaga designer has done it again with the label's newest shoe. First shown in March at Paris Fashion Week, Balenciaga's every-day soccer cleat is set to release this week and has kickstarted another meme cycle.
If the shoe were able to speak, it would yell at me for calling football "soccer" and for referring to boots as "cleats." It would drop "innit" into the conversation more times than I could understand. It's from a bygone era of soccer, when the most soothing halftime ritual was a cigarette.
A classic leather boot — The Balenciaga Soccer, as it's named, takes clear inspiration from retro soccer cleats with its lace-concealing flap — bringing to mind classic models like the Adidas Copa Mundial, Mizuno Wave Cup, and Nike Tiempo Legend.
The shoe's upper is constructed with a leather that looks too nice to go anywhere near a real field. And while it still features spikes, they're broad enough to be worn on the streets — although I can't promise that the sensation won't be strange. That's a small price to pay for the attention the Balenciaga Soccer will bring if ironic sneakers are your thing. At the very least, it still won't be as unwieldy as the Balenciaga Triple S, which served double duty as both a sneaker and ankle weight.
Get a jump start on the game — Already starting to pop up in stores like Nordstrom, the Balenciaga Soccer is set to arrive in several all-over color treatments, including black, white, red, and pink. Moda Operandi is taking pre-orders for the pink version, and Balenciaga's own site is set to begin selling them Thursday, September 24.
The Balenciaga Soccer is priced at $725, and if you're looking to lean even further into the prohibitively expensive soccer look, Balenciaga has a full range of apparel inspired by the sport for its FW20 collection. There's an $1,100 jersey, $850 shorts, and $550 scarf.
But nothing is as wonderfully unnecessary as the boot.