If Nike’s ISPA Road Warrior didn’t feel futuristic enough for you, you’re in luck. Balenciaga is coming out with a new sneaker far more technical than you could ever need, joining a long line of breathtaking footwear designed by Demna Gvasalia. Armored boots shown as part of the Fall 2021 collection will take us back to medieval times, but until then we’ll be taking a hefty stride into the future.
The “X-Pander” is essentially Balenciaga’s Track sneaker gone bionic, adding an absolutely massive suspended heel to the mesh and nylon shoe. 40mm of space will separate the rear of your foot from the ground, and the unit underneath compresses with each step. If you want to look like the main character of a sci-flick, the X-Pander is the shoe for you.
Pre-aged and sustainable — Gvasalia showed his Balenciaga Spring 2021 collection not with a runway show, but in a music video set to Corey Hart’s “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night.” He imagined what clothing would look like in 2030 not with an eye for the dystopian, but with hope in precarious times.
The X-Pander is Balenciaga’s sneaker for nights out in such times — part runner, part club rat, and all drip. Each of the sneaker’s five color schemes is pre-aged for a worn-in effect to match Gvasalia’s vision for the future, and the construction highlights the designer’s growing concern for fashion’s impact on the planet.
No leather is used for the X-Pander, with the materials consisting of polyurethane, polyester, and nylon. In a press release for the collection the sneaker was shown in, Balenciaga said “93.5 percent of the plain materials in this collection are either certified sustainable or upcycled” and that figure jumps to 100 percent for “print bases.”
Pre-order yours now — Balenciaga’s latest peacock of a sneaker is available for pre-order now through its website for $1,250. No timeline has been given for delivery, but even if it took 10 years the kicks would still look ahead of their time.