It’s official: 2018 is the year of the steroid-enhanced sneaker. Hot on the heels of last year’s Triple S by Balenciaga, the model that kick-started the “ugly sneaker” trend, we’ve seen a succession of increasingly high-concept kicks emerge from the design studios of luxury brands such as Gucci, Maison Margiela, Valentino and Versace.
This autumn, Balenciaga releases the follow-up to the Triple S, the Track, an amped-up trail-running shoe that echoes the design language of walking sneakers from Salomon, ROA and Hoka One One and is set to push sneaker design even farther into uncharted territory. Pre-launch reactions to the shoe have been divided, but the same was true of the Triple S. If the past 12 months are any indication, we could well be looking at the shape of things to come. Where Balenciaga goes, the rest inevitably follow.
Well, not all the rest. While the luxury sneaker market pivots away from its minimalist roots and embraces a more-is-more aesthetic, the one brand that started it all – Common Projects – has remained steadfastly true to itself.