Meet The Shoe Of 2017
Ellie is the fashion features editor of British Vogue
Wednesday 8 November 2017
WEARING a pair is akin to walking on marshmallows. Their slinky appearance has drawn comparisons to scuba shoes. But these aren’t part of Aqualung’s current stock on Deepbluedive.com. We’re talking about Balenciaga’s Speed trainers – slapping their way down pavements near you this autumn.
Is this the world’s most popular trainer? The Speed debuted in November 2016 and quickly became a hit, in part thanks to serious plugs from a clutch of Kardashian-Jenners and a swagger of rappers (Gucci Mane, Bryson Tiller, Future). It’s limited edition, endlessly echt iterations with stores such as Colette certainly helped fuel buzz for a brand that’s currently at the top of its game. But ultimately: normal dudes are wearing these trainers because – whisper it – they’re insanely comfortable. Twelve months on, and retailing for £495, the ribbed double-knit jersey socks with a terry towelling lining and a wavy rubber sole have sold out worldwide. We’re calling it. 2017 is the year of the Speed.
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Retailers can’t keep them in stock. “The Speed trainer has been an incredible success for us,” a spokesperson from Matchesfashion.com reports. “During our second restock, in the summer, we completely sold out in one hour to a high volume of customers who had signed up to put them on their wish lists [this features alerts the customer when the item is back in stock]. Every time we upload further stock of this style, it sells out immediately. Our next delivery is due between now and January, and for spring/summer 2018, we don’t see the demand falling.”
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It’s a similarly explosive story at Mytheresa.com. “It doesn’t matter what size or colour, these sneakers sell out within a day. Everybody wants them. At the moment this is the fastest-selling sneaker,” its buying team reports. Ditto Stylebop. “We’ve released stock of the black Speed trainers twice in the past few months, and both times it sold out on the day of release,” a Stylebop representative said over email. “The burgundy style sold out in 48 hours and the white colour way tends to sell out, but at a slower pace. It’s been the fastest-selling shoe for us this season – although it’s facing stiff competition from the Balenciaga Triple S trainers, which sold out in 30 minutes when we released them last week.”
Ah, the Triple S. Try to keep up: Balenciaga looks to have outdone itself with another hit, a £595 clodhopper of a sneaker first debuted on the autumn/winter 2017 Balenciaga menswear catwalk (otherwise known as the Bernie Sanders-themed collection) that looks like something your prehistoric Texan uncle might wear for a day trip to the Tower Of London – i.e. Tourist Dad shoes.
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Described by the brand as “American-style oversized trainers”, the Triple S come complete with triple-stacked soles, pre-distressed nubuck and mesh uppers and chunky laces. To the distress of one petite male fan we bumped into outside Vogue House this week, they also feature the shoe’s size on the toes. “I’m a 40,” he lamented, gazing down at his Triple S-clad feet. “It’s most inconvenient when on a date.” Our advice? Stick with the Speed. It’s just the thing to wear with autumn’s languid silk dresses.