Artistic director Demna Gvasalia is no stranger to creating headline-grabbing fashion pieces for Balenciaga. From shoulder padding-heavy coats and blazers to the Ikea-like leather holdall, every single collection thus far consists of at least one particular item that's highlighted for its peculiarity. The Balenciaga X-Pander sneaker is perhaps the latest to have the honour of carrying on the tradition.
The upper of the Balenciaga X-Pander recalls that of traditional running shoes or its super sporty Track series, and while that may seem unimpressive, the heel is where Gvasalia's madness comes in. Instead of a triple-stacked sole (or any other semi-regular sole really) the heel of the X-Pander is seemingly suspended thanks to a springy structure. The outsole towards the heel is completely exposed, leaving for a quite precarious-looking silhouette.
While we've yet to test out the sneaker or have a close physical inspection of one, Balenciaga offers that the heels are meant to expand and collapse with each step to create a sort of springy walking experience. Or what it calls an "upbeat walking pattern".
We're certain that putting one on would immediately give a sense of elevation, especially with the perpetual 40mm arch as a result of the construction. But if you're wary of looking a tad awkward, at least from the front, the X-Pander looks like any other regular sneaker.
Gvasalia has already given Balenciaga the Triple S sneaker—the definition of the dad sneaker but amped up with a three-tier sole—and the five-toe footwear in collaboration with Vibram. The X-Pander continues that idea of making the everyday just a bit more interesting and in a manner that we've never imagined before. And if you have SGD1,850 to shell out for a pair, that's another Gvasalia-era Balenciaga to add to your collection.
The Balenciaga X-Pander sneakers are now available in boutiques and online.