If you'd told Pierre Balmain in 1945 that his couture house would one day be as famous for its sneakers as for its dresses, he'd have laughed in your face. Or at least, treated you to one of those infamous French shrugs. But the unimaginable has happened. And in a strange way, it couldn't be more apt. Balmain was a designer who couldn't see a convention without breaking it, a forward thinker who made dreams into realities. His creations didn't follow the trends of the day, they set the trends of the future. What could be more fitting, then, than for the iconic fashion house to treat the world of comfortable footwear to a high fashion makeover? Obviously, a Balmain sneaker is unlike 99.9% of the sneakers on the market. They're also more expensive than 99.9% of the sneakers on the market. But neither of those two things make them any less glorious. If you're tired of your sneaker collection looking like every other sneaker collection in the world, a pair of Balmain sneakers is just what the fashion doctor ordered. The problem is, the Balmain sneaker range is as vast as it is wonderful. When you're working with a treasure chest this big, deciding which of the gems to take away with you can be tricky. To help out, we've rounded up five of the very best pairs of Balmain sneakers available. Here they are.
1. Balmain Black Knit Lace-Up B-Bold High-Top Sneakers
Back in the 1920s, Converse unleashed the high top on the world. A hundred years later, this classic silhouette is still drawing legions of fans. And why wouldn't it? As Bustle notes, these comfortable and practical shoes are easy to style and add extra oomph to an otherwise basic outfit. But not all high tops are created equal. Some have all the versatility and comfort you could wish for, but are in no danger of winning any prizes in the style stakes. Others might be stylish, but the price you pay is a heel full of blisters. And then there are high tops like the Balmain Black Knit Lace-Up B-Bold High-Top Sneakers. With their fabulously eye-catching design, these are the kind of sneakers that would claim the crown at any beauty contest. Thanks to Balmain's faultless attention to detail, they're also about as comfortable to wear as a pair of sneakers can get. The uppers are crafted from a black knit that features a unique lacing design that stretches all the way past the ankles. Chunky, futuristic black platform soles add some high fashion appeal. A metallic gold finish and gold TPI panel with an embossed Balmain monogram complete the look. With their unabashed confidence and fierce attitude, these aren't the kicks for the shy and retiring. For anyone happy for their feet to stand out from the crowd, they're a no-brainer.
2. Balmain Black and White Rubber B-Bold Sandal Sneakers
Balmain's understanding of what makes a sneaker a sneaker isn't necessarily aligned with everyone else's understanding. Does it matter? Not even slightly, especially when it results in creations like the Black and White Rubber B-Bold Sandal Sneaker. One part sandal, one part sneaker, and two parts itself, the Black and White Rubber B-Bold Sandal Sneaker encapsulates everything we know and love about Balmain. To create the shoe, Balmain has deconstructed the concept of a sneaker and created something entirely new, entirely different, and entirely desirable in the process. Fiercely good looking and with an unapologetically bold look, the sneaker features a black and white rubber cut out design that's complemented by a thick white platform sole, white velcro closures, and openwork areas outlined with a rose gold-tone metal. They're neither pretty nor delicate, feminine nor cute. But that's the point. These are sneakers that take no prisoners. If you want to inject your footwear closet with a giant dose of attitude, they're perfect.
3. Balmain White Gummy Leather and Mesh B-Runner Sneakers
Preview.ph describes white sneakers as 'a fashion girl's staple', the kind of kicks that you can wear anywhere and never look out of place. If you needed any more reason to add a pair to your collection, check out the White Gummy Leather and Mesh B-Runner Sneakers from Balmain. In truth, they aren't the most versatile white sneakers you're ever going to come across. They're far too distinctive for that. These don't blend into your outfit the way most white sneakers do. Rather, they set the tone. They're big, bold, and unrelenting. And why wouldn't they be? After all, this is Balmain. And Balmain doesn't blend. If you're happy for your feet to catch plenty of admiring glances, they're perfect. Expect a white leather and mesh upper accessorized with asymmetrical white laces, a TPU panel on the tongue with an embossed tone-on-tone Balmain logo, a white rubber and PU sole, and a decorative panel with the Balmain logo on the outside adorned with a rose gold finish.
4. Balmain B-Bold Chunky Sole Low-Top Leather Sneakers
When Harpers Bazaar names a pair of Balmain sneakers as one of the most desirable fashion sneakers of 2021, you'd better believe them. The sneakers in question are the Bold Chunky Sole Low-Top Leather Sneakers, a futuristic double-sole sneaker that'll add oomph to any outfit. Priced at around $850, they're by no means cheap. But are they worth it? Absolutely. Packed with high fashion design features and blessed with superb levels of comfort, they're the kind of kick you'll want to keep permanently glued to your feet.
5. Balmain Camel Leather B-Court Sneakers
Balmain doesn't make affordable sneakers. But very occasionally, it does make ones that won't leave you with a pounding migraine when you see the price tag. Priced at $595, the Camel Leather B-Court Sneakers may be hugely expensive compared to most sneakers on the market, but by Balmain's standards. they're positively cheap. Not that the house has let its standards slip along with the price. Boasting a camel calfskin upper, camel laces, a gold Balmain Paris logoed tongue, and a chunky white rubber sole, they're a treat for the eyes. Thanks to their masterful combination of cushioning and support, they aren't exactly painful to wear either.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker