A Brief History
Few names have been more prominent across the luxury streetwear universe than Balenciaga over the past few years—the label has quite literally become unavoidable.
Much of that is owed to the brand’s largely gung ho approach to design, with their creations rarely erring on the side of caution and almost always splitting opinion right down the middle.
This almost marmite-like approach to creating each lookbook makes the San Sebastian fashion house’s unprecedented rise that bit more impressive, taking into account the fact that with each ‘out-there’ piece, a sizable chunk of potential buyers is almost certainly alienated.
Despite all of that, whatever goes on behind-the-scenes on those drawing boards, it’s clearly working, and then some. A major driving force behind all that recent acclaim has no doubt been an incredibly eclectic run of footwear, ranging from futuristic pull-up silhouettes to the downright bizarre.
Our Top Picks and Tips
Given the premium price tag that’s often attached to pretty much any Balenciaga sneaker, you’ll naturally want to be at least somewhat clued up before you cop. To help make sure you’re choosing the shoe that’s right for you, below we’ll delve into a few of the different options, along with covering the important stuff like sizing and cleaning.
Balenciaga Triple S
The oversized silhouette of the Triple S is probably the most recognisable design on the list. The trebled sole is made up of moulds from running, basketball and track shoes—which in itself feels like a pretty insane approach to designing a sneaker—leading to that now-famed chunkiest of foundations, one that clocks in at a staggering 6.5cm in height.
Looking like it’s been plucked straight from some kind of sci-fi classic, the Balenciaga Speed silhouette is probably the biggest testament yet to Creative Director Demna Gvasalia’s ability to dream up something that completely flips the fashion industry on its head. From the moment the first iteration of the Speed debuted in 2016, copycat models have littered high streets all over the globe as the masses clambered to don a style that they almost certainly wouldn’t have dreamed of mere days before.
The Balenciaga Track, which emerged in 2018, offered the label a chance to experiment with more performance-focused materials and design. A deconstructed take on a vintage track-meets-hiking shoe hybrid is built with nine separate elements that wind and weave around one another, creating a super-supportive cage around the wearer’s foot and delivering a typically striking aesthetic.
Following a similar activewear vibe that was set by the Track, the Runner is a luxury take on a retro running shoe. Inspired by the designs of the ‘90s and ‘00s, the Runner probably marks the brand’s most ‘accessible’ silhouette. We’d be pretty shocked if the ASICS GEL-KAYANO 5 wasn’t mentioned on more than one occasion during the design process, something which caused a few murmurs of controversy upon its release.
From the most accessible to a shoe that’s certainly more ‘love or hate.’ Essentially it’s the Track revisited and given a wild, bionic makeover that wouldn’t look out of place in the neon-clad universe of Blade Runner. All in, the suspended heel means there will be 4cm between the back half of your foot and the ground, because, why not?
Which Balenciaga Sneakers are Popular?
According to StockX sales data, the top-selling Balenciaga sneakers from over the past 12 months are:
- Balenciaga Track Black
- Balenciaga Speed 2.0 Black
- Balenciaga Triple S Black (2019)
- Balenciaga Speed Black White (2021)
- Balenciaga Triple S (2018 Reissue)
How do Balenciaga Sneakers Fit?
The general consensus is that most Balenciaga sneakers size up a little big, so it might be worth dropping down a half size or full size from your regular measurements.
The only potential exception to that comes with the Balenciaga Speed which unsurprisingly offers a more snug fit—they’re built to be tight, within reason. If you’ve got wide feet, it could be worth going up half a size, other than that it’s more a case of personal preference.
Are Balenciaga Sneakers Comfy?
Like any brand, comfort levels will vary depending on the sneaker you opt for. If this is high on your list of priorities, then the Balenciaga Speed, Track and Runners are probably your best bet.
How do you Clean Balenciaga sneakers?
Thanks to the premium materials used by Balenciaga, the investment you’re making is most definitely a long-term one, and you can rest easy knowing they shouldn’t need replacing any time soon after purchasing.
In terms of cleaning, warm soapy water and a toothbrush should be sufficient to get rid of dirt and light marks. For more substantial stains, mix up water and baking soda and gently rub onto the blemish. Repeat the process if the stain persists and leave to dry properly before wearing again—this way you can avoid them starting to smell.