A Change from Controversial Trash to Normal Footwear
Ever since Kanye West caused a frenzy with his strange croc-like Foam RNNR back in 2020, footwear has been (as always) adapting to Ye’s vision. Albeit the “shoe” being heavily frowned upon at first, its success through comfort and breathability, as well as a completely novel take on footwear has inspired competitors to go with the flow. While it certainly took a while, 2022 is finally the year where even high-end luxury brands are conforming to the wave.
From the Jordan and Nike’s takes, to even Louis Vuitton and Dior, we present the 4 best Foam RNNR-inspired sneakers revealed this year.
1. Louis Vuitton SS23
Starting off with the most recent silhouette, unveiled at Louis Vuitton’s SS23 show in Paris last week. While Kendrick and the show aesthetics certainly stole the limelight, the LV’s sneaker rotation for SS23 were perhaps the most interesting part of the show. Apart from new moon-boots, loafers, and chunky sneakers, the French luxury fashion house also revealed a completely new silhouette, 100% inspired by the Foam RNNR.
Head of Design for Men’s Footwear, Mathias Papillon, gave us a sneak-peek at the upcoming silhouettes, boasting a large line-up of colourways of the yet untitled LV clog. The futuristic concept sneaker features an exterior foam structure with oversized elements, a perforated toe box, LV monogram debossed on the rear midsole, and the fashion house’s logo as a tongue replacement. Hidden underneath the exoskeleton is a sock-like interior, constructed from a soft fabric featuring the LV monogram.
The design enables versatile colour blocking, with the teased colourways boasting neon combinations and subtle greys. White exo with blue, purple, neon, or beige sock-liners may be the most wearable ones, but the all-grey versions are eye-candy too. Similar to the Foam RNNR, the sneaker is not objectively “pretty” at first glance. However, fashion is subjective and ever-changing, and the footwear world is adapting to clogs. It takes some getting used to, but be sure to see the LV SS23 Clog become one of the most popular high-end sneakers this season.
2. Dior SS23 Cage Sneaker
Around the same time as the reveal of the LV Clog, Dior presented its footwear lineup for SS23. Apart from Salomon/Asics-inspired trekking shoes and curtain-covered Oxfords, the brand also teased their take on an exoskeletal shoe. The yet unnamed Dior Clog is essentially just a midsole with a cage-like upper that extends over the entire foot.
Teased in a military green and a dark navy version, the sneaker is actually quite aesthetic, since the cage structure has less bulky design features that enhance the sneakers streamlined aesthetic. To finish off the design, an overlacing system inspired by late Virgil Abloh’s take on the Nike Dunk Low adds comfort and sturdiness to the wearing experience.
Release details on this sneaker have not been revealed, but you can be certain that this sneaker is going to lift off when it comes to high-end summer fits.
3. Nike Zoom MMW 5
Designer Matthew M Williams has had an unmissable influence on fashion with his Alyx brand and creative direction of Givenchy. However, his biggest involvement in the sneaker world is arguably his collaboration with Nike on the Zoom MMW 4. The chunky redesigned Nike Zoom sneaker is as beautiful as it is comfortable and performance-ready, but the hefty price tag has prevented it from reaching the intended levels of hype. This may change with the recent unveiling of the Nike Zoom MMW 5. Featuring barely any design overlaps with the MMW 4, besides the squared toe-box, this sneaker fits perfectly into the clog-wave.
The Nike Zoom MMW 5 was debuted during the Alyx SS23 show in Milan a few weeks ago, and instantly drew attention with its futuristic look.
Featuring a molded presumably EVA upper, the slip-on sneaker boasts a thick oversized midsole to ensure comfort, while a patterned perforated upper provides breathability and the unique design. The missing tongue is replaced by a tiny, debossed Nike swoosh accompanied by “MMW” letters, to mark the designer’s signature. An overall chunky, yet interesting and futuristic design with the signature touches of the beloved designer.
No release details for this sneaker have been revealed yet, but we can hope for more interesting colourways besides the black and grey pairs teased by the designer himself. It’s not the most beautiful clog on this list, but it may be the most attainable, given the collab with Nike. We’ll have to wait for the price tag though.
4. Jordan Clog
Lastly, we have a non-designer clog ready for the wave. Jordan Brand is finally recognizing the hype and has recently revealed their take on a foam slip-on. The yet untitled Jordan Clog features a soft foam shell in an understated off-white, similar to most Foam RNNR’s we’ve seen until now. For breathability, large perforated holes decorate the rounded toebox, very much reminiscent of classic Croc clogs. Branding can be found in the form of a Jumpman logo on the oversized outsole, as well as a Jumpman Logo accompanied by a “23” on the medial upper.
The inside of the sneaker is perhaps the more interesting aspect, the canvas on which Jordan designers will live out their passion. The teased version features a neoprene inside sock, similar to the LV Clog, but decorated in the signature elephant-print to commemorate the beloved pattern that made the Jordan 3 and Air Max 1 popular again.
With the inside sock being removable, the sneaker gets extra points for versatility, being adjustable to temperature and weather conditions. Plus, the elephant print may in the future be replaced by other beautiful patterns, since the somewhat hidden sock can boast design features without being too salient (imagine the white version with a Patta insock!!).
(Mockup by our professional design team)
While Nike and Jordan Brand have not mentioned any release details yet, we can expect this sneaker to be the most affordable on this list once it releases in the upcoming months.
After milking all Dunks and Jordans, the sneaker world is finally shifting towards more futuristic designs, and we are more than here for it. Crocs and Yeezy have envisioned and prepared us for a footwear future that focuses on minimalism, comfort, and innovation.
By Freddy Schwoerer of Drip Drops