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Is Ugly the New Black? Balenciaga’s Latest Shoe Collab Begs the Question

Three years after introducing its platform Crocs during Paris Fashion Week and two years after the release of its chunky Triple S sneaker, Balenciaga continues to embrace the ugly shoe trend.

This fall, the luxury fashion house released a limited-edition collection of five-toed shoes made in partnership with outdoor footwear brand Vibram FiveFingers.

The Balenciaga Toe collection, introduced on the floor of Balenciaga’s moody Winter 20 runway presentation, offers two sneaker styles and a high-heeled silhouette, each made from recycled knit.

The limited-edition Balenciaga Toe Sock, available in carmine red or black, and the limited-edition Balenciaga Toe Lace Up, available in black, rest on a heavy-duty suspension heel. The Balenciaga Heeled Toe, available in neon pink or black, features a molded block heel. Each Balenciaga Toe is fitted with a five-toed foam insole and “hugs the foot like a high-tech glove,” the company said.

Balenciaga partnered with Vibram FiveFingers on its Balenciaga Toe collection

The collaboration, made in Italy, is printed and stamped with multiple Vibram and Balenciaga logos along the edges of the foot and just above the five separate digits. Each limited-edition pair is numbered as one in a series. A limited number of Balenciaga Toe shoes are available through Balenciaga main and China websites, as well at Farfetch, Tmall and in selected stores.

Vibram, a leader in rubber sole production, is well known for its FiveFingers shoes, which fit a flexible sole onto the foot, separating each toe and allowing for better tactile perception, it claims.