Only Balenciaga could (and would) take the infamous Vibram Five Fingers and make it even more unsettling.
For the brand's latest output of footwear that makes you say WTF, Balenciaga has released a "Toe" shoe that gives the shoe with disturbingly articulated digits a bionic heel. The suspended heel that could pass for a prosthetic gives the Toe 40mm of lift and makes for a sneaker that's natural up front and supernatural in the rear.
It's something The Terminator would wear, if only he spent too much time in Boulder and became something of a flower child. He wouldn't give up killing, to be sure, but he may just stop to admire the view or forage for mushrooms spotted by those HUD-enabled eyes.
There's a high heel version, too — Balenciaga's link-up with Vibram has resulted in three new shoes, only one of which bares laces. The Toe Lace Up and, to a lesser extent, the Toe Sock could both pass for sneakers and feature the highly technical heel.
If you're looking for something more elegant yet freakish, the Heeled Toe is a full-on high heel with a more normal elevated heel and the same creepy toes. All three of the Toe shoes feature a grippy TPU outsole that'll probably never be tested to their full potential, while the knit uppers are made from recycled materials. The idea for all three is to wear something outlandish, but a little bit of sustainability might make wearing them seem slightly reasonable.
Should you purchase any one of them, the fun comes in figuring out how the hell to wear them. Do you go bizarre from head to toe or keep the rest of your fit exceedingly normal to make your enunciated toes stick out even more. There are no right answers, and it's up to you to determine how to let your freak flag fly with each step. Once again, Balenciaga has managed to make the most interesting shoe on the market.
They're all the same price — Of course, Balenciaga's Toe series is exceedingly expensive — but no more for one version than another. The Toe Lace Up, Toe Sock, and Heeled Toe are all priced at $1,290 and are beginning to make their way to luxury retailers. Balenciaga's own webstore is the only place you'll find the all-pink color scheme, while black and red versions are more widely available.