The best way to enter the sneaker game is to make a statement, which is exactly what emerging footwear designer Eric Payne is doing with his literally trashy sneakers. Sporting an upper made up of a mixed-media collage, the shoes include boarding pass stubs, receipt clippings, and even pieces of plastic bags. But despite the sneaker’s debris-covered silhouette, a pair will run you over $1,000 — so is it a waste-full design or waste of money?
Payne’s “Trash” sneakers are certainly the most expensive DIY-esque shoes we’ve encountered, but they’re far from being the only destructive design in footwear. Nike has lined up a range of sneakers featuring tear-away uppers and unusual texture, including its latest collaboration with Carpet Company, which sports an aged gum outsole and ripped cloth and foam panels. Adidas followed suit with a chaotic ZX 8000 sneaker designed by Sean Wotherspoon, boasting loose threads, uneven embroidery, and mismatching upper panels. A play on the exclusivity and growing hype of the sneaker world, these destructive designs give off the effortless vibe consumers seem to be eyeing.
Trashy fashion — Sporting a thick platform midsole and suede details, these trashy sneakers definitely nail the cool-but-laidback trend. While the rest of the world seeks box-fresh pairs and classic silhouettes, Payne taps into consumers’ increasing interest in sustainable and one-of-a-kind styles. Below the recycled waste that gives the “Trash” sneaker its name, the shoe boasts Japanese plonge leather to keep its upper durable. A thick rubber midsole — which appears to be around one to two inches high — emphasizes the footwear’s durability, while adding a bit of extra spice to the shoe. The platform is actually a signature feature that spans across Payne’s other designs, lifting the shoes to new heights.
Every one of Payne’s “Trash” sneakers, on the other foot, is truly one-of-a-kind — past constructions feature multi-colored uppers, stickers, and plastic textures. Each design, however, sports suede eyelets and laces, elevating the waste-covered sneaker.
If these sneakers aren’t your style, Payne offers more innovative creations. A similar silhouette, dubbed “Apparition,” comes dressed in translucent leather with lasting pliability and water-resistant properties — just make sure you’re wearing cute socks. The pair comes with the same platform base as the “Trash” sneaker, and conveys the same effortlessly cool vibe.
One-of-a-kind prices — Both silhouettes, thanks to their one-of-a-kind nature, will cost you a pretty penny. Ranging from around $1,070 to $1,625 depending on the style, the sneakers’ price is similar to that of designer brands — but these styles boast the same high-quality materials with more exclusivity. You can cop your chosen pair on the designer’s website, and anticipate a construction that’s uniquely yours and made with sustainable, smaller-scale practices — as opposed to fighting over a mass-produced silhouette on SNKRS.