Fila is infamously known as the brand that introduced the chunky Disruptor sneaker to the world, but its latest offerings seemingly make up for that fact. The label debuted two slightly less stocky silhouettes, dubbed the "Renno Premium" and "Hallasan Premium," which fuse heritage-inspired design elements and modernized styling. Both sneakers are gender-neutral and come in equally indifferent colors like black, white, and metallic silver.
Plenty of brands have been pushing out gender-neutral sneakers, which begs the question: Haven’t sneakers always been gender-neutral? As long as a pair dropped in a size you could fit in, its label of “men’s” or “women’s” didn’t matter. That hasn’t stopped popular brands like Nike, however, from throwing the term around for its newest gender-neutral Jordan “MA-2” sneaker.
The gender-neutral label is more inclusive to nonbinary people, but only if brands choose to leave the shoe’s label, well, neutral. Nike’s Jordan MA-2 silhouette is currently advertised on SNKRS in both a men’s and women’s silhouette, which makes sense for sizing, but less so for its gender-neutrality. Instead, maybe brands should consider leaving the shoe under one nonaligned label for both easy drop access and true impartiality.
Funky and chunky — While Fila isn’t a brand as hype as Nike, its upcoming silhouettes say otherwise. The Hallasan Premium boasts leather upper overlays, a neoprene textile backing, and an engineered knit tongue and lining designed for flexibility and easy slip-on access.
Taking inspiration from past chunky Fila models, the Hallasan sports a thick white rubber midsole and a Vibram outsole, making the silhouette as stout as socially acceptable. Dressed in neutral tan and navy tones, this sneaker is a great comeback from the brand’s earlier Disruptor model. Not only can anyone wear this shoe, but they’ll actually want to.
Sleek and chic — Fila’s other impending model is a bit slimmer and more sustainable, keeping in line with current trends. Made with a mix of nylon, suede, and mesh materials, the Renno Premium sneaker also boasts an upper crafted from polished recycled leather.
Truly, the Renno’s unusual shape and classic colorway makes it my favorite from this drop. But is the shoe’s silhouette recycled too? With an exaggerated heel and thick cushioning, Fila’s Renno sneaker looks a lot like sacai x Nike’s Vaporwaffle, especially in its new “Sail” colorway. Of course, we aren’t complaining, considering the Fila model will definitely be cheaper and easier to cop.
The future is Fila? — Unlike Nike, Fila has chosen not to label either of its gender-neutral sneakers, instead just listing them with extensive men’s sizing. Both silhouettes are available on the brand’s website now, with the Hallasan priced at $138 and the Renno at $118.
With this drop, Fila is pitting itself against huge names like Nike and Adidas, but we’re into the brand’s new era. It could very well be restructuring, much like New Balance did to boost its ranks among sneaker competitors. Fila’s refreshing gender-neutral kicks are just the brand’s foot in the door.