After dropping a wrinkled house shoe inspired by surgical booties, Maison Margiela has revealed another remix of the Tabi shoe — perhaps its most disturbing alteration yet. Featuring an entirely transparent upper, the shoe bears a minimal heel, black laces, and the signature Tabi toe shape. Without the split toe, however, it would be easy to mistake this footwear for something from Forever 21 instead of a luxury fashion house.
Unfortunately, this filmy faux pas is on trend with other transparent shoes we’ve seen popping up as fashion labels present their new collections. Louis Vuitton and Virgil Abloh unveiled inflatable outerwear and jelly sneakers in their SS21 show, while Nike’s 2006 Clot x Nike Air Max 1 “Kiss of Death” sneaker, now scheduled for re-release, is best known for its transparent toe box and translucent outsole. Instead of enjoying the new drops, though, we’re begging for more clarity on why they were made in the first place.
We thought the clear footwear trend was left in 2018, when we witnessed nearly every Kardashian-Jenner torture their feet in plastic shoes. Truly, how could you want a transparent shoe that divulged the redness, tightness, and well, wetness of feet, even on Hollywood’s most picture-perfect celebs? Picturing the condensation alone horrifies me, but imagine the blisters from slipping and sliding in your shoes all day.
Enough to make your toes curl — But as the saying goes, beauty is pain — and nothing sounds more painful than plastic shoes with a split toe. Margiela’s latest offering is made of polyvinyl butyral material, paired with a leather footbed and wide black heel. Two eyelets have also been added at the sides of the shoe for “extra breathability” within the non-breathable plastic casing.
Cloaking your toes in polyvinyl butyral can lead to serious consequences though — past the foggy faux pas. The material doesn’t expand with your feet, and can cause an allergic reaction called “hot foot,” even when worn with socks. Plus, without any aeration, your feet will become stinky, blistered, and prone to fungus… need I say more?
Clearly a rip-off — Margiela’s transparent Tabis aren’t shown on a model, making me even more suspicious of how they look on feet. Are we expected to raw-dog this shoe, or should socks be worn to dispel blisters? The listing for the Tabi doesn’t clarify, perhaps in hopes that consumers will bypass the logic and sweat their feet off anyway.
At £765, or about $930, these shoes aren’t cheap, despite their appearance suggesting otherwise. If you’re down to drop almost 1k on plastic Tabis, however, you can buy through Voo Store’s website — we think Margiela was too embarrassed to put this on its own site. Just hope that these transparent Tabis don’t yellow like a clear phone case.