The Balenciaga Defender is the Monster Truck of SneakersRelease: 11 February 2022
Under the direction of Demna Gvasalia, Spanish fashion house Balenciaga maintained its position as the world's hottest fashion brand thanks to crazy, sometimes satirical send ups of modern style. This assessment is particularly prevalent in the wild sneaker models that have come out in the past few years, redefining the idea of luxury sneakers. And this sartorial confusion continues with the new Defender model, which is anything but conventional.
Balenciaga’s sneaker success (in certain metrics) in recent years has been due to championing chunk. This is exactly the case here with the Defender, which features a very bulbous sole with tread reminiscent of motocross tires. Even its model name evokes off-road connotations of the 4WD sharing the same moniker.
Crazy soles aside, the upper of the Defender is somewhat conventional. Supposedly an ironic take on Y2K-era sports shoes, the synthetic overlays and mesh inserts are Demna daggy, but fashion types are likely to be convinced of its genius design.
Curiously, the product page for these shoes is seemingly keen to point out Balenciaga’s sustainability practices, of which a 60/28/12 per cent mix of polyurethane, polyester and nylon respectively apparently meets that ethos. For the $1000-plus RRP, one would hope so.
The Defender is available now directly from Balenciaga.