You either love them or hate them, but there’s no denying that the dad sneaker is officially a hot menswear trend with Nike this week unveiling their very own fugly version.
Dubbed the Nike M2K Tekno, the intentionally chunky silhouette is designed to appeal to fashionistas in a meta kind of way – think ugly is the new black. More importantly though, Nike have finally caught onto what luxury brands like Balenciaga have been championing over the past year with their popular Triple S shoe.
If you’re after proof then it’s in the sizing. The Nike M2K Tekno was initially meant to be a women-only sneaker but after strong interest from the male contingency, the designers decided to extend the shoe into men’s sizing.
Jin Hong who is the Nike senior footwear designer that worked on the shoe revealed in a press release that, “We designed the shoe for women, so it’s really refreshing to see men taking a keen interest”.
Whilst Nike might not have the brand influence as Balenciaga, who this year topped Lyst’s Hottest Brands Index for Q1 ahead of Gucci, VETEMENTS and Off-White, it does have the buying power to produce much cheaper shoes.
How much cheaper than an US$850 pair of Balenciagas? Try US$750 cheaper. The Nike M2K Tekno will arrive in late May with a retail price of US$100 and that figure will definitely throw some shade at Balenciaga if it ends up being made in China (it most likely will).
Earlier this year Balenciaga copped a lot of flack over its sneaky move to shift production of their $850 Triple S sneaker from Italy to China – without telling potential customers about it. Those who ended up buying the late model Triple S’ made in China eventually cried foul over the brand’s greed for profits and failure to deliver quality which the name represents.
Balenciaga recently confirmed via a response to a customer that it has moved manufacture of the Triple S shoe from Italy to China. They claim this is so they can “produce a lighter shoe”, however the change is not immediately apparent on the official website, which continues to show the “Made in Italy” version. Would the recent reports of quality issues (alleged visible glue stains and stitching issues) put you off paying for the shoes? Would you expect a change in pricing to reflect the recent change?
Is Nike about to take on Balenciaga at their own ugly sneaker game? It looks like it. And it’ll be a lot more affordable too.