Brand: Balenciaga

Season: Fall/Winter 2022

Model: Excavator

Buy: In-store and on Balenciaga's website soon

Editor's Notes: If there's one thing Balenciaga always nails, it's generating spirited conversation. Are the label's high-heeled Crocs hideous or fabulous? Was Kim Kardashian's caution tape bodysuit silly or genius? WTF is happening on Balenciaga's TikTok?

Now, the Demna Gvasalia-led maison is back with another divisive creation: the Excavator rainboot, first seen on the runway in 2020.

Rereleasing for FW22, the gargantuan, workwear-inspired silhouette is tailor-made for Ye, a longtime fan of the brand's waterproof footwear (and big, hulking boots in general). "Kanye is the reference," one person sounded off in Highsnobiety's Instagram comments.

Providing a brief respite from Balenciaga's penchant for blocky, square-toed heels, the Excavator boasts a tapered toe akin to the Spring/Summer 2022 Space Shoe. But that's where the streamlined nature of the boot stops — its extra-wide shaft juts out at the knee, creating a wide-open gap for precipitation to pool.

Balenciaga is well-versed in the art of eliciting strong reactions, particularly when it comes to its footwear.

The brand's foam pool slides, designed in collaboration with Crocs, were derided by some and heralded by others as a masterful merging of high and lowbrow culture. Another polarizing shoe, Balenciaga's Hardcrocs — a clog with a massive platform heel — was received similarly.

Love them or hate them, waterproof or water-friendly, the Excavators are a conversation piece that'll win you as many admirers as detractors.

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