Highsnobiety / Paul Jeong

Sneaker trends, just like the entirety of human existence, have undergone evolution. The dad shoe trend gave way to ugly and overly chunky sneakers, which in turn gave way to what we’re affectionally calling crazy sole sneakers.

One of the biggest proponents of crazy-soled shoes has been Matthew Williams, who designed a proprietary sole unit for his 1017 ALYX 9SM footwear and has used it for everything from Chelsea boots to Clogs. Maison Margiela — whose split-toe Tabi shoes are already on the wilder end of the spectrum — has gone for a distinct “bubble” look, giving various formal styles a distinct, “Air Max”-inspired look that blends more conservative aesthetics with sportswear-like features.

Crazy soles come in all shapes, sizes, and aesthetics, so whether you’re more into chunky stompers a la Rick Owens, or prefer geometric masterpieces such as the Balenciaga Tyrex, our selection below has you covered.

For those living in a bubble

Nike’s air-filled midsole truly changed the sneaker game when it debuted in the Nike Air Tailwind in 1979. Since then, the revolutionary technology has taken a bit of a backseat in the performance category but has flourished in lifestyle sneakers. That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise when high-end brands look to replicate the success Nike has found with its Air technology — imitation is the highest form of flattery, after all.

Below, we have some Nike Air-inspired efforts from Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, and SHOES 53045, as well as a pair of sneakers that have reinterpreted the “bubble” design quite literally from Maison Margiela. Funnily enough, the Nike Air Max 720 ISPA is still the craziest of the lot.

New Replica Super Bubble Rubber Sneakers

from $595

Maison Margiela

(Available at 5 Merchants)
(Available at 5 Merchants)
Air Sole Platform Leather Sneakers

Air Sole Platform Leather Sneakers

$560

Alexander McQueen

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $500

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $500

Buy at Luisaviaroma
Air Max 720 Ispa Sneakers

Air Max 720 Ispa Sneakers

from $210

Nike

(Available at 4 Merchants)
(Available at 4 Merchants)
AWNYC Stadium Sneakers

AWNYC Stadium Sneakers

from $350

Alexander Wang

(Available at 2 Merchants)
(Available at 2 Merchants)
Bump Air Sneakers

Bump Air Sneakers

from $400

Shoes 53045

(Available at 2 Merchants)
(Available at 2 Merchants)

For those that liked school

Who said school wouldn’t prepare you for the real world? If you paid any attention in art, shop, or math class, you’ll recognize everything from advanced geometry to the use of color blocking and different textures in our selection below. The Maison Mihara Yasuhiro sneaker is a personal favorite, as the sneaker’s bold black outlines remind strongly of Piet Mondrian’s iconic style of painting. Other options include HOKA ONE ONE’s fantastic Elevon 2, whose midsole looks like it was carved out of ash green marble, as well as the wildly shaped Acne Studios Bolzter and Craig Green x adidas Originals Kontuur I.

Trick Low-Top Sneakers

Trick Low-Top Sneakers

$398

Maison MIHARA YASUHIRO

Buy at Farfetch
Elevon 2 Low-Top Sneakers

Elevon 2 Low-Top Sneakers

$161

HOKA One One

Buy at Farfetch
Futureshell Sneakers

Futureshell Sneakers

from $148

adidas Originals by Alexander Wang

(Available at 4 Merchants)
(Available at 4 Merchants)

Kontuur 1 Sneakers

$175

Craig Green x adidas Originals

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Buy at ssense

Bolzter Sneaker

$315

Acne Studios

Free Shipping On Orders Over $250

Free Shipping On Orders Over $250

Buy at END.

For those that don’t believe proportions are a thing

One look at Balmain’s new BBold sneaker should explain exactly what this category is all about. A bulbous, spring-like sole unit is attached to an otherwise sleek upper. Chinese brand Li-Ning is known for its outrageous designs, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that its Sunchaser sneaker has made it into our selection. Similarly, Balenciaga has a history of pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in sneaker design, the human anatomy-inspired Tyrex being no exception.

Tyrex Sneakers

Tyrex Sneakers

from $895

Balenciaga

(Available at 2 Merchants)
(Available at 2 Merchants)
BBold Low-Top Sneakers

BBold Low-Top Sneakers

$850

Balmain

Free Shipping FREESHIP

Free Shipping FREESHIP

Buy at Saks Fifth Avenue
Sunchaser

Sunchaser

from $249

Li-Ning

(Available at 2 Merchants)
(Available at 2 Merchants)

Leave No Trace High-Top Sneakers

$880

Moncler

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Buy at ssense
Double Bumper Sneakers

Double Bumper Sneakers

$710

Rick Owens Drkshdw

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Buy at ssense

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