Outdoor gear, sneakers included, has always been slick; for the longest time, however, it remained overlooked by fashion, standing beyond its sphere of influence as functional products utilized for its intended purpose(s) by those that really needed it.
Believe it or not, there was a time before Virgil Abloh tapped into Arc'teryx, and Drake followed suit with matching jackets, a music video filled to the brim with Gorpcore 'fits, and Salomon boots courtside to basketball games.
During global lockdowns, many looked to the outdoors as a means of escape; a thinking quickly adopted by fashion and sneaker brands across the board to adapt their offering in line with these ever-evolving Gorpcore trends; trends that have seen Salomon become a high flyer in the sneaker space, alongside ROA, Diemme, HOKA, and more.
Hungry for a piece of the pie, fashion houses of all sizes have tapped into these trends, the latest of which is Dior, which, with the arrival of its B31 sneaker, has seemingly analyzed the world's most favored high-performance, trail-inspired sneakers.
Building on the success of its flagship sneakers, such as the B22 and B23, which have taken cues from iconic silhouettes from the Air Max and Converse family tree, the B31 reinterprets the Salomon XT-4 and XT-6 – at least where the upper is concerned.
Utilizing toggle lacing – a mainstay of trail silhouettes – the sneaker draws attention to its veiny, almost cage-like construction that webs across the upper foot, resulting in a heavy contrast.
As per Dior's site, where you can shop the sneaker now, "the thick, notched sole in sculpted rubber offers ideal traction, and the reinforced heel guarantees optimal comfort," again, essential qualities of any sneaker built to tackle off-road running.
While it's extremely unlikely that anyone will be strapping into a pair of Diors to tackle their next hike, the shoes are pretty neat; though you'll hear no complaints from me, some feel this is a bite too much. Is it time to leave Gorpcore alone? Perhaps.