Dior’s new B30 sneaker is the type of luxury sneaker that sneakerheads have been screaming out for but, inexplicably, been denied by the powers that be for as long as they can remember.
From a sneakerhead’s perspective, the vast majority of luxury sneakers have always felt somewhat off, probably because they’re based on and inspired by sportswear classics and, no matter how hard you try, the original will almost always be better than the copy.
In addition to adapting existing designs, luxury brands have sometimes approached sneakers with the infamous “more is more” approach. This has led to a lot of crazy material, pattern, and design inclusions (Balenciaga and Maison Margiela, we’re looking at you) that are over-the-top and just not functional.
That’s not to say that brands such as 1017 ALYX 9SM, Balenciaga, Burberry, and Lanvin don’t have any good designs, just that their shoes are not quite what out-and-out sneakerheads might feel comfortable wearing. After all, they are fickle and hard to please. Why else are sneakers from the ’80s still some of the most popular in today’s culture?
Luckily, luxury brands have changed their strategy over the past few seasons, with the Dior B30 representing the latest, welcome shift towards more mainstream-friendly designs. The B27, which is Dior’s take on the classic skate sneaker, also falls under that umbrella, as do some of Virgil Abloh’s designs at Louis Vuitton, the most popular of which, the LV 408 Low, is strikingly similar to the Nike Air Jordan 3.
Dior’s B30, which was unveiled in early 2021 as part of the luxury house’s Resort 22 collection, has finally arrived in stores, and we’d be unsurprised if it were to become one of the most popular luxury sneakers of the season. At first glance, one might even say that the sneaker looks slightly like a rich person’s New Balance sneaker. Considering how popular New Balance has been with sneaker nerds over the past two years, thanks to its second-to-none collaboration strategy, choosing a design that is reminiscent of the brand’s 9XX series is incredibly clever.
But beyond looking like some of the most popular sneakers of the moment, the Dior B30 is an incredibly wearable design that successfully appropriates sportswear sneakers’ key features. The first is the large logo on the side of the sneaker. Dior’s CD logo could easily be replaced with the New Balance “N,” adidas’ Three Stripes, or Nike’s Swoosh.
The reason it doesn’t feel forced or awkwardly placed is down to the relatively simple paneling on the upper, which is also the second key sportswear feature that Dior has gotten right. A mudguard, toe box, and heel counter sit atop a mesh base. The colorways are chosen to provide contrast between the different parts of the shoe.
All of these features are hallmarks of sportswear sneaker designs and a big reason why the Dior B30 has the potential to be adopted by a wider range of sneakerheads. Previously, price and design proved a stumbling block for a lot of people wearing Jordans, New Balance, adidas, and ASICS. With the B30 and other designs, such as the B27 or LV Trainer, the design might be a reason to ignore the high price tag.
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