Over the years, we’ve seen Christian Louboutin and his eponymous fashion house unveil a whole range of sneakers. From classic trainer silhouettes and spiked sneakers to its mad Loubishark release last year, the vested red-soled brand has found its way onto the feet of rappers, celebs, sports icons, and fashion-savvy creatives around the globe.
The brand’s recent sneaker drops highlight its shift into a more sporty aesthetic with elevated technical features, and its newest release is no exception — meet the Arpoador.
The Arpoador is the latest silhouette to join the ranks of the Maison’s now iconic sneaker collection, inspired by Louboutin’s enduring love for Rio de Janeiro. Named after the rocky surf spot between the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, the Arpoador is designed to take you from the city out into nature, to the beach, into forests, and back again.
The all-terrain slip-on sneaker is the brainchild of Brazilian heritage, with its flexibility and versatility inspired by the graceful movements of Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) and the contours of its streamlined silhouette subtly nod to the curves of renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s constructions.
When the Louboutin studio started working on the Arpoador, the focus was to create a shoe with a disruptive structure, but that was an ally to movement and agility. The Arpoador is comprised of different parts: the TPU strip and outsole, the insole, and the upper. This three-part no-messing construction combines Louboutin’s highly technical approach with new, innovative materials to further enhance the notion of freedom.
The outsole’s mold clocked up a staggering 400 hours to create, with another 300 hours for the machine milling alone — that’s 233 hours more than the Loubishark’s milling time. Crafted from TPU, a thermoplastic synthetic resin chosen for its ultra-lightweight and durable qualities, the outsole is entirely transparent and flexible, with its surface carved with graphic lines to create a dynamic feel.
Designed for shock absorption and comfort with its soft cushioned feel, the Fussbed insole is made of polyurethane and TPU to provide insulation and ease on any terrain. So whether you’re running or rock climbing, this sneaker has got you covered.
The insole is a key aesthetic element of the shoe thanks to its bold, red contrast — a Louboutin signature staple that’s pretty hard to miss. Unlike the normal assembly approach with sneaker soles, the Arpoador requires a specific step-by-step construction due to its multi-layered design, with the sole mounted before the upper instead of the way around. The upper boasts a leather toe cap, a notched leather heel, and an extensible mesh sock, all sewn together.
As ever with Christian Louboutin, the devil is in the detail. The two emblematic spikes on the heel recall the Loubishark detailing, while the metallic toggle at the back enables the wearer to secure the sneaker fit with ease. Mr. Louboutin’s signature is also embedded on the transparent outsole, matching the red Fussbed that’s been embossed with the Louboutin logo.
Launching in early November in the quintessential Louboutin red, the Arpoador will also be available in three regional, exclusive colorways, light blue Écume, glittery black Fiesta, and Sand. This limited drop with only 100 pairs of each color available will be followed by the full launch, which will see more colors and styles arriving from December.
Shop the Arpoador sneaker here.