We've seen sneakers that look like emissaries from the future. We've seen sneakers that look like they were dug up from the ground and glued back together. We've seen it all — or so we thought. MSCHF's latest kicks might top 'em all.
Meet MSCHF Sneakers' AC.1, a shoe that looks indistinguishable from medical boots prescribed for people with broken feet or sprained ankles.
"The first time I ever saw someone wearing a walking boot I thought it looked incredible," said Daniel Greenberg, MSCHF co-founder. "Industries with little to no regard for aesthetics designing objects for utilitarian purposes churn out bangers like no one else.
"We've collectively aestheticized glasses but the trend of functional medical accessories making the leap to fashion seems to have lagged. No longer. Let's push the envelope on what footwear is; footwear should be anything that you wear on your feet."
Made of flexible molded rubber, the MSCHF AC.1 has features you'd expect from your average sneaker, including ankle support from a dual-airbag sole unit, a grippy high-traction outsole, and a removable water-resistant bootie.
The difference is that the AC.1 looks nothing like your average sneaker, an incongruity that represents the crux of MSCHF Sneakers.
Yes, the MSCHF project — MSCHF Sneakers isn't really a sub-label or separate brand as much as it is its own label for footwear-related experimentation — has released several lawsuit-baiting designs, shoes that actually inspired lawsuits, and conventionally good-looking kicks but MSCHF Sneakers was birthed by a desire to reframe sneaker categorization and, maybe one day, the entire lexicon of covetable sneakers.
For that price, you could get a couple real-deal medical boots. But, remember, the MSCHF AC.1 is more sneaker than walking boot. The only treatment these things would be prescribed for is drip deficiency.
"Think of it more as a high-fashion boot," Greenberg laughed. "You can definitely walk in these though I would not recommend playing ball in them."
Works for me and works for Bloody Osiris, who stars in MSCHF's accompanying campaign.
"He just really loved the concept of the AC.1," explained Greenberg. "The rest is history."