Highsnobiety

The last time I ever gave Under Armour sneakers a real look was when ASAP Rocky released his one-off 2018 collaboration that was basically a goth version of Osiris' D3 shoe. But Under Armour has been cooking up some shockingly good dad shoes recently. And before you question if a DMV or Philly native is writing this, just let me explain because this is more coordinated than you think.

A lot can happen over the course of six years. Nowadays, ASAP Rocky is putting together solid runway shows at Paris Fashion Week and Under Armour is collaborating with Balenciaga. Yet who could have ever imagined that I'd seriously be checking out Under Armour for sneakers rather than workout leggings in 2024?

The most recent example came just before Rocky's AWGE catwalk, when Under Armour began quietly seeding a new dad shoe-style sneaker and apparel to select Fashion Week attendees. Only a few of them posted about the Under Armour shoe but it's an interesting technical runner that people would instantly call fresh if it had a Swoosh on it.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Under Armour hasn't yet released or even announced this shoe, though it also began recently pushing the UA Apparition, the closest thing in its current lineup to a fashion-forward sneaker.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

But, yes, this reframing of Under Armour's footwear began with its high-end collaborative Balenciaga merch. The partnership itself isn't actually that weird, as creative director Demna has always played that viral high-low — some say anti-fashion — collaboration game since putting DHL uniforms on his Vetements runways. This is the same sort of convention-challenging concept that makes Under Armour's new dad shoes appealing to fashion-forward runway show guests.

So most of the Balenciaga and Under Armour apparel wasn't anything too crazy. It's simply more co-branded oversized hoodies and sweatpants that Instagram influencers have already had shipped to their apartment. The Balenciaga x Under Armour sneakers though, well, that's something entirely different.

Balenciaga's alien steppers always hit on and off the runway. Yet, when Balenciaga's Triple-S and Sock Sneakers are remixed with Under Armour's workout sneakers (likely pairs marketed more as dad joggers or high school football cleats) some sneaker magic just happens.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

It's almost like Demna dropped the "Polymerization"Yu-Gi-Oh! magic card at the perfect moment. Let's take a moment to also acknowledge how crazy it is that Under Armour makes shoes for literally every sport imaginable. Like, how are UA fishing sneakers actually kinda baiting me right now?

However, I can't give all the credit to Demna for sparking my emerging interest in Under Armour sneakers. Turns out, one of Under Armour's most recent hires was footwear veteran Yassine Saidi, who's currently serving as Under Armour’s chief product officer. Before Under Armour, Saidi spent eight years working for adidas and six years working for PUMA. If you ever loved any celebrity PUMA collaboration released in the mid-2010s (I know some of you RiRi stans are still rocking those Creepers with the ankle strap), you have Saidi to thank.

In a June 2024 Vogue Business interview, Saidi said that when he first arrived at Under Armour HQ, he removed its sportswear competitors from moodboards, replacing them with images from fashion brands like Glenn Martens’s Y-PROJECT and abstract designs, like cars, to help push the design team outside the box before the first fruits of their labors debut in 2025 (a small capsule will first launch in late 2024).

So as random as this Balenciaga collaboration seemed at first blush, Under Armour has been enacting a brand turnaround strategy since 2023 that specifically seeks to lean towards fashionable "sportstyle" product. And if that sounds crazy, remember how few people were rocking with Salomon only a few years ago.

We Recommend
  • Joe Freshgoods Took New Balance's Super Chunky Dad Shoes to the Tone Zone
    • Sneakers
  • Mizuno's New Sneaker Is a Quintessential Y2K Dad Shoe
    • Sneakers
  • Wait, Nat Geo's Planet-Friendly Dad Shoes Actually Go Hard
    • Sneakers
  • The Best Basketball Shoes of the 2023-24 Season
    • Sneakers
  • JJJJound's New Balance Dad Shoes Are Back All of a Sudden
    • Sneakers
What To Read Next
  • Fashion's Game of Musical Chairs Heats Up
    • Style
  • Nike's Olympic Basketball Sneaker Is an Instant Collector's Item
    • Sneakers
  • PUMA’s Gloriously Fuzzy Sneaker Is a Work of Art (Literally)
    • Sneakers
  • Kith and Team USA Are The True Dream Team
    • Style
  • Luxury Jewelry’s New Big Three: David Yurman Taps NBA Style Savants For Its Latest Campaign
    • Style
    • sponsored
  • Mizuno's Hand-Dyed Sneaker Is a Feat of Japanese Craftsmanship
    • Sneakers

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.