In recent months many sneakers have begun to turn into mules, effectively eliminating the back part of the shoe that in the warmer months seems to trap our foot inside layers of plastic, leather, or suede. The latest to do so, in order of time, has been Balenciaga, which transformed its iconic Triple S into the shoe whose origin dates back as far as Ancient Rome, when the term “mulleus calceus” was used to describe the red or purple footwear worn by Roman senators, and which today has taken on the features of any hit sneaker on duty.
Just a few weeks ago, MM6 Maison Margiela and Salomon revealed the newest chapter in their collaboration, including a mule version of the XT-4s part of the brand’s Resort 2024 collection, which, along with its big brother, had not failed to transform the iconic Replica shoes as well. Something similar had also been done by MartineRose in her collaboration with Nike, transforming into a pair of mules one of the most iconic models in the Beaverton-based brand, the Shox, repurposed in a new colorway just a few days ago during the designer’s show in London Fashion Week. The list obviously doesn’t stop there and includes, just to name a few, also GoldenGoose with a mule version of the Space-Stars, Acne Studios that had instead reinterpreted its Leather Slip-On, but also Converse, Lanvin, Off-White™, Puma, Nike, adidas, and New Balance have done the same with some of their most famous silhouettes, from the Stan Smiths to the Court Legacy, up to the 2002RMs or the Out Of Office. If we were to look for the origin of this phenomenon, we would probably have to look toward the success of the Birkenstock Bostons that went, in the span of one summer and a few viral TikToks, from the laughingstock of any shoe rack to absolute must-have of our wardrobes.