Balenciaga unveils stiletto Crocs and the internet is divided

'Looking like a failed 'Shark Tank' pitch,' was one Twitter user's take on these bulbous heels

Balenciaga unveiled stiletto Crocs as part of its spring 2022 collection. Courtesy Balenciaga
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The Balenciaga Clones Spring 2022 presentation was already an unsettling affair.

Presented as a six-minute video, the unveiling of the collection took place on a virtual, deep-fake runway and featured a single model, artist Eliza Douglas, who was digitally cloned to unveil all 44 of the looks. Male and female body doubles were taught how to mimic Douglas’s distinct walk, before her face was grafted on using CGI technology.

“We see our world through a filter – perfected, polished, conformed, Photoshopped. We no longer decipher between unedited and altered, genuine and counterfeit, tangible and conceptual, fact and fiction, fake and deep-fake,” was the video’s opening message.

In front of a robotic-like audience dressed all in black, Douglas's many alter egos donned supersized, deconstructed puffers, hoodies and trench coats; jackets that might have doubled as dressing gowns; elongated trousers that trailed across the ground; and mirrored, Matrix-esque wraparound sunglasses.

Look four from the new collection, which was paired with Balenciaga's stiletto Crocs. Courtesy Balenciaga

But the one style statement that the internet has not been able to digest is a pair of Crocs suspended on a stiletto heel. The shoe comes in black, grey and green, with signature perforations on the upper and sides, and Balenciaga branding on the side.

The brand’s creative director Demna Gvasalia has previously called Crocs “the world’s comfiest shoes”. Indeed, in this unsettling age when we are languishing in our leisurewear, these bulbous designs may strike a chord.

Or perhaps not. “Don’t want to live in a world where this stiletto Croc is real,” Twitter user @JrMcGrail commented.

"Looking like a failed Shark Tank pitch," noted @the_Real_Nick_G.

“If I see you wearing those Balenciaga Crocs stilettos I’m going to assume you actually sold your soul,” wrote @RiaaFerr.

Balenciaga also unveiled a Crocs rain boot. Courtesy Balenciaga

No stranger to ugly utilitarian footwear, Balenciaga also unveiled Crocs rain boots in a range of shades. The clunky contraptions, set on a platformed heel, look like they would probably survive the apocalypse.

No price has been released for the shoes as yet, but Balenciaga’s past efforts to elevate the humble rubber clog have fared pretty well. Its $850 platform Crocs, unveiled in 2018, reportedly sold out before they even hit stores.

The Marmite of the shoe world, Crocs have long been divisive. They were listed as one of the world's "50 Worst Inventions" by Time magazine in 2010. But shares in the company hit an all-time high last week, with sales rising to $460 million in the first quarter of the year, suggesting they will be part of the fashion landscape for a long time to come.