MSCHF, the brand responsible for sneaker designs like the Gobstompers—skater shoes with layered colors like jawbreakers—and Satan Shoes—supposedly made with human blood in the soles—is about to come out with another strange sneaker.
MSCHF’s new shoe is called the BWD Shoe, and it’s set to release on April 11, 2023. What’s this sneaker’s supposed appeal? The ability to wear it frontward or backward. With an opening in the front and the back, the BWD Shoe can be worn as a relatively normal sneaker or a monstrosity of an open-toed sandal. The tongue of the shoe (the flap in the shoe beneath the laces) can be adjusted to complement the wearer’s preferred direction, though it seems that either way, the person’s toes will have outside access.
MSCHF’s last unconventional shoe release, the cartoonish Big Red Boots, gained a lot of online attention for its outlandish style. The brand appears to be gearing up to try to make a similar impact with the BWD Shoe. They’ve already made an appearance on the feet of various celebrities, such as Donald Glover, AKA Childish Gambino, and Fall Out Boy’s lead guitarist, Joe Trohman. The rock band released a music video on March 24 for their song “Hold Me Like A Grudge” where Trohman had on a pair of BWD Shoes—worn backward, of course.
Reactions to the shoes seem mixed. Comments on MSCHF’s recent posts about the BWD Shoe range from wanting to buy a pair to flat-out calling the sneakers ugly. Some fans of the brand seem interested in the concept but disappointed by the execution. Others are so confused by the shoe, they think it’s an April Fool’s joke.
With some of their sneakers costing hundreds of dollars, it’s clear that MSCHF’s main goal isn’t to make their shoes the next big thing among everyday consumers. If going viral is the ideal, the BWD Shoe is certainly eccentric enough to stir up conversation, but it’s hard to tell pre-release if they will pick up the same attention as MSCHF’s previous sneakers. Are the backward shoes too strange for people to buy, or are they too safe for fans of MSCHF’s unpredictable designs?