MSCHF’s Big Red Boots: Ridiculous or Revolutionary?

Source: GQ

If you’ve been keeping up with recent trends in the fashion industry, you’ve probably seen these cartoonish red boots all over the internet. The “Big Red Boots” that have caused great commotion online recently are the product of the American art collective MSCHF (pronounced “mischief”), who has produced various experimental fashion pieces in the past. Although they have become the “next big thing,” the Big Red Boots have also had their doubts from critics and fashion lovers. 

They’re big, they’re red, and they’re hardly boots — MSCHF’s Big Red Boots are unlike anything you’ve seen before. They’re something Mario from Super Mario would wear, and they resemble Astro Boy’s cartoonish shoes. They were released on February 16 at 11 am EST for $350, and they became the talk of the town even before they were officially announced. 

These boots are definitely cartoonish and strange, but that’s exactly what designers at MSCHF were going for: according to the press release, cartoonishness frees us from the constraints of reality. The Big Red Boots have been spotted on various fashion icons at New York Fashion Week; but how practical are they? Numerous fashionistas have shown that they’re a pain to put on and take off, and they’re certainly not your everyday white sneakers that can be paired with any outfit. Moreover, is it okay to forget about the brand’s history?

Over the years, MSCHF has had its fair share of innovative ideas and controversies. The most famous one of them all has to be their 2021 collaboration with Lil Nas X on a pair of modified Nike Air Max 97s called “Satan Shoes.” These were sold for $1,018 per pair in reference to Bible verse Luke 10:18 with only 666 pairs available. The shoes featured a reverse pentagram, an inverted cross and a drop of real human blood in their sole; they were sold out within minutes. Despite the initial popularity, Nike sued MSCHF over trademark infringement and endorsement of satanism, to which an eventual settlement was reached where MSCHF agreed to accept returns. 

For some, the strangeness of the shoes’ design and the hefty price tag are enough to turn them away. But for others, it’s a unique, experimental wardrobe piece that is, without a doubt, a fashion statement. The Big Red Boot craze isn’t dying down any time soon, and the debate is on: are they ridiculous, or are they revolutionary?