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Sneakers are becoming mules

Not to give up sneakers even during the summer

Sneakers are becoming mules Not to give up sneakers even during the summer

Summer arrives, the heat increases and the desire for comfort grows. Every movement becomes too much, and every effort turns into a drop of sweat our outfits, as they should be, adapt to the needs. That must be why 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. Again Demna, only a few weeks ago had given the same treatment to the 3XL and HD, but even the celebrated Track had not escaped the transformation.

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 Martine Rose 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 Golden Goose 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.

A shift that evidently cleared the way for the idea of a mule that could be far from the formal idea that had always characterized it, thus embracing the casual comfort of a sneaker. «The mule is a shoe of leisure. You can’t run, so you have to be relaxed,» Mule Boyz co-founder Noah Thomas had told The New York Times, effectively positioning this strange hybrid of the sneaker and an open-toe shoe in an unusual position that might find its own logic in the age-old question of the mule as a purely feminine shoe. The sneaker has always represented the emblem of men's footwear, a symbol of a culture that for years has capitalized on buyers' customs and habits, radicalizing them to the point of turning it into a cult. Today, just as sneaker culture is beginning to cease to be what we have come to know, this hybridization of mules seems to represent the compromise between those who, despite the allure of the open shoe, do not want to abandon the appearance of a sneaker.