There’s a new shoe on the block.
The Big Red Boots have taken the internet by storm for their oversized cartoonish look, and made their way to New York Fashion Week.
Created by MSCHF, a New York based art collective, the coveted boots sold out within a matter of minutes during their official online launch on Feb. 16.
While MSCHF (pronounced “mischief”) hints that the inspiration may have come from Dora the Explorer’s sidekick, Boots, fans and critics think there is an uncanny resemblance to the footwear of anime character Astro Boy.
Celebrities and influencers alike have embraced the jumbo boots and have been seen stepping out in their new statement piece. But the boots come with a hefty price tag, at $350 a pair.
Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager weighed in on this latest style trend on Feb. 15 and deemed it a slay.
“They look comfy!” Hoda says.
So, what exactly are these red boots?
If you think your TikTok feed is inundated with red boots, you’re not alone. The hashtag #bigredboots has amassed 27 million views on the app, making them nearly impossible to miss.
While everywhere online, these weren't designed with ordinary wear in mind, style expert Melissa Garcia tells TODAY.com.
“They’re not something your everyday man or woman is going to pull for when they’re getting dressed in the morning,” she says.
The boots feature a TPU rubber shell and an EVA foam outsole and midsole — the same material Crocs are made from.
And it turns out the boots are not only a financial investment, but a time commitment too. With its rubber texture, the boots have taken some users upwards of 20 minutes to take off. In one TikTok, someone tries to pull the shoe off another person to no avail with the caption, "Try at your own risk."
But for the creators, it’s all about the art.
“The Big Red Boot is a realization of a specific sort of cartoonish abstraction of a shoe,” MSCHF co-founder Daniel Greenberg said in an interview to Highsnobiety of his boundary-pushing shoe.
And MSCHF is no stranger to controversial footwear. In 2019 the brand designed the “Jesus Shoes” (as in, Nikes with holy water from the River Jordan in the sole) so you could literally walk on water for the price of $1,425.
And in partnership with Lil Nas X, they released Satan Shoes, modified Nike Air Max 97s with a drop of blood in the sole. Nike sued over the controversial shoes and later reached a settlement with MSCHF.
Who is wearing the Big Red Boots?
The boots have truly become, well, a stomp-worthy sensation.
And they have been spotted in all arenas, literally. WWE’s Seth Rollins sported the boots while taking down an opponent in the ring.
Janelle Monáe also casually rocked her own pair on the basketball court.
And Diplo showed off his fire engine red footwear at the New York Knicks game on Feb. 13.
What is the appeal of the Big Red Boot?
The Big Red Boots, to Amanda Sanders, celebrity stylist and image consultant, are all about the shock value.
“I’m happy that designers are feeling more free and things are coming out that are not so serious,” she tells TODAY.com. “I also think it allows us not to take fashion so seriously. You can buy things that don’t make sense just for the sake of you liking it.”
The trick to styling these trendy boots is the adage "less is more." Garcia recommends a woman wear a high-waisted, wide-leg pair of jeans with a clean, white-ribbed tank to complete the ensemble.
And for men, she suggests a pair of jeans or cargo pants tucked in to get the full perspective of the height of the boots with a basic tee. Ultimately, though, eyes will be drawn to the statement piece, so it really doesn’t matter what you wear with them, she says.
If you do want to get your hands on a pair, don’t be disappointed that they’re sold out. Garcia is sure that copycats will crop up.
“You can’t see someone in these and not smile,” she tells TODAY.com. “It’s definitely a fun trend.”