This feature originally appears in Complex's February/March issue.
The mash-up of high fashion and sportswear shows no sign of slowing down, and that synergy has taken both worlds where no menswear has gone before. Take, for example, this Frankenstein of a boot from alt-couture stalwart Hood By Air and Italian footwear purveyor Forfex. HBA maestro Shayne Oliver has a knack for pushing the brand’s aesthetic to a strange, cool, atmospheric place, but the inspirations behind the details are grounded in elements that any sneakerhead will recognize.
Made from luxurious deerskin, the silhouette is an ode to Timberland’s classic six-inch construction boot, but then the pot starts to melt. The unique heel strap and neoprene-like tongue on the upper recall the Nike Air Huarache, while the familiar triangular ankle collars from the Tinker Hatfield-designed Air Jordan VII pop up beneath the padded collar, making this truly a sneakerhead’s dream boot.
Well-documented HBA fan Kanye West even gets his props in the form of a molded forefoot strap, an homage to the Nike Air Yeezy 2. Like Voltron, the sum is much greater than its parts.
Hood By Air x Forfex Avalanche Boot $1,175, available for pre-order at Barneys.