MSCHF is no stranger to selling shoes they suspect are controversial (there’s a reason their name is synonymous with playfulness). In addition to the Satan shoes — which Nike ended up suing MSCHF for — the brand also released “Birkinstocks,” which were sandals made from destroyed Hermès Birkin bags and cost between $34,000 and $76,000. They see shoes as a medium for greater artistic explorations. “We see shoes as a very interesting medium to play with,” Bentel says. “If you can create an object that people can engage with in real life, that’s more accessible and interesting than most of the fine art world.”
While their latest shoe release is a provocative play on medical equipment, the MSCHF team has taken steps to make the shoes truly portable (casts are notoriously difficult to walk on, after all, that’s the whole point). “It was designed to be extremely comfortable and flexible,” says Bentel. Kevin Wiesner, Creative Director of the brand, adds that “there is a standard EVA [foam] midsole, a neoprene inner shell and the upper is made of very soft TPU. The boots even have an integrated pump system, for added comfort and heel support. “There are a lot of shoes that have air pump systems, and they’re all fundamentally wrong,” says Wiesner. “Inflated Reebok shoes – those airbags literally do nothing. Ours are amazing, bouncy and supportive.
In a weird way, the AC.1 start is timely. In recent years, fashion has been obsessed with “ugly-chic” shoes; Just look at the recent craze for Crocs, thanks to buzzing designer collaborations with Balenciaga and Christian Cowan. Models like Bella Hadid wear crisp Hokas. But the MSCHF team doesn’t see their new style as part of that trend – in fact, they say it’s the opposite. “I would absolutely say it’s not ugly,” Bentel says. “It’s beautiful,” adds Wiesner. Greenberg adds that the three of them even plan to wear them to a wedding.