It’s been ten days since the viral MSCHF Big Red Boots bonked their way into our collective cultural consciousness, and yet it feels as if they’ve been around forever. Were we ever so young that, nearly a fortnight ago, none of us knew about the viral MSCHF Big Red Boots? I can’t comprehend it. Maybe you can’t, either.
In the span of those ten days, the boots boinged their way into myriad headlines, through the hype-trodden scene of New York Fashion Week, and onto the famous feet of Lil Wayne, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Diplo, Coi Leray, Iggy Azalea, Fivio Foreign, Pardison Fontaine, Rich the Kid, the WWE’s Seth Rollins, Hot Ones host Sean Evans, as well as an indeterminate number of Instagram and TikTok influencers.
And at last, today, on the morning of their virtual tenth day of existence, the boots went on sale for $350 a pair on MSCHF’s website, where they sold out within minutes.
If you have not yet been Red-pilled on the Big Boots, a brief synopsis: the boots are a pair of honking-red, knee-high shoes that look as though the metaverse sculpted them out of polymer clay, but are actually made, as Complex so succinctly put it, out of “thermoplastic polyurethane (plasticky rubber) and ethylene vinyl acetate (rubbery plastic).” They are an approximation of the red boots worn by Astro Boy, the humanoid-child-superhero protagonist of the Japanese manga series that was first published in the 1950s, although everything about these boots suggests that they could not have possibly existed before the year 2023. They were created by the New York-based streetwear brand-art collective MSCHF (pronounced “mischief”)—the same group behind the unauthorized Air Max spoofs known as the “Satan Shoes,” whose pseudo-litigious, human-blood-filled soles helped propel an entire Lil Nas X album cycle.