Brand: Brain Dead

Season: Fall/Winter 2021

Buy: Brain Dead’s website

Editor’s Notes: Fashion is witnessing a clog renaissance. The wood-soled shoe, once confined to the feet of Dutch farmers and fishermen, is getting a trendy makeover thanks to a number of brands, most recently Brain Dead.

The Los Angeles-based creative collective just launched the Energy Absorber Zoccolo, an Italian-made clog in two colorways, black and silver.

The former boasts a charcoal crepe upper while the latter — made of a texturized silver textile — mimics the look of steel grating. Harkening to the construction of traditional Swedish clogs, Brain Dead secures the shoe’s upper to the midsole using small silver studs. A rubberized toe cap and grosgrain heel strap give both styles a sportier feel.

Muffling the clog’s typically noisy nature (personally, I’m a sucker for loud footwear), Brain Dead considerately adds a Vibram rubber outsole to the shoe’s clomp-y wooden platform, making for something significantly beefier than its collaborative Reebok Beatnik.

The clog is one of several heel-baring shoes to make a comeback. Thanks to the pandemic, casual footwear such as the mule, slide, and their Dutch cousin have seen a rise in demand. In fact, searches for Birkenstock spiked 367 percent during Q4 of 2020, according to Lyst’s quarterly ranking.

Birk and other clog purveyors — namely, Crocs — have also launched a slew of designer and celebrity collaborations with names including Proenza SchoulerJustin Bieber, and Rick Owens.

Fashion houses are releasing their own takes on the clog, too: Bottega Veneta’s rubber slingback, Gucci’s platform mule, and 1017 ALYX 9SM’s futuristic thing are ample evidence that laid-back footwear is here to stay, pandemic or not.

Ready or not, clogs are coming for your feet — prepare to show lots of heel this fall.


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