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MSCHF’s Big Red Boots: What Happened and Where to Cop

James Francisco

Some may commend their works, while others dislike it with a burning passion.

New York art collective MSCHF headlines a movement spearheaded by creative obscurity, venturing into the unexplored. Nitpicking at the most unlikely themes and trends, their notorious masterpieces, which includes the Wavy Baby “Vans” and TAP3 Nikes, seep into the global fashion scene—as their version of Astro Boy’s/Boots the Monkey’s “Big Red Boot” (BRB) takes center stage.

Instagram: @mschf

“Cartoon Boots for a Cool 3D World,” Gabriel Whaley’s birthchild initially released the 15-inch-3-pound pair on the brand’s website and MSCHF’s sneakers application last February 16, 2023, retailing at $350 (∼₱19,904.48). 

The animated parody was reportedly manufactured in China, donning a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) rubber shell, an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam sole unit, and dressed in the Mighty Atom’s iconic red color scheme. The world quickly took action, with the BRB selling out immediately and fetching thousands on resell.

And that was it; another successful release that breathed MSCHF’s esoteric expression (or at least, that’s what we thought).

Instagram: @mschf

Someone who poses familiarity with the “rubber-esque” (although it’s actually not rubber) appearance, Crocs’ influence slated its successor with the “Big Red Boots, Now Yellow with Holes in Them.” The Brooklyn-based innovators acquired the assistance of Estonian rapper-singer Tommy Cash, teasing the release through a mime-like getup, attending Rick Owen’s Paris Fashion Week show, paired with an oversized wine glass and the yellow rendition on toe. 

Unlike the original, the August 2023 parody captured the reality of MSCHF and Crocs having a baby, featuring the Boulder, Colorado clog’s iconic holes on the upper and dual-position heel strap in a sleek yellow colorway. 

Retailing for $450 (∼₱25,591.48), it presents a somewhat “sandal” alternative, given the added ventilation utility and susceptibility to pours through its gaps (for MSCHF jibbitz possibly?).

Instagram: @bape_japan

The BRB travels east with its recent Tokyo Fashion Week appearance through A Bathing Ape’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection. The Japanese fashion house reportedly purchased a batch for customization, displayed through its signature ABC camouflage in green, pink, and blue.  

MSCHF confirmed to Complex that the acquisition of the units was solely used for the show, debunking any rumors of an official collaboration with no plans of releasing it publicly (at least, for now).

Instagram: @shai

Ultimately, the hype for the BRBs has toned down a notch, dipping to under-retail on the secondary market, possibly due to the surplus of supply given previous re-releases. It’s just not for everyone—noting the niche audience it caters to, as most won’t be able to justify spending hundreds of dollars to rock these giant stompers.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a weirdly cool shoe to have that merits multiple glances for sure, though given its unorthodox appearance and complicated structure (shout-out Druski), it personally eludes candidacy for the everyday sneaker rotation (unless the silhouette speaks widely to you, I guess).

For those still looking to source these notorious boots, a near full-size run of the BRB is widely available on the brand’s website. Online marketplaces present a promising alternative with red and yellow renditions slightly under its $350/$450 release benchmark.

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