The House of Balenciaga is a fashion house most famously known for its iconic Motorcycle bag. Made from buttery-soft lambskin featuring aged brass hardware, the bags are seen on countless press photos as they are proudly donned by many celebrities, including Nicole Richie, the Olsen twins, and Kate Moss.
The Motorcycle bag has come a long way since its creation in 1992 and has been loved by many since that day. However, besides said bag, Balenciaga has continued to innovate and design different beautiful fashion items throughout the decades to continuously create new, exciting trends in the fashion industry. This brings us to the star of this blog post – the Balenciaga sneakers, which take on the brand’s baton in the fashion race.
Within Balenciaga’s sneakers collection, there are two main design lines, known as the Arena and Race Runner respectively. The Arena was launched in 2014, marking the fashion house’s first move of stepping into the scene of high-end sneakers. Resembling Balenciaga’s classic Motorcycle bag, the Arena sneakers are too made from high quality lambskin, featuring a metal tab at front, as well as a matte sole that matches the colour of the shoes body.
(Images from Balenciaga’s official website)
Just like the Motorcycle bag, the shoes do not don any loud branding but the design itself #SCREAMS# Balenciaga – simple, sleek and one-tone, gorgeously crafted with wrinkled lambskin. Available in five classic colours: black, white, red, grey and blue, the laced-up sneakers have subtle but stunning design suitable for those who prefer a more low-key lifestyle. As simple and versatile as they are, the Arena would be perfect for any T-shirt plus jeans kind of day!
After the successful launch of the Arena, Balenciaga rides on the hype and (bless the fans’ souls) introduced yet another sneaker design in 2016, calling it the Race Runner! The Balenciaga’s Race Runner is nothing like the Arena; instead, this new design is like the hippy, funky, more fun cousin of the latter!
(Image from Balenciaga’s official website)
Made from different materials medley (mesh, leather, suede, etc.) and colour combinations (yellow + black, green + white, etc.), these flashy sneakers are anything but boring or subtle. Yet, cleverly crafted with microfiber foam lining, the Race Runner is designed to be fitting and comfortable as slip-on trainers. These should be your best companions for a long shopping day or even museum hopping in Europe!
So, which Balenciaga sneakers have struck your heartstring? The refined, elegant Arena or the charismatic, distinct Race Runner? Before you make your call, let’s also check the price tags of each. According to the Balenciaga’s official online retail store, the Arena is priced at USD 645 while the Race Runner is a tad higher at USD 695. Yes, both are quite hefty price tags as expected from a premium, luxurious brand.
If you are ready to burn a big hole in your wallet right now, please go ahead and order a pair of these beauties from Balenciaga’s online or offline boutique. If not, keep calm and read on! We are here to direct you to different online sources where you can find some steals of these Balenciaga sneakers!
Our very first stop is, of course, no other than Taobao. And I can tell you right off the bat that finding cheap Balenciaga sneakers on the website is no easy feat. If you were to search for “Balenciaga sneakers” on the website, the result page would turn up with absolutely zero result. I have performed a good few rounds of trial and errors and some of the best keywords to put into the search bar would be: “巴黎世家 鞋” and “巴黎 男鞋” (which respectively translate into “Balenciaga shoes” and “Balen men’s shoes”.
Both searches would return with a number of Balenciaga sneakers and lookalikes with price range between USD 28 – USD 4000. Let me pull out two specific searched items from Taobao to see what is the reason for such huge price difference.
The first one is a pair of black/pink Race Runner priced at RMB 4000 (~USD 600), being carried by a high-rated recognized flagship store on Taobao (screen cap as below). While the item itself has not accumulated any review from past purchase, the possibility for these sneakers being an authentic Balenciaga’s Race Runner would be fairly high given the seller’s rating. However, here’s the downside: the shoes still cost a bomb – it is merely USD 100 less than its retail price on Balenciaga’s official website – and would still burn a pretty big hole in your wallet.
(Image from Taobao)
Now let’s look at the second pair (screen cap below). Priced at RMB 239 (~USD 35), this pair of Race Runner are definitely much more affordable as it only costs a fraction compared to the original. However, quality-wise, I dare not compare it to the authentic Race Runner even for the slightest. While the sneakers definitely look a lot like the original Race Runner, it is pretty obvious that this is just a copycat. It also does not help as there is no review left by any past customers :(. With all that said, if you are a risk-taker kind of shopper, this purchase might end up being a total steal!
(Image from Taobao)
Okay, now let’s move on to a bigger headache: AliExpress. Like Taobao, I have searched highs and lows, across mountains and oceans on AliExpress to look for a cheap pair of Balenciaga sneakers. And voila, I found one SINGLE result, after trying out thousands of different keywords (#fml). With search term “巴黎 休闲鞋” (which translates into “Balen casual shoes”), I found a pair of Arena priced at ~USD 32.
While the price is a total bargain, this item on AliExpress is no doubt an Arena mimic. It bears no Balenciaga branding and its cheap price is a red flag itself. I could not comment on its quality either as the shoes have not gained any rating or review… Again, if you would like to take a chance on this, please buy at own risk!
(Image from AliExpress)
Now that we have looked at both Taobao and AliExpress, it seems like neither platform is giving us any good deal for a pair of cheap, high-quality Balenciaga sneakers. But.. we shall not despair! On the Internet, there are always answers if we search hard enough! And here I am, spoon-feeding you with the right answer – Prime Stuff!
If you have been a regular reader of this blog, you would have already known what Prime Stuff is. Prime Stuff (www.primestuff.ru) is an online wholesaler that carries numerous high-end brands and products, including Fendi, Hermes and Balmain. And of course, you can find Balenciaga on their website!
Searching under the brand Balenciaga on the website’s header tab, you will arrive at a plethora of stunning Balenciaga sneakers, including both Arena and Race Runner! Depending on the style and material, each sneakers pair is priced at an average USD 180. Compared to the original retail price of ~USD 650, Prime Stuff offers high quality Balenciaga sneakers at a decent, affordable price tag! I have included below some screen cap and teaser pictures from the website:
(All images from Prime Stuff)
Simply striking, aren’t they? Just a quick note too: besides its relatively cheaper price yet good quality, Balenciaga sneakers offered by Prime Stuff are also available in myriad colours and styles! Some limited editions or rare colours of these sneakers are usually difficult to find, but definitely try your luck on Prime Stuff! You will never know what you could find there 🙂
Phew, that’s a really long post! Let’s wrap it up here: be it a single pair or a wholesale amount, or choosing between a splurge or a save, I hope that I have helped to show you where you can get your very own Balenciaga sneakers! I’m sure this beautiful pair of new kick would be a great addition to your wardrobe!