It took a pandemic for many to start exploring the great outdoors — but fashion’s obsession with it actually started a few years ago, mostly in the menswear market, where anoraks mingled with blazers and outdoor boots were styled with full-on suiting. Gucci was among those dabbling in the haute hiking boot, introducing its hybrid Flashtrek in 2018, a faux-gritty trail-runner type whose crystal-studded harness did nothing to help it fit in with real hiking footwear.
This year, the Italian luxury brand made good on more than just an homage to the outdoors, partnering with The North Face for a buzzy, blowout collaboration that includes patterned puffers, technical backpacks, bucket hats — and one lace up boot whose lack of gender signaling is replaced by one giant hybrid logo.
The boot has a chunky rubber sole that is actually done with a Goodyear welt upon closer inspection. Rope-like laces, hefty metal eyelets and a padded leather upper give it a rugged-but-still-sleek. There are not too many bells and whistles, which makes the gender-neutral footwear easier for everyone to wear — and easier for anyone to pair with a variety of hiking garments, from leggings to technical pants, and yes, even jeans and dresses.
And that logo? It already 2021’s most wanted, thanks in large part to a reignited love affair with The North Face and its puffers and fleeces. Gen Z’ers and original fans alike are scooping up the re-released vintage versions of the jackets, such as the Denali, at retailers like Urban Outfitters and ASOS, which have adorned the backs of celebs like Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Bradley Cooper and the like.