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Mullet shoes are fashion’s latest obsession with unconventional footwear

By Malavika Pradeep

Jun 11, 2022

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First came Cruggs, the hybrid between a pair of Crocs and UGGs that made the internet go “Gee thanks, I hate it.” The diabolic invention was quickly followed by toe shoes, stiletto clogs and, as of 2022, bread shoes. But just when we thought fashion’s obsession with ‘ugly’ and unconventional footwear was collapsing for the best, boom: people are now wearing a popular hairstyle from the 80s on their feet. Welcome to the wild world of mullet shoes.

What are mullet shoes?

Imagine the wind caressing your hair as it gently bustles through the strands. Now visualise the same phenomenon taking place on your feet. Introduced to the internet by Australia-based athletic footwear brand Volley, mullet shoes are high-tops that visually embody ‘sneaker in the front, party in the back’ energy—with long luscious locks attached to its heels. Yes, you read that right. It’s a mullet, but for your feet. And it looks something like this:

If you’re mildly uncomfortable at this point, you’re not alone. Volley’s mullet shoes, part of its Heritage High collection, come with a white canvas body, webbing detail on the collar, the brand’s iconic herringbone outsole and an original rubber sole called DAMPENERTECH 10 shock-absorbing footbed for all-day comfort. As for the mullet, well, it’s a detachable hairpiece—“made 100 per cent animal-free,” don’t you worry—bound to the shoes with velcro.

“Did someone say it’s a mullet shoe?! No, this isn’t a prank, our MULLET VOLLEYS have landed,” the description on Volley’s website reads, retailing the product for $85 when its original version (without the velcro-based synthetic hair) only sets you back $75.

Shoe-dos or shoe-don’ts?

Now, a pair of high-top sneakers with a silky set of light brown locks cascading down its back sounds rather enchanting. I mean, we’re basically talking about a popular hairstyle that made an iconic comeback in 2020. When detachable mullets make their way onto shoes, the combination also offers exciting possibilities to cut, style and even dye them in multiple ways to truly personalise the entire experience.

But here’s a quick reality check: imagine donning these hairy kicks on a rainy day and coming back to your apartment with mud matted on the animal-free hair. As a person who often trips over her own feet, the design also raises the possibility of landing splat on your face—given how the locks are a couple of inches longer than the shoe itself.

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That being said, this is the entire appeal behind the internet’s fascination with unconventional shoes in the first place. Cutting up fresh loaves of bread as prom footwear? The internet’s been there. Smashing two sinful shoes together to create the ‘anti-Christ of footwear’? Netizens have done that.

In the case of bread shoes and Cruggs, both had founding figures who preached a simple idea—with DIY tutorials dominating our feeds as users jumped on the trend and dedicated hashtags. Considering the fact that Volley has debuted a concept which can be easily conjured up with extensions and duct tape, it’s safe to say that the internet is close behind. Heck, these Today’s TV hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon have tapped its potential already:

For the brand in question, however, the release of its limited-edition kicks comes with supporting a good cause. Partnering with Black Dog Institute, a non-profit facility for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood concerns like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, Volley has developed the pair to help fund efforts for mental health research.

“Suicide is the leading cause of death among Australians aged 15-44, and approximately 60 per cent of Australians reporting symptoms of mental illness don’t seek help,” a blog post on Volley’s website stated. “Which is why we’re proud to partner with Black Dog Institute to bring you a one-of-a-kind Mullet Shoe! 100 per cent of the profits from this limited release shoe will be donated to Black Dog Institute in support of the amazing Mullets for Mental Health cause, encouraging you to shape and grow your mullet for the month of September to raise much-needed funds for mental health research.”

Did you hear that, dear internet? I know good intentions have not stopped you in your previous quests for the next big ‘trend’ to jump on for the views. But I’d like to avoid pulling up to the local supermarket and seeing people competing in the “mullet shoe Olympics” anytime soon.

@volleyaustralia

Can you imagine if this is actually part of the olympics?? Mullet Olympics 2024. See you there ✌🏼 #mullet #hair #shoes #olympics #fyp #fypシ #fypシ゚viral #viral

♬ original sound - VOLLEY