Every stylish celebrity’s not-so-secret secret is a carefully crafted casualness: putting together effortless-looking outfits that actually involve effort. This helps explain the charm Golden Goose has on its A-list following. Celebs like Megan Fox, Gwyneth Paltrow, Selena Gomez, Michelle Obama, and Olivia Wilde have brought these sneakers from underground to the mainstream. Although it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific time the shoes garnered mass attention, these prominent figures certainly helped contribute.
Despite their worn-in look, Golden Goose sneakers are high-quality. Each shoe is hand-finished by Italian artisans and crafted from soft leather—giving wearers a luxurious experience without those new-shoe blisters. The shoes are often made from luxe fabrics like suede and corduroy and feature cool embellishments like glitter, patches, and shearling. Additionally, the brand’s lab allows you to personally craft your own around your preferences, making for a great personalized present.
As the old adage goes, every rose has its thorn—and this brand has its critics. In 2018, the label was scrutinized after its Superstar Taped Sneaker went viral for what some called poverty appropriation. Golden Goose defended itself by stating that the design paid homage to the West Coast skate culture. (Many skaters would repair their shoes with tape.) Still, there are countless devotees who can’t keep their hands off the luxury kicks, and the shoes play into a larger trend of distressed goods.