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Astro Boy Boots: Everything to Know About These ‘Weird’ Boots

At the start of 2023, the Internet was inundated with pictures of influencers and style icons donning a pair of big red Astro Boy boots. It felt surreal. These shoes were only seen in popular cartoons. When did they become a reality?

Those were the questions racing through the minds of netizens. At a point, it felt like these red boots were the official shoes of the season. Everywhere you went on the Internet, you’d be slammed with photos of style influencers in the classic big red boots. It was as though they held a meeting amongst themselves to get tongues wagging by wearing these boots.

an influencer wearing astro boy boots and sitting on a pavement

The fad has died down a bit. But we won’t deny the coming of Astro Boy boots took the fashion world by storm. They’re still a thing. And you can wear them to make a style statement anytime, anyday. But before you do so, how about you learn more about this footwear including how to rock them with style?

How did Astro Boy Boots Come into Existence?

an American music star wearing MSCHF's big red boots

To answer that question, let’s throw it back to the origin of the name of the boots. 

It all began in 1952 when Osamu Tezuka wrote and illustrated a manga and anime series called Astro Boy. In Japan, the animation is known by its original name Mighty Atom or Tetsuwan-Atomu. And in it, the android character (Astro Boy) who had superpowers and a selfless heart wore a pair of red boots.

Astro boy cartoon

Some people believe the shoes of American footballers (which were popular in Japan at the time) inspired the protagonist’s boots. But Tezuka actually got the inspiration from roller skates which give their wearer speed and agility. And the character’s boots did the same. They were made with futuristic and practical technology and had thick, flat soles and rounded toes.

Since films in the 50s were mostly in black and white, these boots were colored gray in the animation. As a result, many people thought they were red or black. And as years went by, different artists began experimenting with different boots for the Astro boy character. Initially, the boots stopped at the protagonist’s knees but further iterations showed Astro in ankle-length boots sometimes with laces.

These boots weren’t just the signature accessory of the protagonist. They were a crucial part of his superpowers which made up the storyline. As written on Black Girl Nerds:

“They had built-in jet engines that allowed the character to fly and gave him superhuman speed and agility.”

Astro boy animation

Furthermore, when Astro Boy got into the United States, it fostered an interest in Japanese pop culture and fashion. Anime enthusiasts wore red boots that looked like the ones the character wore. And when anime and manga became more popular in the US, fashion designers created anime-and manga-themed collections that often included versions of Astro Boy‘s boots.

Among the iterations, one bears the closest semblance to the actual boots the android character wore in the animation. It’s the Big Red Boots brought to reality by Brooklyn art collective, MSCHF (pronounced mischief).

MSCHF’s Big Red Astro Boy Boots

2 men wearing Astro boy boots

MSCHF’s big red boots, dubbed Astro Boy boots, look so much like Astro Boy’s. They’re made entirely out of red EVA foam. But unlike their anime counterpart, they stop around your mid-calf and can’t fly. Regardless, the reception the Big Red Boots received was massive. From celebrities to fashion enthusiasts alike, everyone embraced these boots, taking photos in them, and reposting across all feeds. 

As the brand describes it, these shoes aren’t shaped like feet but shaped like boots. Little wonder they look weird and totally different from the shoes we’re used to.

Although for reasons best known to MSCHF, the Big Red boot doesn’t acknowledge its ties to Astro Boy. But they admit they drew inspiration from cartoons, particularly Dora the Explorer. Regardless, anyone familiar with the anime series knows where MSCHF’s cartoon-style boots originated from. 

How Much do Astro Boy Boots Cost?

a celebrity wearing Astro boy boots

The cartoon-like red boots which have become a worldwide sensation costs $350. When it went on sale on February 16, MSCHF sold out within minutes and the boots started appearing on eBay for as high as $1,000. People who bought the boots were quick to share them, thus increasing their popularity.

On their website, MSCHF describes their iconic boot as:

“Cartoon boots for a cool 3d world. cartoonishness is an abstraction that frees us from the constraints of reality. if you kick someone in these boots they go boing!…It’s a footwear design truism that the shape of a shoe is not the shape of a foot. Big red boots are really not shaped like feet, but they are extremely shaped like boots.”

Celebrities Who Have Worn Astro Boy Boots

Coi Leray in her pair of astro boy boots

Many celebrities have been spotted in this footwear. For instance, US rapper Lil Wayne wore the Big Red Boots at New York Fashion Week. Singer Coi Leray wore them during her half-time performance at the Brooklyn Nets versus Philadelphia 76ers. 

NBA star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander donned these boots as he left the hotel for a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Diplo wore them courtside at a recent New York Knicks game. Rich the Kid also donned the MSCHF boots at Drake’s Super Bowl party in Scottsdale. Ciara also shared a video of herself vibing to her music while wearing MSCHF’s big red boots.

Similarly, influencers such as Wisdom Kaye, Eni Adeoluwa, the fashionista Gramps, etc., have styled these boots with a wide range of outfits. 

Elderly influencer Gramps wearing MSCHF"s big red boots

These are just a few of the popular names who’ve rocked these statement boots. And this goes to prove the Astro Boy big red boots aren’t just an accessory. They’re a fashion statement waiting for you to harness.

How to Pull off MSCHF’s Big Red Boots

Contrary to what you might be thinking, the big red boots aren’t difficult to pull off. First, you need to understand they’re casual footwear and tailor your outfits to suit them.

But if you’re confused about what fits to wear with your boots, scroll through the slides from Eni and Wisdom above or start with these:

Monochromatic Fits

a man wearing black and black with astro boy boots

Pairing your statement boots with a single-colored ensemble is a great way to play things safe.

Wisdom Kaye pairing his big red boots with an all-red ensemble

They can be black, white, red, or any bold color you prefer.

Denim

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander wearing baggy jeans with astro boy boots

What’s a casual fit without the classic denim?

a lady wearing denim mini skirt with big red boots

Whether as jeans, denim jackets, mini skirts, shorts, or what have you, you can never go wrong when pairing your denim with these boots.

Mini Skirt

a lady wearing her astro boy boots with a mini skirt

Just as your miniskirts look great with knee-high boots, they’re also perfect when paired with Astro boy boots.

a lady wearing her Astro boy boots with a mini skirt and white tight underneath

You can even wear a pair of leggings or pantyhose underneath your skirt to cover your legs while enhancing your look.

Native Wear

Enioluwa wearing a blue agbada with his big red astro boy boots

This particular option requires a high level of confidence to pull off. But you can draw inspiration from Eniouluwa by wearing your red boots with Agbada, senator, or any African traditional dress.

Enioluwa wearing a blue agbada with his big red boots

It’s a daring styling option that’ll definitely get you stares.

Streetwear

a guy rocking his streetwear outfit

Your cargo pants, denim, sweatpants, tracksuits, bomber jacket, sweater, cardigans, tees, etc., come in handy when it’s time to rock these boots.

a guy rocking his streetwear outfit with astro boy boots

Never forget that.

Suits

KFC Colonel Wearing MSCHF Big Red Boots

Who would have thought pantsuits would one day become a versatile piece worn with sneakers and weird big red boots? Well. that’s how fashion works. Everything can be worn both in the usual and unusual, way including suits.

A man wearing a suit with his astro boy boots

So, wear your red boots with your suit. But don’t wear it to work though, unless you plan to confuse your colleagues with small talks about you throughout the day.

Astro Boy Boots: Yay or Nay?

a guy in an al-red outfit

Mschf has carved a niche for itself by creating many unconventional shoes. For instance, in 2021, the brand released a “Satan Shoes” collaboration with Lil Nas X.

The collab featured a Nike shoe with a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross, and a drop of real human blood. Though the shoes sold out almost immediately, Nike sued Mschf for trademark infringement but later on agreed to a settlement.

The big red boots remain one of the most sensational trends to rock the fashion industry. But just because it’s in vogue doesn’t mean you should say yes to it. Ensure it suits your personal style so you can be comfortable while you rock it. That is, you have to be a lover of edgy fashion to pull off such an attention-grabber. Otherwise, skip it and let it pass.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or sketching fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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