Verdict from 16 user reviews

9 reasons to buy

  • Because of the similarities in looks, one compared these with the SL/17H and remarked that these offers more value for money.
  • A high number of reviewers commend the quality of leather used on the sneaker.
  • The Balenciaga Arena High is a classic and iconic shoe that is a must-have, according to both first-time and recurring Balenciaga purchasers.
  • Despite the buttery leather upper and interior, these sneakers are able to maintain its structure.
  • Several users are delighted with the luxury appeal of its look and feel.
  • One of the buyers highly enjoys its luxurious feel and appeal.
  • The construction of the Arena High is exceptional, according to a couple of testers.
  • Despite its minimal style, it has a unique appeal and does not look like other sneakers.
  • Just like other designer sneakers, these are not lightweight which can be attributed to the sturdier materials used.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The high-top silhouette on a casual sneaker may require some getting used to for some people.
  • One shopper was advised to take care of the laces of these sneakers as they will not be sold separately. He sees no unique feature on the laces and can be easily replaced by a generic brand.

Bottom line

Unlike the Triple S that gets extreme and opposing reactions, the Balenciaga Arena High is much easier on the eyes because of its minimalist design. Staying true to the Balenciaga reputation, expect that no compromises were made in its materials and craftsmanship. Each detail was precisely chosen and used to bring the optimum comfort and durability that is needed for everyday and long-term wear.

Good to know

The Balenciaga Arena High is a men's sneaker that is available in French sizing 39-46, translatable to US sizes 5-12. Based on the brand's recommendation, going a full size down will help attain the more optimum fit. Most of those who purchased, however, suggested that two sizes down worked well for them.

Even though the lambskin upper is plush and buttery, it conforms to the feet giving it a comfortable and supportive feel. It has the same extended lacing system, featuring D-ring lacing or matte palladium metal finishing loops, all the way to the ankles as it is hiking-boot inspired.

One of Balenciaga's most identifiable designs and most iconic sneakers released is the Arena High. Although clad in a futuristic profile, these sneakers stay consistent with the Balenciaga style of still being a wearable piece. The minimal design remains to stand out because of the use of premium materials. The crinkled lambskin upper not only provides texture but is also strategic in a way to disguise the signs for the continuous and long-term wear.

Because of its high-top silhouette, it is best to pair these with cropped pants to showcase the shoe fully. Unlike other models of luxury sneakers, these come in plenty of colorways, from neutral, to bright, to a gradient.

Although most sneakers, both high-end and mass-produced, have something to boast, it takes only a few to master the mix of design and excellent craftsmanship. The Balenciaga Arena High exhibits the perfect blend of very opposing qualities of rugged and luxurious. Its identifiable silhouette matched with wrinkled but opulent lambskin upper sitting atop a durable outsole and sealed with impeccable stitching makes these sneakers a head-turner. Every component makes the shoe distinguishable. Thus, there is no need to stamp these with loud branding.

For another respectable designer like Christian Dior to call one the "master of all," it only goes to show that Cristobal Balenciaga set the standards high. Born in 1895 in the Basque Country, Northern Spain, Balenciaga, early on, became highly influenced by fashion, being a son of a seamstress. At the young age of 22, he established his first haute atelier, catering influential people including the Spanish royal family and aristocracy.

The designer opened the House of Balenciaga in 1937 bagging more than 20 years of experience as a couturier. Balenciaga stood out from other designers and created an instant impact on both the press and his clients for being extremely knowledgeable in his craft, from the design process to finishing a garment.

Although starting with simplistic designs and bold hues, the designer eventually discovered his style and became well-known for Avante-Garde pieces that are translated to street style. One of his recent creations is the Balenciaga Arena, a much simplistic and minimal designed sneaker compared to the more attention-grabbing Triple S.

  • The matte outsole features a wavy pattern to provide traction.
  • The metal tab with guillochet seen at the front of the shoe complements the metal lacing system and adds flair to its overall design.
  • A long list of celebrities was seen sporting the Balenciaga Adidas High. Some of them include Kanye West, Usher, Tristan Thompson, and Rihanna.
Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.