Summary

We spent 8.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Nearly all were amazed at the quality of the leather used on this model. 
  • The ones who bought a pair of the Balenciaga Arena Low chose this for its simple, clean and conservative silhouette.
  • Several say that this sneaker could be worn all day without problems.
  • Its well-crafted construction gained a lot of oohs and aahs.
  • Although ultra expensive, some confirm that they see the purchase as a good investment.
  • Clean yet elegant-looking, this shoe can be used in both dress-down and dress-up occasions, some disclose.
  • The Balenciaga Arena Low looks better in person than in pictures, a few have reported. 
  • One particularly like its attached tongue. The same reviewer said that this unique feature gives this shoe its high-end appearance.
  • It is offered in various shades.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The Balenciaga Arena Low is not as comfortable as other casual sneakers in the market, some have remarked.
  • The shoe felt stiff during the first few days of wear, not many have advised.
  • A few wish that this sneaker was available in half sizes.

Bottom line

The low-top edition of the Balenciaga Arena, like its high-top Arena sneaker equivalent, remains simple yet classy. However, like all the other high-end brands, its hefty price tag can only be tolerated by the affluent and the well-to-do sneaker collectors.

Those who chose to buy a pair ignored its exorbitant cost to enjoy its premium materials, high-end looks, and well-made construction. Although lacking in comfort, whatever it failed to provide was undeniably paid in full by its high-quality construction and visually-appealing looks.

Facts

Style: Classic
Top: High
Inspired from: Casual
Collection: Balenciaga Arena
Closure: Laces
Material: EVA, Leather, Rubber Sole
Price: $650
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Expert Reviews

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Made of lambskin leather, expect this shoe to mold comfortably to the feet with wear while offering sufficient support. Its round toe box and low-cut construction also supply adequate wiggle room not to mention unrestricted ankle mobility.

The low-top Balenciaga Arena looks smart and elegant with its shiny, wrinkled leather upper usually clad in monochromatic neutral hues like black, white and gray and brown. The vibrant-toned pairs like the red, blue and plum, on the one hand, remains stylish and eye-catching. Rock it with your favorite denim, cuffed joggers, and chinos and expect to kick your style a notch higher in a snap.

In spite of its minimally-branded silhouette, the Balenciaga Arena Low stands out due to its hiking cleat-inspired design.

Similar to a cleat that often features a lace-up closure with metallic eyelets, this model is recognized for its traditional lacing system with waxed, tonal, flat laces. Balenciaga, though, took it further by replacing the holes with mat palladium metal finished lace loops (aka D-ring eyelets). Its tongue is also unusual as it is entirely connected to the upper. This unique feature gives the shoe a wider opening which makes slipping on/off easier.

High-fashion sneakers have not always been the shoe of choice for sneaker fanatics. These days, however, more and more sneakerheads are seen wearing luxe kicks, the Balenciaga included.

Balenciaga is a luxury fashion house that originated in Spain and was founded by Cristobal Balenciaga who is known to be the designers’ designer. Born in the year 1895, Balenciaga, a seamstress’ son, established his first boutique in 1919. He had his ups and downs, but in the end, he proved he's among the best by regularly topping the list of greats when it comes to 20th-century fashion.

Balenciaga, since he stepped into the fashion world, has been regarded for his uncompromised standards. His timeless, elegant creations were sought-after by the pickiest of shoppers. In the past years, however, his pieces have attracted not only those with the eye for couture but also those who fancy high-end streetwear including celebrities like Usher, Drake and Kanye West.

Among the brand’s staple sneakers is the Balenciaga Arena. Hiking-boot inspired, this shoe is often seen with a high-top construction and metal lace loops. It is also well-known for its top-grade creased leather uppers. Launched in 2010, these kicks have gained a cult following selling out fast thanks to its unquestionable quality and its upscale aesthetics.

After over five years, this model's classic look remains unchanged. Still looking chic with its structured leather upper, tonal sole and affixed tongue, the most alteration it has gone through is a change in material, colorway, and cut.

The Balenciaga Arena Low, its low-top version, surfaced a few years after the initial model debuted. This variation, similar to the high-top, was welcomed with zest. Without the need for expensive marketing stunts, the brand was able to keep their fans up to their toes by simply releasing a new colorway.

  • The lacing system is adorned in the front with a lace lock or a metal tab engraved with a repetitive pattern also known as guilloche.
  • This lifestyle sneaker comes with an extra pair of laces and a white shoe care bag.
  • The Balenciaga branding can only be seen debossed on the removable, leather-lined insoles and the rubber undersole.
  • Its sole unit is equipped with a wavy traction pattern for reliable grip.
  • Leather-lined interior, padded collar and tongue improve the Balenciaga Arena Low’s in-shoe feel.
  • The quilted section at the heel and the stitching on the upper and toe box give it structure and make the shoe more appealing.
  • "Made in Spain" is printed on the back of the tongue.

Comparison

Author
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Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.

daniel@runrepeat.com