Fancy men's Birkenstocks are now a thing. Yay or nay?

Valentino unveils new collaboration with Birkenstock during Paris Fashion Week men’s show. (Photo: Getty Images)

During Valentino’s Fall/Winter 2019-20 men’s Fashion Week show in Paris on Wednesday, male models strutted the catwalk clad in svelte suits, sunglasses and men’s Birkenstock sandals on their feet.

The high-fashion runway moment is thanks to Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino’s creative director. “I chose to make this collaboration with Birkenstock for the same reason people choose Birkenstock every day,” says Piccioli in a press release. “No matter what you wear, who you are, no matter your gender or social background, no matter your age, your style, no matter if you care about fashion or if you do not, Birkenstock has its own universal language. I loved the idea of approaching the DNA of our Maison, represented by the individual and intimate world of Couture with something that it is so free and adaptable. To me, this is the definition of inclusivity.”

Two new styles were unveiled — a black version with “VLTN” on the side and a slick red rendition of Birkenstock’s beloved Arizona style.

A model walks the runway at the Valentino menswear Fall/Winter 2019-20 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on Jan 16, 2019. (Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho)
A model walks the runway at the Valentino menswear Fall/Winter 2019-20 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on Jan 16, 2019. (Photo by Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)
Valentino and Birkenstock will release two styles in women’s and men’s sizes that will be available on Valentino.com and in Valentino and Birkenstock stores later this year. (Photo: Valentino)

This isn’t the first time that Birkenstock received a high-fashion update. The brand has had a myriad of designer collaborations under its belt, including Rick Owens, Opening Ceremony and J.Crew. And back in 2013, Phoebe Philo famously sent models in luxe black-tie attire down her Céline catwalk wearing fur-lined Birkenstock-style sandals.

However, the footwear label has continually been divisive among consumers, split between those who abhor it and those who swear by it. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by Birkenstock’s own execs, either. “You will never buy something from Gucci and not like it, but you can always wear a pair of Birkenstocks and hate the shoe,” Oliver Reichert, the co-chief executive of Birkenstock, explained to Business of Fashion. “This really is the fundamental difference.” It’s not so much about aesthetics as it is about comfort, and the loyalty that comes after a customer experiences it. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the Valentino and Birkenstock sandals to be released on Valentino.com and select Birkenstock and Valentino boutiques worldwide later this year. In the meantime, shop the classic Birkenstock men’s Arizona style below that inspired it all. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly sandal weather yet, so we rounded up a few shearling-lined versions and clogs you can wear now too.

The editors at Yahoo Lifestyle are committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. At times, we may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

Birkenstock Mens Arizona EVA Sandal (Photo: Journeys)

Shop it: Birkenstock Mens Arizona EVA Sandal, $40, journeys.com

Birkenstock Women’s Arizona Shearling Sandal (Photo: Athleta)

Shop it: Birkenstock Women’s Arizona Shearling Sandal, $145, athleta.gap.com

Birkenstock Women’s Arizona Shearling Sandal (Photo: Free People)

Shop it: Birkenstock Women’s Arizona Shearling Sandal, $145, freepeople.com

Birkenstock Unisex Boston Shearling (Photo: Zappos)

Shop it: Birkenstock Unisex Boston Shearling, $165, zappos.com

Birkenstock Unisex Boston Soft Footbed (Photo: Zappos)

Shop it: Birkenstock Unisex Boston Soft Footbed, $140, zappos.com

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

10 Valentine’s gifts she actually wants to receive
Meghan Markle just wore a $35 H&M dress and it’s still in stock
12 luxurious cashmere sweaters — all under $200 

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.