Why are Golden Goose Shoes So Expensive?

Image via Neiman Marcus

If you’re anything like us, you’ve wondered about the uber-popular Golden Goose brand. The shoes, which exploded onto the fashion scene in the late 2010s, are designed to look like dirty sneakers. So what makes Golden Goose shoes so expensive? And why does it seem like so many people are willing to pay $500+ to rock these pre-loved-looking kicks? We did some digging to find out.

What is Golden Goose?

First, it’s important to understand the backstory of Golden Goose, since the luxury brand is about more than scuffed-up shoes.

Golden Goose is an Italian luxury fashion brand that’s carved out a niche in the high-end fashion market with its distinctive approach to style, combining modern flair with vintage, distressed looks. Golden Goose sneakers, in particular, are known for their “lived-in” look, featuring scuffs, distressed leather, and unique finishes that make each pair seem personalized.

While it may seem like Golden Goose became a mainstream brand only recently, it was actually founded in 2000, by Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo in Venice, Italy.

The high-end brand merges Italian craftsmanship with a contemporary edge, and it makes more than sneakers, offering products including clothing and accessories, too.

Shop our fav Golden Goose Sneakers

Why are Golden Goose Sneakers Popular?

Sneakers from the Golden Goose 2016 collection, which sparked controversy. Image via Barney’s / Footwear News

Golden Goose has been making distressed-looking goods since the beginning, but the iconic sneakers, in particular, started to catch on in 2016.

That year, Golden Goose launched a collection of pre-distressed sneakers that were meant to pay homage to California skating culture. The sneakers got a ton of attention on social media, but not all of it was good. There was a significant backlash from both the public and the fashion industry that the shoes were appropriating poverty.

The brand came back and reiterated that the shoes were inspired by West Coast skate culture and were not meant to make light of poverty.

Despite the controversy, the viral social media posts got the brand massive amounts of attention, and influencers and celebrities started wearing the shoes en masse. Since then, Golden Goose’s distressed sneakers have been a staple in fashion-forward closets.

Put off by the price? Shop our favorite Golden Goose dupes instead.

Where are Golden Goose Shoes Made?

The brand wasn’t just started in Italy, it’s still made there. Golden Goose prides itself on its “Made in Italy” heritage, with all of its shoes crafted in Italy. This commitment to Italian manufacturing ensures high-quality materials and craftsmanship, contributing to the brand’s luxury status and high price points.

What are Golden Goose Shoes Made Of?

Image via Neiman Marcus

Is it the materials that make Golden Goose shoes so expensive? Partially.

Golden Goose shoes are made from premium materials, including high-quality leather, suede, and other textiles. These materials are carefully selected for durability, comfort, and aesthetics. The brand’s signature sneakers often feature a combination of these materials, giving them a unique, eclectic look that stands out in the luxury market.

The shoes also have lots of detail, including hand-distressing, custom embellishments, and hand-painting, all of which contribute to the price point.

So then, Why are Golden Goose Shoes so Expensive?

Now that we know a bit about the brand, where it’s made, and the type of materials used, you’re probably starting to get a picture of what makes Golden Goose so pricey. Overall, it’s a combination of the below factors that make the shoes cost so much:

  • Italian Craftsmanship: The dedication to Italian manufacturing involves meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail, which are costly but ensure superior quality. The fact that the brand is made it Italy also means it costs money to ship it around the world, costs that are passed on to shoppers.
  • Premium Materials: The use of high-quality leather and textiles increases production costs but contributes to the durability and distinctive look of the shoes.
  • Unique Design: The brand’s signature distressed and pre-worn aesthetic requires specialized processes and hand finishing, adding to the cost.
  • Brand Positioning: As a luxury brand, Golden Goose positions its products as exclusive and premium, which includes pricing strategies that reflect this status. Like a lot of luxury brands, a lot of the “worth” of the product is created by a sense of exclusivity.

What Creates Demand for Luxury Products in Fashion?

The demand for luxury products in fashion can be attributed to several factors:

  • Exclusivity: Limited production runs and unique designs make luxury items coveted by those who wish to stand out.
  • Quality and Craftsmanship: High-end materials and meticulous craftsmanship ensure durability and an elevated aesthetic, justifying higher price points.
  • Brand Prestige: The reputation and heritage of luxury brands lend a sense of status and prestige to their products, making them desirable to consumers looking to showcase their success and fashion sense.
  • Emotional Connection: Luxury brands often succeed in creating an emotional bond with their customers through storytelling, heritage, and a sense of belonging to an exclusive community.

Where Can You Buy Golden Goose Shoes?

Golden Goose shoes are available through a variety of channels:

  • Official Golden Goose boutiques and website: These are the primary sources for the newest collections and limited editions.
  • Luxury department stores: Such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Harrods, among others.
  • Authorized online retailers: Including Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, and others, which offer a wide selection of the brand’s footwear.
  • Second-hand luxury platforms: Websites like The RealReal and Vestiaire Collective often have Golden Goose shoes, providing a more accessible price point for some consumers.

In summary, Golden Goose shoes command a high price due to their Italian craftsmanship, premium materials, unique designs, and the luxury market’s demand dynamics. The brand’s commitment to quality and exclusivity has made its footwear a coveted item among fashion enthusiasts worldwide.