A Mission Statement For the Foot: Fear of God’s California 2.0 Slip-On

Fear of God’s California 2.0, a soft foam mule that updates an existing Fear of God shoe, is a mission statement for the foot. The California 2.0 slip-on speaks to where the American luxury label stands today in the same way that Fear of God’s in-house Basketball Sneaker reflected where FOG was in 2018.

At face value, FOG’s California 2.0 is a refined take on the California 1.0, a backless slide released in 2021.

Set to launch on Fear of God’s website as part of FOG Collection Eight on August 23, the California 2.0 is the footwear equivalent of a bullet train, stripped of every ounce of extraneousness so as to achieve maximum minimization.

To put it another way, FOG’s California 2.0 mule presents like a bedroom slipper draped in fondant.

But, big picture, the humble California 2.0 mule epitomizes Fear of God founder Jerry Lorenzo’s desire to hew FOG’s design ethos to a razor’s edge.

For now, we got up close with the new shoe in its two debut colorways, Cream and Taupe, to explore the differences between the California 2.0 and its predecessor.

Most obviously, the California 2.0 whittles down the 1.0’s already-minimal midsole to nothing at all, yielding a seamless curve from the custom XL EXTRALIGHT foam upper to the new outsole, now shaped of treaded rubber for additional grip.

A new, removeable Fear of God insole, made of a thin foam-backed leather, sits atop the California 2.0’s footbed — removing it effectively makes the shoe a solid chunk of Italian-made foam.

It’s easy to tell the California 2.0’s Cream and Taupe colorways apart side-by-side but on their own, they wear similarly urbane shades of beige that reinforce the fondant vibes. Is it cake? Now, it is shoe.

Sizing is true-ish to size, though I have wider feet and would likely benefit from sizing up.

Either way, the California 2.0 is comfortable, cushy, squishy, and surprisingly sturdy. It’s not quite as light as its forebear, likely due to the new outsole, but its heft makes the mule feel satisfyingly substantial.

The shoes’ two individual dust bags are a textural, gauzy counterpoint, no less sumptuous but far more slight.

First seen on the Fear of God Collection 8 runway earlier this year, the California 2.0 is indicative of the entire collection. The crisp seasonal offering is rich with single-toned garments cut with clarity and ease, exaggerated enough for comfort but refined enough to avoid swallowing the wearer.

Fear of God’s sporty inclinations are fed by the FOG Athletics line produced by adidas and ESSENTIALS remains a reliable hot ticket.

Meanwhile, mainline FOG is dialed in to its inevitably suave conclusion, a far cry from the archetypical early ’10s streetwear proffered by Fear of God’s second and third collections.

The humbly elegant form of the California 2.0 mule is a big picture representation of Fear of God at large but it’s also just that: humbly elegant.

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