When did shoes get so ugly? From crocs to pool slides, fashionable footwear designers have been championing the idea that gaudy is cool – now it seems the world of sneaker-heads is following suit.
A decade ago it was starkly minimal, fade-into-the-background shoes that the fashion crowd favored, reaching fever pitch in 2014 with the re-launch of Adidas’ Stan Smith.
But alas, as is the case with most fashion trends, your minimal trainers are about to take an overdue time-out.
With the trend for all things 90s persevering and retro sportswear brands like Champion, Diadora and Ellesse returning to the fashion fold, golden-era running-style sneakers are inspiring a new wave of footwear that considers ugliness an aesthetic statement.
From Balenciaga’s autumn/winter 2017 ‘Triple-S’ to Kanye West’s ‘Yeezy Runner’, a new wave of heavy-duty, high-fashion and flat-out gaudy footwear options are taking over the catwalk.
But, this isn’t a trend reserved solely for runway; plenty of mass-market labels are coveting ugly shoes too.
Adidas recently released the Ozweego 2 in collaboration with designer Raf Simons while Asics Gel Lyte III’s, Air Max 95’s and Reebok’s InstaPump Fury all offer up a more affordable take on the garish trend.
And, while trainers laced with stacked soles, clashing colors and air pockets might not replace your go-to plain white kicks, they are an eye-catching option for the more adventurous fashion crowd.
By Sarah Young