Are Ugly Dad Sneakers In For 2018?

Balenciaga, Gucci, Yeezy x Adidas, Acne Studios and Dior all dropped their renditions of the ugly dad shoe (most of which are sold out), ubiquitously styled in fashion editorials and runway shoes with light wash dad jeans or chinos and oversized check shirts.

To some, dad shoes had their 15 minutes of fame in 2017, but will the chunky silhouette show its longevity in 2018? With the likes of John Elliott bringing back the ultimate dad shoe Nike Air Monarch in his Fall-Winter 2018 runway show, how will the trend survive, and are sneakerheads bothered by the trend anymore?

Balenciaga 2017 runway
Balenciaga 2017 runway

GARBPROJECT’s Instagram account is full of dad sneakers, from vintage Nikes to the most hyped Balenciaga Triple S colourways. Here’s what the community has to say:

“It’s clear that however many people want to think these look good, the point of them, to me, is that they are anti-aesthetic. Much with envelope-pushing art and music, they are made to be noticed and to divide opinion. The ugliness helps make them seem more exclusive as nobody who isn’t a ‘fashion-whore’ would be seen dead in these things, which I guess is what high fashion is all about really,” says Levi Sykes, 37.

That Gucci shoe, that chunky shoe that looked like it was at the back of the shed for about five years – for some reason people were going crazy for it.”

Kanye West wearing all-black Yeezy 700's.
Kanye West wearing all-black Yeezy 700’s.

Ferris Osseiran, 19, says: “Because of big fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Gucci and Prada playing into to it, it stays on trend. It’s quite funny, since it all started as a meme.

“Triple S are a well constructed and well designed shoe, which actually looks good. I don’t rate dad shoes that much since I want to avoid being a brainless consumer and just following industry-made trends, but those are hard as fuck.”

Dad shoes, complete with comfort, wearability, new-found style and enough Top Trump points to make you a professional lawn mower, BBQ connoisseur and all-round quality Dad, has caused more controversy and hysteria than any shoe trend before it.

Harking back to Kanye West’s original Yeezy 350, the commotion caused soon died down after people got their hands on their pairs. However, with dad shoes, ugliness still rules king on the deciding factor of whether to love or to hate the silhouette.

“I am not really sure where the whole sneaker scene is going but I hope it isn’t going in that direction.”

Ollie Nicholl-Dovell, 19, says: “High end brands are just competing to make the most bizarre chunky looking shoe.”
Scott James, 29, adds: “Dad shoes are fine but the oversized chunky stuff is dead, it is stupid and creates janky looking silhouettes.”

Despite the feedback from sneakerheads, take a trip to Supreme on a Thursday drop and it is a completely different story.

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 20.57.18e280848b-bd64-4c03-9473-dc20d5f9c9f0

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@garbproject

Swarms of teens are decked head to toe in the latest streetwear pieces, most elevated by chunky sneakers from the likes of Raf Simons and pairs from the luxury fashion group, Kering.

Chunky Sneakers: The Truth

The love for major fashion houses and their exclusive shoes is clear, but within the streetwear community are ‘true OG’s’, who argue “the only real Dad shoes are the Nike Air Monarch’s,” and “The OG Dad Shoe, the Hi-Tec Silver Shadow 4×4,” give a point of view that would make any young Hypebeast quiver in their £600 sneakers.

James Fagan, 16, Co-Founder of Coffee & Kicks Dublin, says: “I am a fan of the [Yeezy] 700s and the Thunders by Puma but that’s where my liking of ‘dad shoes’ end.

“I’ve never been a fan of high end shoes and now this whole dad shoe trend really has put the nail in the coffin for me. That Gucci shoe, that chunky shoe that looked like it was at the back of the shed for about five years – for some reason people were going crazy for it.”

James adds: “I’ve seen Louis Vuitton also entered the game with some arch type shoe that basically just looked like a high heel. I am not really sure where the whole sneaker scene is going but I hope it isn’t going in that direction.”

2018 will be the deciding factor on whether dad sneakers are trend or trash, but if the likes of Puma and Nike have anything to do with this year’s sneaker rotations, it could be another strong 12 months for the oversized look.

 

Eric Brain

Eric Brain is a menswear journalist from London. He currently studies at Kingston University and has previously worked for Esquire Magazine, Hearst LIVE, JUNGLE Magazine, Sabotage Times and more. To contact Eric, email him at ericb96@hotmail.co.uk.

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