Once upon a time during the Spring 2018 New York Fashion Week, the ‘ugly’ dad sneaker trend was born.
Designers such as Gucci and Balenciaga have recently popularized the dad shoe trend, and big-name celebrities and models have joined the bandwagon. These designers manga read to hyper brand these shoes, creating a trend that is seeping into every corner of the fashion world.
The prices for the designer shoes range from $500-$2,000 for a pair. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long until fast-fashion companies and brands snatched ahold of the trend, making similar styles of shoes accessible for normal people at a more affordable price. This helped propel the dad shoe trend into everyday fashion for us commoners.
Although some claim this shoe trend will soon die down, social media posts from fashion bloggers and aspiring fashionistas say otherwise. It’s clear that the lasting impact of the comfortable shoe is sure to stay, maybe not in the constantly changing trends of the fashion world, but certainly on our feet.
These thick-soled, bulky, dad-on-a-hike shoes have made their way into commonplace areas of the world outside of fashion. Many young adults who admire fashion trends either own or wish to have a pair of their own.
One of the main causes for the popularity (and polarity) of this trend has to do a lot with the features of the shoe. Not only do these shoes guarantee a form of comfortability that other sneakers lack, but they also feature a sole that is larger than what we are used to seeing.
Vogue Italia claims that because of the large soles on the shoes, they also work to make a person seem taller.
Another feature that is also divisive amongst critics and fans is the odd designs that the shoes often feature. These shoes are often decorated with bold, contrasting colors, oddly shaped soles, or bulky chains.
While some argue that this style of shoes is worn for their comfortability, others say the trend goes deeper than that. In a Cosmopolitan article, shoe historian Elizabeth Semmelhack claimed that dad shoes have given women a platform to make bold statements, not only in fashion but also socially.
Semmelhack claims that people are choosing to wear these pairs of shoes in an ironic sort of way. She says the trend is to dress in a sleek and otherwise fashionable way, then a person tops off their outfit with these edgy and clunky shoes to make a bold statement.
Since sneakers have traditionally been seen as menswear, Semmelhack noted how the dad sneaker could also be a political statement for women.
“Women’s footwear is in a bit of an interesting moment because the high heel is losing currency,” Semmelhack told Cosmopolitan “and I do think, in part, it’s related to the #MeToo movement.”