How “Ugly Dad” Trainers Took Over the World

Ugly Dad

During the ‘80s and ‘90s, trainers were worn exclusively by dads and, such, turned out as the embodiment of uncool. Remember the days when you have to wear chunky sneakers when you were little and how much you’ve hated your parents for it? But now, you wear them because it became a trend! Shocking? Well, it’s fashion!

Fashion just cycles through seasons eliminating previous collections and praising what’s new as the only thing you can wear to keep a sense of self-respect. However, the idea of it is false. But as much as designers and fashion editors always say that they don’t believe or follow trends anymore, they do exist.

Today, those very similar chunky, bulbous and vaguely orthopedic-looking trainers have become the must-have purchase of every cool-girl of the year. We can see that from celebs and models such as Bella Hadid to Kendall Jenner, to Kaia Gerber, to Kim Kardashian and Hailey Baldwin who have adopted the thick-soled shoe trend.

The question now is, how exactly did the dad trainer handle to shake off its bland name and reputation?

“Ugly” is the Term

The word “ugly” is a relative term and has always had its own appeal. Several of these sneakers may be unattractive to everyone. But in any case, they provide a fresh, eye-catching shift from the well-mannered minimalism that triumphed before. After all, fashion brands need to market new items to keep up. Unique sneakers also became one of the key ways of why luxury brands are getting big names and more dollars from young shoppers.

The original look of trainers has picked up their momentum from the last 4 years. On the runways, numerous brands displayed odd or unpleasant sneakers that are continuously turning up on the streets. Even sports brands such as Nike and Adidas are moving toward the trends as well with some of their new styles.

They may have different forms and materials, but the plethora of clunkiness is their most common characteristic. Let’s take Balenciaga’s oversized Triple S that has totally become the hit for the brand in 2017 and is considered to be one of the popular luxury sneakers until today. However, if you’re not into Balenciagas (which are very expensive), you can opt for Loyalti Footwear’s white trainers if you want simpler sneakers that can easily match any outfit you’d be wearing. But sneakers that are bulkier, more stereotypically wear, with weird colors, shapes, and details, are the better.

A Return to the Golden-Era Sportswear and Footwear

Since trends just keep going around in circles, the trainers started on the catwalk inspired from the ‘90s that made a return to the golden-era sportswear and footwear that regarded as ugliness an aesthetic statement. Just like the Balenciaga’s Triple-s which were the fastest selling item of 2017. And same with Kanye West’s ‘Yeezy Runner’ and Louis Vuitton’s Archlight sneakers which all have taken the runways and well-dressed feet of style stars and celebs.

Adidas’ Stan Smith, which was released in 2014 became the main catalyst for its popularity. It was considered as the perfect solution to fashion’s seriousness and has paved the way for women to make a bold statement. People are wearing dad shoes in the most ironic way as possible. They’re very fashionable today and having clunky shoes creates an edgier contrast and compare.

On the Note

Compared to any other area of menswear, sneaker trends may disappear faster. For the past 2 to 3 years, tonal shades, running knits, and retro releases all had their spotlight. So what’s coming for the next season to keep young consumers interested? That will be anyone’s guess. But right now, it’s quite hard to imagine them going anywhere.

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