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July 09, 2020 3 min read

It wasn’t too long ago when clothing that dads wore were tagged as passé, unfashionable and just plain tacky. Now, literally all the cool girls and boys of the fashion world are wearing dad-inspired clothes. You’re probably wondering why dad shoes are so popular. How did we get from being revolted by dad fashion to now being obsessed with it? Let’s take a closer look at this trend and find out!

white dad shoes

Let’s start with the basics first – dad shoes are not really shoes for dads. In fact, the main market of this trend is the young crowd. The name was coined because the chunky-soled sneakers were reminiscent of the retro trainers that dads loved to wear.

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get your “dad” shoe game up.

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Also called “ugly shoes” or “chunky sneakers”, this trend has been having a major fashion moment in streetwear. In the last 3 years, we've been seeing them everywhere – from the high-fashion runways to the Instagram feeds of who’s who in fashion. It was debuted on the catwalks and became a trend thanks to Instagram and social media influencers who were showcasing their #OOTDs. 

One of the first dad shoes that became a big hit is the New Balance 624 – a classic pair that actual dads have been wearing for a long time. When influencers started wearing these, brands hopped in and began designing their own chunky sneakers. Because all things 90s became cool again, fashion lovers turned their interest to the thick-soled trainers that were getting all the attention.

Despite their unwavering popularity, many have also expressed their dislike for this particular shoe style. Because mainstream fashion had been used to more sophisticated silhouettes, chunky soled shoes were completely out of the blue. No one really expected this trend to become this huge. In a way, they have also become a sort of an interesting anti-fashion statement against mainstream looks. In women’s fashion, high heels have slowly been losing currency and are now being replaced by block heels and chunky platforms.

Thanks to its popularity, the trend went from being a sporty shoe to a designer look. Big fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga and Gucci have their own luxe versions of the shoe. The “It” shoe of the moment is the Balenciaga Triple S. With a distinctive design and limited releases, the Triple S is currently the most sought-after “ugly shoes”. It is priced at around $900 and comes in a variety of designs like multi-colorways and neutrals.

Aside from the unique style, let’s not forget the other factor that makes these trainers super popular – comfort. The thick, oversized soles actually provide excellent cushioning, making these great for walking and jogging. Very few other stylish fashion trends offer the same kind of practicality.

Dad shoes will be super popular in streetwear for a long time. Along with chunky soled platforms, dad sneakers are the choice footwear in streetwear at the moment. They definitely have that bold and edgy character that fits perfectly with street culture.

Learn how to wear the dad shoes trend the right way with our style tips here.


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