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The rise and rise of dad sneakers: How the ugly shoe got cool

dad sneakers

MM6 and Raf_Simons_x_adidas dad sneakers

Sure, they might not be the prettiest looking footwear item, but there is no denying the rising appeal of dad sneakers.

The mood for ‘ugly shoes’ shows no sign of abating, going hand-in-hand with the rising consumer mood for comfort. While last summer was all about chunky sneaker sandals, flatform slides and authentic orthopaedic-stye clogs, cooler temps have encouraged the rise of dad sneakers. And with this new trend, height is key. Although the heel has been down-trending for many seasons, we are achieving new heights via elevated trainers with platform and outsized rubber soles. The bigger, the better, as styles such as Balenciaga’s Triple S trainer, Nike’s Air Max and Raf Simons x adidas Ozweego lead the way. Some of the more extreme silhouettes from what is affectionately referred to as the ‘ugly sneaker’ trend may not filter into the mass commercial arena just yet. But as industry influencers such as Kanye West and Rihanna continue to back this theme, we may see a trickle-down effect at the most commercial level. WGSN Instock data reveals a volume increase of 95% YOY for platform trainers in the US from August to October 2017.

And, it’s definitely a trend that has been picked out by the fashion crowd. ElleUK Magazine called out this shape in their January 2018 issue encouraging readers to wear these sneakers “with cropped trousers and a vintage denim wash.” While Millennial focused digital content site ManRepeller.com wrote an entire essay on the rising consumer fascination with these ugly comfort styles, check it out here.

Look out for this notable shape in 2018 and find out more from our Buyers’ Briefing A/W/18/19 footwear key items report, (subscribers can check it out here).

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

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