The ugly shoe trend is a fashion phenomenon that’s grown so popular, we pretty much expect it every season. We’ve seen the Birkenstock, the Teva and even Crocs experience runway rebirths that sparked fashion insider frenzies. So when chunky grandpa sneakers (alternative name: dad shoes) burst onto the scene, it was all but inevitable and just as displeasing to the eye as its predecessors — which is, of course, what makes it cool.
We first noticed the clunky, almost orthopedic-looking footwear in December when Bella Hadid stepped out in her Balenciaga Triple S Sneakers. Also spotted in the supportive shape? Kendall Jenner and Teyana Taylor, who both rocked Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 Wave Runners. And just like that, a trend was born — or at least, officially confirmed.
With model Elsa Hosk recently sporting the Balenciaga version, the grandpa sneaker quickly trickled down to the street style set. Just a quick scroll through haute couture street style photos reveals everyone from Charlotte Groeneveld to Susie Lau and more channeling their inner octogenarians. And yes, paired with jeans and minidresses, these thick-soled sneaks looked chic.
Whether the grandpa sneaker’s your cup of tea or no, prepare to see more of this shape. Everyone from Stella McCartney to Steve Madden currently has a version on offer with more brands undoubtedly to follow. If you’re feeling the dorky-chic vibe, click through the slideshow ahead for several takes you can grab now before the trend goes totally mainstream. Consider this your own personal early bird special.