Why We Need to Dump Chunky Sneakers

I am not one to judge fashion. There are plenty of controversial takes and styles in the industry and being judgmental is often just rude and embarrassing.

Yet when it comes to chunky sneakers or “dad shoes,” one must draw the line. Nothing is wrong with being a dad or parent, but it is another thing to intentionally dress like one who goes to Home Depot. A 50-year-old person trying to dress like a 20-year-old is embarrassing, so why not the reverse?

Moving On

I will not deny that there are reasons to embrace sneakers. If anything, women wearing sneakers can serve as a symbol of rebellion and independence, as a way of messing with traditional mores about what women are supposed to wear on their feet.

And there are new trends in the fashionable sneaker market. Who What Wear noted a few months ago that new designs such as from Adidas, New Balance, and Loewe are coming out, both representing the old styles of the 90s and 2000s as well as newer styles.

But these styles are very different from chunky sneakers, which are well, chunky, and often clash with just about anything you care to wear. The only thing which really works with chunky sneakers are loose-fitting jeans and shirts, which just makes you look even more like a dad.

Look. If you really want to get sneakers which work, are reasonably comfortable, and are not that expensive, just go to Target or some other non-fashion store that sells sneakers and pick out the first thing you find. There is nothing wrong with that. But no one leaves Target and thinks that they are the epitome of chic fashion, and it is the same thing if you are just wearing the same sorts of shoes you might find at Target. If you want other, comfy shoes, branch out into loafers among other types of shoes.

But do not pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a glorified Target sneaker which is the equivalent of a fancy croc. And yet that is what we are seeing major brands and influencers do today. We continue to act like there is some inverse relationship between wearing comfortable clothes and being chic, which is not the case as much today.

I understand that fashion is cyclical. But I do ponder whether a good chunk of this newfound interest in chunky sneakers is more a product of nostalgia for the 90s and 2000s than anything else. But the reality is that chunky sneakers back then? They were torn by dads, or techbros, or the sort of dude who today is pontificating about how his NFT is going to make him a gazillionaire any day now.

Some people will claim that the chunky sneaker is here to stay in our world. Those sneakers will continue to exist, just like crocs will continue to exist. But do not try to sell me on the idea that those sneakers represent high fashion.