They are in all the magazines. They are adorning the feet of all the celebrities and models. They are street styling on all the popular Instagram posts. They are taking over my life. I cant seem to figure out this trend. The Chunky Sneaker Trend (I call it the Ugly Grandpa Shoe Trend). How does one make this look fabulous. I’ve had to do some research.
Here’s what I found:
The thing about this style is that you either love it or you hate it, there isn’t much in-between — these oversized sneakers, from Louis Vuitton to Skechers and FILA, get just as many haters as they do fans. Of course it’s because they go against everything we’ve been told about footwear; we’re supposed to want our footwear to be sleek and elongating, not clunky and bulky. Some might be in favor of the a-bit-wrong-but-so-right style, but end up with the shoes collecting dust in their closets because they’re unsure how to style them. It’s actually quite simple thanks to the surprising versatility of chunky sneakers.
Now, how do we wear them without our friends asking us, “WTF are you wearing?”
Crazy Sexy Cool
It’s slowly replacing ADIDAS superstars and Vans and it totally screams Parisian-cool. It can be worn casually with a pair of your favorite jeans, or dressier with a little mini skirt or midi dress. When it comes to wearing them with jeans and pants, we suggest picking a shorter hem that shows above your ankle, so that you give some space and look more chic and less 80s.
If you’re totally confident, try exploring with some socks underneath. Truly, the trick to this look is the more confident you are, the more you will look legit. Top off the look with a sheer sock — a fun change of pace from the typical athletic or ankle sock — and you’ll elevate these chunky sneakers to Insta-worthy status.
Most of the chunky sneakers on the market feature some pretty intense color-blocking. If you’re not ready to dive into the more colorful variations just yet, we recommend starting off with a classic white or nude sneaker.
The Throw-On Dress
The easiest way to off-set a chunky pair of sneakers? A midi-dress, of course. While a full-on athleisure look is all well and good, a puffy-sleeved frock helps balance things out. Not to mention, any one-piece outfit is considered a win in our book.
The frilliness and movement of an airy dress juxtaposed against a next-level running shoe offers the perfect contrast. It’s a look that works just as well for a long day of running overdue errands as it is for a casual Friday at work.
Just Run With It
We’ll call this the gym-teacher ensemble. Once you’ve got a grasp on the sneaker that works for you, you can lean into the athleisure aesthetic full-force, with equally-as-chunky socks, classic track pants, a vintage crewneck sweatshirt, and some clear specs The only thing that’s missing is a whistle around the neck, and frankly, we’re not opposed to that either. Don’t be afraid to play up the ugly-shoe vibe with other athletic-looking pieces that do the trend justice.
Like we said, the most important thing to keep in mind when styling “ugly” sneakers is contrast. And a dress isn’t the only way. Rather than wearing them with leggings or running shorts, go with something that feels the total opposite of what they’re “meant” to be worn with, like a suit. The suit-and-sneaker combination has been a mainstay in street style for the past two seasons (at least), because it’s just as polished as it is trend-forward (and not to mention practical). It’s business on the top, party on the bottom.
I must admit, the chunky sneakers are so ugly that they are beginning to be cute. LOL!!
Will you give them a try?