Stolen from dads and loved by many, the chunky ‘ugly’ trainers are here to stay. And we’ve found the best pairs.
The ‘ugly’ dad trainer has been doing the rounds for quite some time now, and its powerful impact on the fashion world shows little sign of wavering.
Thanks to Balenciaga’s Triple S trainer, Raf Simon’s Ozweego shoes and Nike bringing back the Air Max ‘98 the classic characteristics: a clunky sole, bright colour combo and brawny elements are no longer reserved for middle aged dads in DIY stores. Already a big hit on the street style circuit, the high street are clocking on to these shoes, and so should you.
Their chunky appearance could be daunting but the XXL shape is all about creating daytime drama, even when paired with the most understated pieces. Did we mention they are, frankly, ridiculously comfortable? Wear yours with midi dresses or delicate skirts and don’t forget a statement sock.
Still not convinced? Scroll down, we guarantee there’s a sneaker to sway you…
Best chunky dad trainers
Call it the Gucci effect but whatever the Italian super brand touches turns into the most covetable piece of the moment. Case in point? The dad trainer. With a thick sole and ultra-chunky shape, this is the shoe dads the world over are dreaming of, given a quirky Gucci twist courtesy a cartoonish take on the intertwined GG logo.
With a strapline that once read ‘Worn by supermodels in London and dads in Ohio’, New Balance is the OG dad trainer brand. Running shoes made cool, these 827 kicks will tick off the pastel trend in the coolest way possible.
A go-to when it comes to chunky kicks, Adidas never fails to get it wrong. The Torsion trainer will serve the purpose of an everyday white pair with all the joys of the uber comfy thick sole.
No tribute to the dad trainer would be complete without an honourable mention for Reebok, whose chunky styles were a firm favourite of dads in the 80s and 90s. These chunky trainers offer some seriously retro styling accents inspired by Reebok’s iconic 80s and 90s collections, brought bang up to date with colour block panelling.
See by Chloe
See by Chloe’s interpretation of the ugly trainer is unashamedly pretty. A patchwork of pastel pinks and warm neutral tones makes for a feminine take on the dad shoe, this one is perfect for those making their first tentative foray into the world of chunky trainers.
We didn’t reach out to a historian for comment but we’d wager that as long as there have been dads, there have been ugly trainers. But when it comes to raising the dad trainer to its new style icon status, it’s French fashion house Balenciaga that deserves the credit. The ultimate chunky-soled trainer, the Triple S is the statement shoe that no self-proclaimed fashion lover should be without.
Though you might know Jimmy Choo better for its glamorous footwear and gravity-defying stilettos, even this red carpet-ready label can’t resist turning its hand to the dad trainer. This ultra-chunky bright white trainer is a very Jimmy Choo take on the trend, with glittering silver laces and an iridescent sole.
Main image: Getty
All other images: courtesy of brands