To all of the men who are facing a mid-life crisis don't freak out just yet because your dad sneakers are now the hottest thing in men's fashion. It's no surprise that the fashion world loves an ugly shoe, and the latest to tug at our sartorial heartstrings is the chunky sneaker, the likes of which we've seen on the runway at Gucci's Cruise 2018 show, as well as in the form of Balenciaga's always-sold-out Triple-S and Kanye West's new Yeezy Desert Rat 500.
But back to "ugly" sneakers. When looking at Balenciaga's new Triple S', immediately think of the scene from Crazy, Stuipid, Love where Ryan Gosling throws Steve Carell's New Balance 407 over the railing at the mall. Still, thinking they would look great with a cool pair of jeans and an oversized sweater? So why do so many people find "ugly sneakers, well, ugly? Is it the color combinations? The thick naked soles? The shoe laces or the many seams? We can only guess that it's a healthy combination of all of the above. "Ugly" sneakers are unbalanced, like a oblique image in a perfectly stylized room. Balenciaga seem to have pulled it off, with the sneakers totally domination every major fashion event around the world. And not to mention Antonio Brown in Drake's smash video hit "God's Plan."
When these not-quite hiking, not-quite-running kicks hit the runway back in January, most viewers didn't know what to make of them. Ugly sneakers have been trending all year, but the Triple S" sneakers take that concept to the extreme. Their upper looks like the kind of running sneakers a main in his later years would wear for maximum arch support, and their hiking-inspired laces would be more at home on a pair of all-weather boots. Their soles, easily the kicks' wildest design feature, are like rubber layer cakes that create a platform at the heel that's a good two inches tall and extends at least an inch away from the pull tab you'd use to actually pull yourself in these mountain gear-like sneakers. It's jarring at first, but judged on their own merits - considering the front half the kicks are also massive and overwrought on purpose - the extended back is necessary counter-balance of design.
The newest model from West's shoe franchise with Adidas, the Adidas Yeezy 500 Desert Rat "Blush" dropping today (April 14th) after being spotted on Kanye West for a good portion of 2017. This Yeezy 500 is the first Adidas x Kanye West original design that doesn't feature Boost technology, though the sole unit has a different history with the Three Stripes. The futuristic sole actually is almost 20 years old. having first debuted on Kobe Bryant's then-signature sneaker - the Adidas KB8 III - in 1999 (Bryant went on to sign with Nike in 2003).
The Yeezy 500 Desert Rat, features a unique blend of heritage and the music-turned-fashion star's atypical aesthetic. Sitting atop a vintage "Feet You Wear" running shoe sole design resurrected from the Adidas archives, the upper is thoroughly modern, boasting a mix of mesh with premium suede and leather paneling. The final product is on par with many of the hottest high-fashion sneakers on the market today, such as the RAF SIMONS "Ozweego", featuring a chunky and athletic yet refined look.
The Yeezy 500 Desert Rat "Blush" is executed in a tonal colorway featuring a slightly pink light-tan hue for every component of the construction, from the rubber outsole to the AdiPrene foam midsole, the soft leather and suede.
Whether you like it or not, the "Dad Sneaker" trend is well and truly at the height of fashion right now. Whether it will hang around or not is a different question, as we all know, fashion moves fast.