Here’s why I think ironically ugly sneakers are pretty smart. Ugly sneakers, or “Dad” sneakers, are an easy trick to add height to your outfit of the day without the pain of high heels. That’s it.

Did I go screaming and kicking wearing the 2 1/2 thick soles of my Fila Disruptor sneakers headlong into this trend? You bet. Ugly fashion, or ugly anything for that matter, doesn’t normally register on my radar or rank anywhere on my wishlist.

To be honest, when I first saw the $895.00 Balenciaga version of ironically ugly thick soled dad sneakers, both the price tag and the Frankenstienish extreme platform style made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Why? Because seriously, $895.00 sneakers that make your feet look bigger and are yes “ironically” ugly, which you can’t even repair once the shoes become a little worse for wear, because shoemakers can’t match the soles or replace the cushioning. Trust me, I know. I’m a sneakerhead in my own little way.

I don’t drop mad cash on disposable footwear, but I have an extensive collection of sneakers. Some, like my old school low-tech Chanel sneakers, date back to 2004. I treat those sneakers like they’re my babies. For example, after every wear, I take a damp paper towel to the soles and give them a light buff with a suede brush. Those sneakers still turn heads every time I trot them out on the street.

Same with Isabel Marant’s Willow or Beket wedge sneakers, which debuted in 2012 and, in my opinion, is the mother of all fancy high heel designer sneakers. I rock mine every time it snows or rains and on the weekends, and even more so now on formal occasions. I say all this to say, those comfy sneakers that add height are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Now, let’s talk price and how you can get into the trend without breaking the bank or breaking your back to find the perfect pair of height enhancing gym shoes for you. First, it’s cyber week so don’t sleep on trends you’re dying to try like metallic clothes or chunky sneakers. Go ham, or even whole hog. Do a twofer like me and do metallic chunky sneakers. Or not. Up to you. Mix and match if you’re in a human disco ball mood. I feel that way a lot. It fights the blues! Do it all.

Fila Disruptor II sneakers retail for $74.99 at Designer Shoe Warehouse and has been minted by streetwear bloggers from Moscow to Milan and from sea to shining Amercian sea as the ironically ugly footwear of choice.

How come? Pretty ironic that these ugly sneakers check all the boxes. Additional Height. Check. Springy Soles. Check. Makes It Fash-Un. Check. Edgy. Tendy. Affordable.

Here’s the bottom line on what you need to know. Any high heel typically pitches your foot forward, which can put pressure on the toes and make them feel crammed into the toe box you need. Cushy athletic socks generally help to cushion your toes against feeling crushed. If you have a large foot like I do,  size 10/11 (I’m NBA y’all), use extreme caution wearing a white chunky sneaker.

Once you get used to the moon boot-like volume of ironically ugly sneakers, super chunky sneakers work with wide-legged pants paired with a fitted top or try some ugly sneakers and throw on leggings and a tunic. I’ve found that you’ve got to balance the volume ironically ugly sneakers add on to your silhouette out somewhere. For instance, it’s hard to pull off a tight t-shirt and skinny jeans combo with ironically ugly dad sneakers, because it can make your legs look like toothpicks attached to 2 big bricks on your feet.

Fool around in the mirror for a bit and find outfit proportions that work for you before you strut your stuff on the street. My final bit of advice, when you’re trying a new trend that you maybe feel a little self-conscious about debuting: OWN IT!  You never know, you just might stumble on a trend that follows you for life.



Story x @veronicawebb

Sneakers x Fila Disruptor

Silver Tunic x MoschinoxHM

Leggings x Sweaty Betty

Bag x Kooba

Puffer x Mackage