For some reason, one of fashions traditional don'ts — ugly sandals worn with socks — has instead become the new fashion trend sweeping North America this summer season.

When it comes to the fashion world, regular folk understand that there are a number of universal 'dos and 'don'ts'. Do match your socks with your belt. Don't wear patterns on other patterns. Don't wear a low cut shirt to church. And definitely, DO NOT wear socks with sandals.

But, if high fashion has anything to say about it, you may have to re-think that last universal 'don't'.

That's right, ugly sandals, Birkenstocks and the like, worn with socks are all the rage this year.

Celebrities from Justin Bieber and David Beckham to the Olsen twins have been seen sporting the new trend. Designers, Band of Outsiders, Creatures of Comfort, Vivienne Tam, and Louise Goldin have all featured socks and sandals on the runway.

Surprising new trend

Steven Schelling, a Vancouver style writer, is among those surprised by ugly sandals surging in popularity.  

'Many Vancouverites would be surprised to know that the Birkenstock went out of style, because in certain neighbourhoods it never did," he said. 


Birkenstocks never went out of style in Vancouver says Vancouver style writer Steven Schelling (

"But now on the streets of New York you see well dressed celebrities and fashion people walking around in them."

The new fashion 'trend' is borne from the Normcore movement, which saw hip young Brooklynites wearing ill-fitting stone-washed jeans, baggy sweatshirts and big white runners, mimicking mid-west tourists who visited their burg. 

So now that we're seeing the fashion elite wearing socks and sandals, do we need to change our understanding of the universal "no socks with sandals" truth? Schelling says no. 

"I don't care what fashion guru says socks and sandals work, I refuse to believe it. I will die believing that you cannot wear socks with sandals," he said.

Still, if you're so inclined, those ugly sandals can be found at dozens of retailers throughout Metro Vancouver.