Dad shoes for all dudes, because this style is not going anywhere yet
The biggest shoe trend is still parading around on the sidewalks. We select our favourites!
Shoe trends come and go, but the "dad shoe" trend which has risen to new heights these last couple seasons and is still at the forefront of sneaker and fashion culture. You know something is a bonafide trend when every luxury design brand is doing their own version of the "dad shoe" aka the "chunky shoe" aka the "ugly shoe." Now to be clear, there are many elements that make a shoe a "dad shoe" — it isn't simply whether your dad would wear it. For the purposes of this article and curated list a "dad shoe" will be defined as a shoe with a chunky silhouette, including an exaggerated sole and upper, design elements which pay homage to a retro-sportswear "dad" era: '90s - early 2000s. This would include the chunky skate sneakers and clunky basketball shoes of years past, (which I guess includes shoes your dad may actually wear or have worn!). Let's take a look at some of the best "dad shoes" out right now.
This is the iconic unisex training shoe from the early 2000s that many say is the quintessential dad shoe. The Nike Monarch is actually one of the best selling models worldwide for the swoosh brand, and the current "dad shoe" wave is only going to help those numbers. Currently on their fourth iteration, the Monarch IV in classic white with navy details is a timeless choice. This may be the only shoe on our list that you and your parents can both enjoy!
Nike Monarch, $85, nike.com
These D'Lites by Sketchers feature a more aggressive tread sole. The black and white colourway adds a streetwear vibe that can't be beat at this price point.
Sketchers D'Lites, $95, skechers.com
Karhu is the "New Balance" of Finland, and the brand is actually the official equipment provider for the Olympics. This Fusion 2.0 sneaker perfectly combines the retro heritage athletic trainer with a hiking shoe. Not only do you get the "dad shoe" vibe but also the retro-sportswear-hiking look that many (including John Mayer) embrace. If you enjoy a day where your urban city walk-around takes you straight into a scenic nature-filled hike, this could be the perfect pair for you.
Karhu Fusion 2.0, $184, jcrew.com
LA-based brand Brandblack's Aura sneaker is a perfect example of the "dad shoe" modernized for 2018. It features a Vibram sole which is popular among workwear brands, a knit ankle upper which adds a modern tech element, and a chunky running silhouette or "ugly sneaker" vibe. This mostly white version features nice pops of blue and peach — a great colour combo for summer.
Brandblack Aura Sneaker, $239, urbanoutfitters.com
Leave it to Kanye West to take a trend and kick it up a notch. The next iteration of the Yeezy Desert Rat 500 will come in a "supermoon yellow" colourway. The shoe consists of premium mesh and suede upper which seems to be equal parts dad shoe and space shoe. The bottom curvature and shape of the sole has its design roots in early Adidas basketball shoes made for Kobe Bryant, but is updated with a futuristic form for 2018. This is the shoe already seen on Kim K (naturally) and is a great unisex option for those couples wanting to do the ole 'His and Hers" sneaker maneuver.
Adidas Yeezy Desert Rat 500, $280, adidas.ca
Acne studios, which is the Stockholm-based brand known for its ultra clean take on Scandinavian minimalism, offers this Sofiane sneaker. The shoes feature a unique offset lacing structure, chunky midsole and a suede and leather upper. Pair these ultra-forward trainers with a clean pair of cropped dress slacks to complete the look. They are available in a number of colours but this clean off-white natural and tan palette is a clear winner.
Acne Studios White Sofiane Sneakers, $524, ssense.com
I love this Gucci Rhyton sneaker, and this is a relatively new silhouette for the Italian fashion house. The shoe consists of a premium leather upper with a retro-inspired chunky design, while the graphic print on the side in classic "Gucci colours" adds a modern twist. The use of a rubber gum sole in combination with the off-white leather is a great combo too.
Gucci Rhyton Web Print Sneakers, $975, gucci.com
Finally the Balenciaga Triple S has only been around a couple seasons but it has quickly become the "Godfather" of the fashion dad sneaker trend. This is the shoe that started it all when spotted on the fashionistas on the sidewalk outside the runway shows, then rocked by many trend-savvy musicians, models and actors alike. Known for its excessively large base, the shoe also features a retro mesh and leather upper. Although the shoe is quite substantial in weight (and price!) it is quite comfortable too.
Balenciaga Triple S, $1215, saksfifthavenue.com
Joe Amio is a creator, curator and menswear aficionado. Find him on instagram @joeisthenewblack.