Men’s Style Guide | Chunky Sneaker Season

If you follow fashion accounts on social media, you may have seen sneakers with large, obscure, stylized soles that can be described as “ugly” or “dad”. Chunky sneakers, as they have been termed, has seen a mainstream rise in 2017 ever since the release of Balenciaga’s Triple S sneaker (Image above).

Designer brands such as Gucci and Acne Studios are hopping on the trend, including Kanye West’s new YEEZY Wave Runner 700.

YEEZY Wave Runner 700

So what’s the big deal with chunky shoes?

As you know, since the advent of social media, trends come and go at a fast rate. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why chunky shoes are so popular, but for stylist Taylor Okata, the chunky shoe has only been a trend in the high-end mainstream fashion context since the release of the first Adidas by Raf Simons Ozweego 1 in 2013.

Adidas x Raf Simons Ozweego 1

According to industry insiders interviewed by Chris Danforth of Highsnobiety, the chunky sneaker trend can be attributed to the current fashion scene that takes influence from the late ‘90s and early 2000s, including inspiration from popular skate shoe brands like Chad Muska’s éS, Osiris and Airwalk, as well as Nike’s Air Tech Challenge, Air Footscape and Air More Uptempo styles. Insiders also take into account the influence of current fashion trends like normcore and gorpcore.

éS Scheme

Skylar Bergl of Highsnobiety argues that fashion has brainwashed us into observing the intricacies of the “design elements not usually found on more widely available models… to the point that we have to admit that the ugly has somehow become attractive.”

Luka Sabbat wearing Balenciaga Triple S sneakers

However, fashion is strongly perceived through a subjective sense. There are those that believe that chunky sneakers are aesthetically pleasing, while others believe that they just look plain ugly. It’s important to realize that minimalism is over as a trend. Everyone is now looking back to the stylized and colourful fashion of the late ‘90s and early 2000s, and that includes taking influence from popular sneakers at the time.

Kanye West wearing YEZZY Wave Runner 700

Whether you like the style or despise it, you won’t be able to avoid them in the current market. It’s projected that they’ll be a trend for the next couple seasons, but like every trend, they’ll eventually die down.

What’s your favourite chunky sneaker? Let us know in the comments!

Designer Swap is Canada’s online luxury consignment shop and Toronto-based fashion blog. Find gently-used and pre-loved authentic designer pieces to purchase and read about the newest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle trends. Make sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook!

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