Shoes

The Best Chunky/’Ugly’ Sneakers You Can Buy In 2019

Today we take a look at a trend that seems to be continuing from an excellent post by PADDY MADDISON of FashionBeans.com. For a complete list, a link to the original article is posted at the bottom of the page. Be sure to check out FashionBeans’ entire site! It’s pretty fabulous.

Like it or not, massive trainers are here and they aren’t going anywhere fast. Not that they could even if they wanted to, mind you.

To the casual observer, it may have come as a bit of a shock when the fashion elite suddenly appeared to be taking their style cues from Sporty Spice in a pair of Sketchers circa 1995, but it’s actually a pretty natural progression. Think of it as footwear’s answer to the loosening and widening of silhouettes we’ve been seeing in fashion for some time now.

After several years of clean, white minimalism and slim, sock-like fits in the world of trainers, it was only a matter of time before things swung around and began going in the opposite direction. The Raf Simons X Adidas Ozweego was one of the first ‘ugly trainers’ to really kick things up a gear, but it was with the release of Balenciaga’s much-hyped Triple S sneaker that this clumpy footwear craze really took flight.

“In terms of fashion, footwear was about low profile, simple shoes, like Stan Smiths, Roshe Runs or Common Projects Achilles Lows,” explains Andrew Brines, buyer at renowned premium fashion e-tailer, Oki-Ni.

“In 2015 the New York Times ran an article entitled ‘Forget barefoot: the new trendsetter in running shoes is cushioning’, focusing on a particular brand of relatively new running shoes that featured platform-esque soles. Naturally, it didn’t take long for designers to take notice of what the performance brands were producing.”

The End Of The Minimalist Sneaker?

So does the chunky trainer movement spell disaster for minimalist footwearMatchesFashion’s Ben Carr doesn’t think so, but he’s not surprised that there has been a shift.

“While I don’t think the clean sneaker is going anywhere, there is certainly a ubiquity to their presence in modern menswear. Think about it, if you are a teenager and your dad is wearing a minimal sneaker then you’re not going to want to adopt this style are you?

“I think fashion in its purest form is always, and always has to be, a reaction to what has gone before.”

How To Style Chunky Sneakers

Chunky trainers are currently shattering paving slabs at fashion weeks across the globe, but incorporating them into a workable, everyday wardrobe can understandably present a little bit of a challenge.

“My first tip is not to wear them with a minimal look,” says Carr. “They become the sole focus [no pun intended] of the outfit and that’s never good.” He also suggests wearing several layers on top to help balance out the look and to experiment with bright colours and pieces that will distort your silhouette. He adds: “cropped trousers, track pants and oversized sportswear work well… and the chunky sneaker can anchor this.”

Oki-Ni’s Brines believes that going sockless with chunky trainers is never a good idea and stresses the importance of wearing the look with confidence. “Wear the shoes, don’t let the shoes wear you,” he explains. “If you’re just wearing them because they’re on trend, and you’re not that into them, the fashion cognoscenti will smell you out a mile away.”

So, blame Raf Simons, blame Balenciaga, blame your dad – whoever is truly responsible for the rise of the beetle crushers is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that trainers are titanic now and you should probably join the party before it’s too late.

The Best Chunky Sneakers You Can Buy

Ready to embrace one of the most divisive trends to emerge from the murky depths of Lake Fashion since the return of the bowl haircut? These are the best sneakers at every price point if you want to join the chunky trainer club.

Balenciaga Triple S

Okay, let’s get it out of the way. You can’t talk about chunky trainers without mentioning Balenciaga. Since the appointment of Vetements boss Demna Gvasalia as creative director back in late 2015, the luxury Spanish label has become one of the most forward-thinking names in fashion and the now-iconic Triple S sneaker is without doubt its crowning glory.

Taking inspiration from orthotic footwear and the type of trainers favoured by tourists, the Triple S eclipsed its stripped-back predecessors and quickly became a regular sight at fashion weeks as well as a grail purchase for hypebeasts and high-fashion disciples alike.

Reebok Insta Pump Fury

A British sportswear brand with a background in chunky trainers. This latest trendhas thrust the Bolton-born label back into the spotlight and many of the silhouettes from its archives are looking more relevant today than ever before.


This innovative shoe featuring Reebok’s ground-breaking ‘Pump’ cushioning system was first launched in 1994 but in recent years has found a place on the shoe racks of fashionistos as well as Mr Motivators. The Insta Pump Fury has been reimagined by brands ranging from BAPE to Vetements and has earned a cult-like following in the process, making it one of the coolest chunky sneakers you can have in your rotation.

Raf Simons X Adidas Ozweego III

The Balenciaga Triple S may have kick-started this whole thing but would it have even come into existence if it hadn’t been for the long-running collaborative effort between German sportswear giant Adidas and Belgian tastemaker Raf Simons? Well, perhaps not.

The Ozweego III is the latest design in the ground-breaking Ozweego line. Maybe you love them, maybe you loathe them, but however you feel about this beautifully ugly piece of footwear, you can’t deny it’s fun to look at.

Source and the full list available at fashionbeans.com

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