The dad shoe needed time to grow on me. I needed time to re-contextualize it as something that was actually cool and on trend rather than seeing it is a hideous turd. The trend that began two years ago played out like this for me.
2017 Me: Dad shoes are the most ugly fucking things I have ever seen. I’m sticking with Retro Jordans and Nike Air Force 1’s all day!
2018 Me: Yeah they still ugly AF, but some of these dad shoes are starting to grow on me. Plus I’m tired of being basic and just wearing AF1’s all day.
2019 Me: Yo! I just copped a pair Nike Vomero 5’s! THE SAME ONE’s co-signed by Lebron!
Being in the sneaker game especially during the era when I came up, your eye gets trained to look for certain things. Design details such as clean and smooth design lines have become ingrained into my style DNA.
So what happened? When did I become a turncoat on dad shoes?
When it comes to style and fashion, guys now gain their confidence from the feet up. The way we collect, trade, sell, and wear sneakers today is akin to how rich old guys view and wear watches. Only they could pull a eye catching gaudi Frank Muller timepieces to make themselves feel like the man.
We now see sneakers as signifiers to stand out. What better way to attract attention than to throw a curveball in your outfit and wear something outrageous? The whole ugly/dad shoe trend is an inside joke. We know they aren’t good looking, and that’s kind of the point. The chunky silhouette you have on your feet juxtaposes the rest of your fit in a good way. It’s perfectly in line with fashion’s current liking to all things ironic. It’s become cool to treat an eye sore of a silhouette as if it was actually good looking.
The Nike Vomero Five’s were running shoes that came out in 2009. When they were first released, they were strictly purchased for running. A decade later you have Lebron rocking them with a Tom Ford Suit. This was a result of a shift in how we astheitcally view sneakers. Clean and smooth sneakers aren’t looking to hot compared to its more hefty, chunky younger brother. Things are changing. Brands are banking on the fact that you are finally bored of classic looking sneakers. So for all you “OG” sneaker heads out there, sneakers evolve, try something new.