Out with Jimmy Choo heels, in with Balenciaga sneakers. Comfy shoes conquer fashion

A person wears Balenciaga shoes while standing on a fur rug. Photo by Shutterstock.

Everyone has a comfortable pair of shoes around the house, maybe Birkenstock sandals for errands or Crocs for the garden. Some people consider these shoes low fashion or even ugly. 

But the more comfortable and unsightly the shoes, the more on-trend they currently are. Neon orange Keen sandals covered in knotted elastic, Tevas with a two-and-a-half inch rainbow platform, Balenciaga sneakers with giant, swollen soles — these are all statement pieces but what exactly are they saying?

“Around 2017 and … immediate years after, you have high fashion brands, and in particular, Balenciaga releases this shoe called the Triple S, which is a sneaker that sits on a triple stack sole. It comes … just dusty looking. And it's known as this bogus ‘ugly sneaker,’ and it kicks off this craze,” says Jacob Gallagher, men's fashion editor of Off Duty and writer of the "On Trend" column for the Wall Street Journal.

“And you get everything from the Adidas Yeezy to Gucci has their own version. … You see that kind of trickle down. … And all of a sudden, ugly footwear has kind of blanketed the entire landscape.”

Credits

Guest:

  • Jacob Gallagher - men's fashion editor of Off Duty and writer of the "On Trend" column for the Wall Street Journal