The Shoes You May Hate Will Take Over in 2019


(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to the most polarizing trends out there, “dad” sneakers pretty much hit the top of the list. For the last few seasons, these “ugly” kicks have cropped up in just about every iteration imaginable, with seemingly every brand on the planet releasing its own version. While many of you have been all for the look, I know there’s a group of you who have always been on the fence (myself included). Sure, they’re unique in a technical kind of way and give off ’90s nostalgia vibes (Skechers, anyone?), but the chunky nature has always seemed a bit intimidating. Well, regardless of your views, it looks like the silhouette is sticking around next year—with a twist.

I chatted with Dan Bisson, editor of accessories and footwear at trend forecasting company WGSN, to discuss the longevity of the trend. While he mentioned the continued popularity of dad sneakers, it looks like the chunky design will get an update in 2019, something more in the utility column.

“I believe that the rise in outdoor hiking trends will introduce the trail sneaker as the next ‘must-have’ sneaker for 2019,” he tells us. “This will replace some of the thick-soled designs, appealing to not only the city goers but those wanting to explore country landscapes.”

What do you think? Would you wear chunky “trail sneakers” in the coming months? If you’re on the fence, testing out thick-sole dad sneakers first may be the way to go to see if you like the thick-soled look in general. For inspiration, keep scrolling to check out how the street elite are wearing the design, and then go a bit further to shop chunkier kicks and trail-inspired sneakers.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

A pair of black “ugly” sneakers adds sophistication to a more tailored ensemble.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

We'd consider these a hybrid between the new trail sneakers and “dad” kicks. Regardless, they make this fancier ’fit feel even cooler.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Consider coordinating your sneakers to your outfit with similar colors for an unexpected vibe.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

A pair of chunky sneakers keeps a toned-down outfit unique and interesting. 


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sure, you could go for heels or flats here, but chunky sneakers are way more laid-back and forward.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you really want to go for it, just do it with a pair of brightly colored kicks. 

Now, shop trail sneakers:

Next, check out the “ugly” pants fashion people are loving.

Bobby Schuessler
Market Director

Bobby Schuessler is a fashion editor with over a decade of editorial experience covering shopping, style, and beauty. He's spent over seven years at Who What Wear, currently leading the market team to deliver highly covetable and convertible content. He creates data-driven shopping guides featuring top retialers like Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Net-a-Porter and is at the forefront of Who What Wear's shopping tentpole strategies, including Amazon Prime Day. He also works on branded content initiatives and appears on camera in video and shopping livestream franchises. He has also worked across a variety of other media brands and fashion retailers like Refinery29, PureWow, Men's Health, and Gilt covering commerce, trend reporting, women's and men's fashion, home, and lifestyle.