The "Ugly" Shoe Trend That You'll Hate Now But Wear Soon

We talk at great lengths about ugly shoes here. Why? Well, aside from the fact that we live for a heated fashion debate we also believe that despite how "ugly" or "not ugly" a piece may happen to be, if you're seeing it everywhere, then it's worth talking about. Such is the case with ugly shoes. Whether it's sock boots, chunky dad sneakers, toe-ring sandals, or kitten heels, if it's a shoe style that's polarizing, we want in.

This brings us to the topic of today's spotlight: the utility boot. Now, this may not sound as alarming as the previously mentioned footwear (a leather strap around the toe is admittedly not the easiest look to pull off), but it's also fair to argue that pulling off a pair of, say, clunky lace-up boots isn't either. But because we love a challenge and happen to also love a utility boot for winter, we rounded up a few street style outfits illustrating how these boots can be dressed up or down in a cool, weather-appropriate way. We even threw in an edit of our favorite product picks right now so once you're convinced, you can snag your own pair.


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

Style Tip: Give your clunky boots a polished contrast by styling them with a matching set and crisp button-down shirt.


(Image credit: Style du Monde)

Style Tip: Weather permitting, elongate your legs by teaming combat boots with a short hemline.


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

Play around with edgy and soft by accessorizing a dainty dress with combat boots.


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

There's nothing quite like a pair of white ankle boots to bring your outfit back to life.


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

Skip the heels and opt for a pair of utilitarian-inspired boots to style with your next maxi skirt.

Up next: More ugly shoes that are about to cause a stir.

Nicole Kliest
Freelance Contributor

Nicole Kliest is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City who focuses on fashion, travel, food, wine, and pretty much anything else that's amusing to write about. After graduating from Pepperdine University with a bachelor's in journalism and creative writing, she started her career back in 2010 as Who What Wear's photo editor and throughout the last decade has contributed to publications including Fashionista, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, The Zoe Report, PopSugar, Fodor's Travel, and several others. She also copywrites and has worked with clients such as Frame, Sea, 3x1, Intelligentsia, and others to develop brand voices through storytelling and creative marketing. She's very passionate about the ways we can improve our sustainability efforts in the fashion industry as well as cultivating content that's diverse and inclusive of all people. When she's not checking out the latest restaurant opening in her West Village neighborhood or riding her bicycle along the West Side Highway, she can be found scheming her next trip somewhere around the world. (Up next is Vienna.)