For as long as I can remember, I've had a soft spot for shoes that most people would call "not beautiful." In year seven, I was the proud wearer of Buffalo platforms (the six-inch kind) and camouflage Dunlop trainers; in high school I shuffled around in Adidas slides. When it comes to the visual assessment and aesthetic classification of my wardrobe, I almost have a metre-thick protective armour. My sharpest critic is myself, and it probably always will be.
But back to "ugly" trainers. When I look at Balenciaga's Triple S', I immediately think of the scene from Crazy, Stupid, Love where Ryan Gosling throws Steve Carell's New Balance 407 over the railing. Still, I think they would look great with a cool pair of jeans and an oversized sweater. So why do so many people find "ugly" trainers, well, ugly? Is it the colour combinations? The thick, naked soles? The shoe laces or the many seams? I can only guess that it's a healthy combination of all of the above. "Ugly" trainers are unbalanced, like an oblique image in a perfectly stylised room. They interfere with the overall picture.
Man Repeller went as far as to assert in the analysis of 'Dad Sneakers,' as they are also called, help ground us in times of unrest — and that might just be the reason for their sudden rise. I, however, feel like we are surrounded by so much false perfection that it's time to go back to the basics. I'm at a point now where I prefer something real to all of the selfies, avocados, and minimalist apartments on Instagram. And perhaps that's why these shoes are so appealing.
It's a trend that refuses to die down – and for good reason, according to Max Schiller, founder of Swedish cult sneaker brand Eytys. "People want comfortable shoes that they can wear all day without compromising on style. Our generation doesn't have the same dress code as our parents : business suits have been replaced with streetwear, so naturally the shoes complete the look. Also, Rick Moranis is a style icon."