The Most Hyped Sneakers Of 2018 Are Not What You Think

Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star & up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors.
Chunky sneaker, dad shoe, grandma style — call it what you will, the divisive, puffy silhouette has been in demand well before Demna's fall '17 sartorial love letter to Bernie Sanders. In a trend-driven cycle where hype begets hype, we embarked on a mission to cut through the madness of it all to get to the bottom of the real need for ugly footwear, which is fashion comfort. The first step is accepting that, aesthetics of layered bulbous rubber aside, your feet will never be mad at a more cushioned insole.
Hard fact: the 490 five-star reviews of Skechers' Energy sneakers on Jet prove that while the hype on hideous shoes could be considered a fashion farce by some, it's no charade when it comes to the most-loved sneaker styles in the world. Or at least the highest reviewed on the likes of Zappos, Amazon, and all the other go-to review-weighted retail behemoths we've come to rely on.
Since we're here for the goods, wherever they may be served up, we're certainly not batting away any potential top-rated shoe, no matter the brand name or function. So, to please both the trendsetters with a hunger for a high fashion investment and those looking to get a leg up on comfort while it's #trending, we present you with real hype (those that have received high-praise from every average Jane on the internet) versus egregiously good fashion hype (like Balenciaga's new $850 "track" sneaker). Which one would you buy into? Either way, there's no shame in the comfy shoe game.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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The hype: 2,371 reviews on Amazon with a rating of 4.6

"My favorite shoes ever! This shoe saved my life when I had to accompany an 8th grade class to Disneyland in 2006. After wearing a brand new pair on that 5-day trip, I came home and bought two more and put them away for future use." - Charlotte L. Holt, Amazon reviewer
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The hype: Acne's year-old iteration of the chunky sneaker was such an instant hit, it's now available in a multitude of colors and fabrications including a newly launched distressed version that veers into trashion. Keeping it clean over here.
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The hype: 871 reviews on Zappos with a rating of 4.7

"Class act all around — GREAT shoe — stylish, comfortable, helps us klutzes dance a tiny bit better. These are possibly the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. I bought them for Zumba, but find myself wearing them to work too." - Suzy H, Zappos reviewer
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The hype: Yohji Yamamoto and adidas‘s collaborative Y-3 collection recently introduced the Ekika model. It's equal parts avant-garde and sporty with a touch of — is that a Zumba shoe?
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The hype: 63 reviews on Nike with a rating of 4.3

"Love, love, love these shoes! I bought them cause they looked so cute on another girl. I am not a tennis shoes girl. These still manage to look feminine and cute even with leggings. They're ridiculously comfortable. They can be dressed up or dressed down. I have 3 pairs of them." - CrystalB940189827, Nike reviewer
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The hype: The first Calvin Klein 205W39NYC label sneakers under Chief Creative Officer, Raf Simons has some serious Raf x adidas Response Trail Runner 2 vibes which—don't @ us—sort of had some Tinker Hatfield Nike Air Huarache neoprene ski shoe feels. There, we said it. Would still add to cart.
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The hype: 672 reviews on Jet with a rating of 4.5

"What in the world is going on...I never write reviews. My feet are literally my life and what pays the bills. I have been wearing these shoes for over 15 years...these shoes have been my life saver. Happy feet makes a happy person..." - Reenie, Jet reviewer
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The hype: It's no secret that Alessandro Michele has a penchant for nostalgia in the most more-is-more way. When the Gucci creative director dipped into the House's archives and surfaced up '80s and '90s logos to plaster onto a chunky sneaker silhouette, logomania ensued. Retro double Gs paired with classic green and red webbing is already enough to get any fashion plate's heart racing but on a sneaker, the potential for speed is palpable.
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The hype: 44 reviews on Urban Outfitters with a rating of 4.6

"I've had these for a few weeks now and I wear them all the time. Not only are they comfy, but they add like an inch and a half to my height (which is helpful as someone who's 4'11"!). They're stylish and comfortable, and they're also true to size. Love wearing them at school — they go with lazy outfits as well as cute ones! :) - Olivia B, Urban Outfitters reviewer
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The hype: U.K. counter-culture enthusiasts might remember OG chunky sneaker brand Swear London from the back pages of their beloved The Face magazine (RIP). The brand is back and bigger than ever but only in physical size for now. Be the first among your friends to lug around in these stompers.
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The hype: 15 reviews on Target with a rating of 4.2

"I love these shoes! They are the perfect way to try out the dad-shoe trend without breaking the bank! They are super comfortable and I really love the laces." - Sol22, Target reviewer
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The hype: You didn't think you'd get through a most-wanted dad-sneaker slideshow without hitting a Triple S, did you? Whether or not you like the all-in-one running, basketball, and track shoe sole, you have to admit, the hype is way too real on these.

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