“Ugly” shoes have been buzzy for a few years now, and here at SELF, we’re not mad about it. As it turns out, this is one shoe trend that’s surprisingly great for your feet. It started with high-fashion designer Balenciaga’s “dad sneakers” and its collaboration with Crocs, and was followed by Bottega Veneta’s iconic puddle booties. With an influx of TikTok influencers now touting more affordable options from brands like Hoka, Dansko, Ugg, and Birkenstock, the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
With “ugly” shoes, minimalist silhouettes and clean lines are replaced with chunky accents, sky-high platforms, and comfort-first design. You’ll also find traditional orthopedic clogs, “gorpcore” hiking shoes, wool slippers, and “crunchy” sandals that make you look like you probably spent your weekend making your own granola.
The unique designs and generally high levels of support make ugly shoes not only a worthwhile investment for your closet, but also for your feet. If you have plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, or just generally tired soles, you’ve probably been in on this “trend” for a while. But if you’re new to it—or just looking to fill out your established collection—we’ve pulled together some of our favorite pairs below.
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