Eight chunky unisex sneakers to liven up your rotation

Sometimes a trend happens that's so nonsensical and outlandish that it causes small clusters of stars to collide in deep space. The impact causes a ripple effect which seeps from high-end designer studios to the high-street and online boutiques. The ultimate ‘Dad’ crepe typically boasts a thicker sole, technical uppers and are worn by the teen-to-infinity age groups.

Their popularity, for the most part, is thanks to Instagram's fashion elite; Pernille TeisbaekEva Chen and Malice, whose influence has turned this chunky trend on its head and now, chubby lace-ups paired with delicate slip dresses, boyfriend jeans or a traditional tailored suit is totally acceptable. Websites like Finishline.com has streamlined the selection process to cut to the chase and ensure you can quickly add serious Dad steez to your rotation.

How to wear them? Do it with straight-cut indigo denim jeans and a complimentary pair of Parra crew socks. Cuffed suit trousers, joggers or a classic shell, two-piece tracksuit and a chunky trainer silhouette is the perfect alternative to modern streetwear. 

For women, a sophisticated skirt will hit the sweet spot between office casual and street-style. Tailored shorts and high-hitting trainers will offer respite during hotter days. Swap jeans for heavy, warm tights with a mini skirt during winter months. Pair with pretty socks for a springtime sartorial update.

Nike Air Monarch IV

Nike Air Monarch IV, €55,  Nike.com

Nike Air Monarch IV, €55, Nike.com

Arguably the original and most coveted chunky shoe on the market, the Nike Air Monarch resurged in 2017 and 2018 to become a modern day cult classic. Their age market is limitless, from teens to infinity, and latest colourway place them high on our ‘next purchase’ list.

Adidas Yung 1

Adidas Yung 1, €120,  Brownthomas.com

Adidas Yung 1, €120, Brownthomas.com

Adapted from the Falcon model of the mid 90’s, the Yung 1 has seen an update in materials, construction and colour. The combination of suede and mesh makes this shoe perfect to transition from casual Fridays at work to hitting the streets.

Filling Pieces Low Meno

Filling Pieces Low Meno Shuttle Ixion Mustard, €220,  Fillingpieces.com

Filling Pieces Low Meno Shuttle Ixion Mustard, €220, Fillingpieces.com

Filling Pieces is an Amsterdam-based footwear label, established in 2009 by designer Guillaume Philibert. Each pair of shoes are crafted in Portugal using the finest Italian materials. The Meno is an oversized sneaker with none of the added weight thanks to an innovative lightweight sole technology.

Mercer W3RD

Mercer W3RD Green Mesh Print, €260,  Merceramsterdam.com

Mercer W3RD Green Mesh Print, €260, Merceramsterdam.com

Another brand shaping the European sneaker scene is Mercer. The W3RD (pronounce: “the WEIRD”) is the most popular and defining silhouette in their repertoire and has become synonymous with the brand. With a thick heel providing rake (where the rear of the silhouette is higher than the front), the W3RD stands strong and is finished beautifully with suede, gold and printed details.

Fila Venom ‘94

Fila Venom ‘94 Low, €55,  Maha-amsterdam.com

Fila Venom ‘94 Low, €55, Maha-amsterdam.com

Fila is capitalising on the latest trend of ugly sneakers and is re-releasing its 1994 range. The Disruptor model gained major traction in 2018, and the latest addition of four new colourways makes this shoe the perfect pickup for summer beaters.

Nike MK2 Tekno

Nike MK2 Tekno SP, €130,  Patta.com

Nike MK2 Tekno SP, €130, Patta.com

The MK2 Tekno is like taking the Monarch IV’s and sticking them on a strict diet of steroids. Packed with intricate details and a meticulous finish, the latest adaptions of the MK2 has seen the introduction of premium materials and a refined palette, and is set to become a modern classic.

Alexander Wang Turnout by Adidas Originals

Alexander Wang Turnout by Adidas Originals, €200,  Alexanderwang.com

Alexander Wang Turnout by Adidas Originals, €200, Alexanderwang.com

Another year, another collaboration between Alexander Wang and Adidas. Coming to what seemed like a crescendo in early 2018, we saw influences from basketball and skateboarding with bursts of neon and technical fabrics. Now, we’re greeted by muted palettes, new materials and a refined aesthetic. Obvious additions include the upside down trefoil logo, bold gum strapping and patent black detailing on the laces.

Nike Zoom 2K

NIke Zoom 2K, €90,  Lifestylesports.com

NIke Zoom 2K, €90, Lifestylesports.com

Inspired by the Alpha Project in the early ‘90s, the new Nike Zoom 2K combines elements from the heritage style with updated comfort. The upper is highlighted by rubber wings that envelope the outsole to each side. This visual simultaneously creates a retro and futuristic aesthetic that’s sure to stand out.

Jake McCabe