The tides are turning, and the chunky sneaker is in.


Sneaker and streetwear trends are forever changing, but none have been quite as talked about in recent years as the dad shoe trend.

Bringing the bold, ’90s aesthetic back to the forefront of streetwear style, the chunky sneak really made its presence felt towards the end of 2017.

It’s a far cry from its running model counterpart, which garnered a massive cult-like following late 2015 and throughout 2016 – following the release of adidas’ then new NMD and Ultra Boost iterations.

Early trends

During this period, the aforementioned adidas NMD and Ultra Boost models, as well as the Nike Lunarcharge, Air Max 1, and other running sneaks were all the rage, with sneakerheads opting for clean, tailored, fitted looks over anything else.

The surge in hype for the three stripe retailer was also partially due to the introduction of its new Boost technology and sock-like upper, which promised to give the wearer a comfort like never before.

Many of the early colourways sold out almost instantly, with the OG NMD rendition later going on to demand a hefty four-figure resale price tag – there was no stopping the runner.

Return of the chunky sneak

Things began to change early-2017, when adidas unveiled the return of its arguably most controversial sneak to date – the Ozweego Bunny.

The sneak released as part of an ongoing collaboration between adidas and designer Raf Simons, and sold out rapidly shortly afterwards. Famed for its eye-catching, contemporary aesthetic – the adidas x Raf Simons Ozweego 2 split opinions across the footwear industry.

As the year went on, more fashion houses revealed their own versions of the dad shoe.

Balenciaga introduced its Triple S and Speed models, while Gucci unveiled its Rhyton sneak – even adidas revealed its own take on the chunky runner; with the Yeezy Boost 700 Wave Runner, the forthcoming Yung-1, Yeezy Desert Rat 500, and the new adidas Prophere silo.

Yeezy impact

While there’s still a lot of love for the original runner, it could be argued that the catalyst for its popularity was off the back of the hype surrounding the once impossibly-limited Yeezy Boost 350 model, and as supply for the Yeezys, NMDs and Ultra Boosts increased, demand began to falter.

The same remains to be seen for the ’90s sneaker resurgence, at present, limited quantities and high price-points could be behind the soaring demand, but will things change once the Chunky runners become more widely available? Only time will tell.

Has the dad shoe sneak jumped over the runner? Sound off in the comments below and let us know your thoughts.

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