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Lace up like your old man

In years to come when your grandkids look back on the fashions from this decade, dad sneakers will be a defining look of the era. Why, you may ask, as chunky trainers have been around for decades. True…however such silhouettes have always been limited to the designs of sportswear brands, take the Fila Disruptor or the Nike Uptempo. But now (ICYMI) almost every major player in the fashion industry look to the sneakers of the streets, observing what the younger generations of today are wearing and creating their own interpretations of the styles. As dress codes continue to merge and blur, it became time to explore the wardrobe of off-duty dads. Pairing his mid-wash Levi jeans with a white  v-neck tee and of course, his ‘dad sneakers’ (think his Skechers, overused New Balance sneakers and battered retro Nikes), these previously disregarded are currently the source of  inspiration for the luxury labels. Brands took the concept of the ‘dad sneaker’ and prepared to rework a bulky trainer design for millennial consumers.

It is hard to pinpoint the beginning of the trend as urban style choices have been unambiguously influencing high-fashion in recent years and the 2013 Raf Simons x Adidas ‘Ozweego’ is arguably the first luxury dad sneaker of its kind. Albeit, the Balenciaga Triple S sneaker debut at the AW17 show was the most impactful start to the shoe craze. Built upon three soles (hence the name Triple S) the sneaker is alluringly ugly, bulky and completely unapologetic. The trainers were met with a huge reaction from fashion crowds and the public alike, making headlines across the world as the brand swapped its futuristic, clean-cut, subtle crepes for a design of the polar-opposite. Such an unexpected move changed the face of contemporary footwear, but such a switch-up is what fashion is all about, right?

It may have taken a year for the world to adjust to the idea, nonetheless, it is an in-vogue movement that’s now unavoidable. Brands such as Gucci and Yeezy were the first to put their label’s spin on the dad sneaker, with Dior, Acne Studios, Versace and Louis Vuitton following close behind. Although the over-exaggerated soles are the essential component to the look, many versions occupy the upper with zestfully coloured, layered materials, usually combining leather, mesh and suede. The resurgence has sparked sportswear brands such as Nike to pull from their archive and re-release some of their thicker silhouettes – such as the Air Max 98. Even the likes of New Balance and Fila have reaped the benefits of this trend as everyone wants to be a part of this shoe revolution, no matter the budget.

With Adidas set to release their new answer to the trend, the Adidas Yung 1 trainer, as well as recently debuting new Ozweego 2 colourways, Dior, Gucci and Balenciaga constantly restocking their contributions to the wave and Kanye expected to drop fresh colourways of the Yeezy Desert Rat 500, the ‘dad sneaker’ is here to stay in 2018. So stay tuned for the latest releases with PAUSE or ask your dad whether he’s got any of his old shoes in your size.