Dad shoes have been in fashion for a couple of years now and are very much here to stay. While traditionally considered “ugly,” they’ve had a resurgence with the 90s nostalgia and normcore trends. Plus, they’re exceptionally comfortable and great for all-day wear. A typical dad shoe has thick, chunky soles and throwback paneling that can boast bright colors or a more simple palette. However, unlike previous iterations, this time around, you can style them an endless number of ways, not just with dad jeans. Try a sporty look, teaming them with your activewear, or rock them casually with jeans or joggers and a t-shirt. Alternatively, if you’re brave, dress them up with tailored trousers and a well-cut blazer.
1. Adidas Yeezy Boost 700
Increase your street cred with these dad shoes from Adidas. Kanye West designed the Yeezy Boost 700 with a running-inspired upper and chunky sole. It uses a combination of leather and mesh on the uppers and shock-absorbent rubber on the sole. A lace closure keeps your foot secure, while the round front allows plenty of room for your toes to relax. This particular colorway was a surprise release and is a rare find. As such, it’s collectors gold and an excellent investment for gents who are serious about their sneaker collection.
2. Nike Men’s Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer
Falling firmly into both the fashion and function categories is the Nike Men’s Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer. It’s an excellent shoe for general walking, as well as hitting the gym. The leather uppers are stylish and durable, with perforations for cooling airflow. You’ll also enjoy maximum comfort with lightweight foam and Nike Air cushioning, as well as rubber outsoles for grip and traction. Rock these with a pair of comfy joggers, or throw them on with your favorite jeans and hoodie.
3. PUMA Select Men’s RS-X FD Sneakers
The PUMA Select Men’s RS-X FD Sneakers are a new, improved version of the previous RS style. The design throws it right back to the ’80s with the multi-colored paneling that includes a paint-splash inspired tongue and feature panel. You’ll also stay exceptionally comfortable thanks to the cushioning system, molded footbed, and chunky sole. For guys with discerning taste who enjoy a bit of fun, this is the perfect dad shoe to add to your wardrobe.
4. Adidas Men’s Fitness Shoes
Inject some color into your life with a pair of Adidas Men’s Fitness Shoes. These bright orange 90s-inspired kicks are sure to brighten everyone’s day. The retro design features a chunky sole with mesh, nubuck, and grosgrain details. Enjoy all-day comfort with rubber cushioning on the sole and padded midsole. Meanwhile, the uppers are a wide fit with lace closure, making them perfect for even the broadest feet. If orange is not quite your vibe, choose from other colorways, including white, grey, red, black, and multi-color.
5. PUMA Men’s Thunder Sneaker
The silhouette of the PUMA Thunder sneaker pays homage to the 90’s CELL running shoe, as well as other collaboration styles. It’s an attention-grabbing dad shoe that’s sure to make you stand out from the crowd. The exaggerated outsole not only draws focus but provides cushioning and support. Meanwhile, the uppers are a combination of mesh and leather, complete with bold color blocking. Additional comfort comes from the IMEVA midsole and inner heel support. It’s an iconic shoe that’s a perfect fit for the dad shoe trend.
6. Champion Men’s 93Eighteen Big C Low-Top
The Champion Men’s 93Eighteen Big C Low-Top is a quintessential sneaker style. Leather uppers give it a more refined feel while embracing the sports aesthetic. You’ll enjoy excellent support from the EVA midsole and good traction from the rubber outsole. It also features a padded collar to keep the dreaded blisters at bay. This is this kind of style that fits easily into most wardrobes. Pair them with your favorite jeans and a bomber jacket, or rock them with black shorts and a simple t-shirt.
7. Balenciaga Triple S Mesh
Balenciaga brings a touch of luxury to the dad shoe trend. Their Triple S Mesh sneakers have a cult following, repeatedly selling out in each new colorway release. This latest version brings white and cream nubuck, mesh, and leather together in a stylish combination. Its red and black triple-stacked soles are inspired by running, basketball, and track joggers. Enjoy extra comfort with the padded collar and tongue and fully adjustable lace closure. A luxury shoe like this deserves an ultra-stylish outfit. Try combining them with patterned trousers, a plain t-shirt, and a denim bomber jacket.
8. Alexander McQueen Exaggerated-Sole Suede-Trimmed Leather Sneakers
Keep it classic with these black and white sneakers from Alexander McQueen. The textured midsoles add interest to the otherwise smooth white leather uppers. It’s also trimmed with a suede heel cap in deep contrasting black with Alexander McQueen embroidered logo. Let these make a statement by wearing them with an all-black outfit featuring black jeans and a fitted black sweater.
9. Nike Men’s Trail Running Shoes
Go for a sportier look with these trail runners from Nike. It fits perfectly with an athleisurewear aesthetic. Double Nike swooshes complement the rest of the paneling detailing, which features a variety of colors. The sole is made from rubber for increased traction, while the midsole has plenty of cushioning. A padded tongue adds to the 90s’ vibe, preventing the laces from cutting in. Lastly, you can choose from dozens of colorways. These include designs with fluoro yellow, bright orange, pastel blue, baby pink, and classic black and white.
10. Calvin Klein Jeans Lace-up Leather Sneakers
Enjoy this fresh take on dad shoes from Calvin Klein Jeans. The combination of white, yellow, and black keeps the design light and energetic. You’ll stay comfortable with the chunky rubber sole that absorbs the impact of every step. Meanwhile, the leather and mesh mix breathability and durability perfectly to ensure your shoes last. Finally, Calvin Klein Jeans branding sits around the heel cup and along the side of the white adjustable ankle strap.
11. Raf Simons Antei Sneakers
If you’re looking for a sneaker that fits the dad shoe trend, yet you still want it to be edgy and urban, then Raf Simons’ Antei Sneakers are brilliant. This neomodern design has a touch strap panel across the top, giving it a futuristic vibe. While the white faux leather uppers are sleeker, the chunky rubber sole elevates your foot slightly and provides stylistic contrast. Plus, it helps keep your feet comfy for all-day adventures. It’s the perfect choice for guys who want to stay ahead of the pack.
12. Maison Margiela Future Low-top Sneakers
Turn heads with Maison Margiela’s incredible conceptual designs. The basketball-inspired Future Low-top sneaker is minimalistic yet ultra-cool. White leather encompasses your foot, while subtle black edging and red accents provide visual interest. Indulge in supreme cushioning underfoot and exceptional traction thanks to the ridged rubber sole. The laces also stay partially hidden under the brand’s distinctive guard panels, increasing the sleekness of this design. Rock these dad shoes with a pair of slim-fit black joggers and a smart blazer for a fresh-off-the-court style.
13. Y-3 Kaiwa Suede-Trimmed Canvas and Neoprene Sneakers
Worlds collide with these Y-3 Kaiwa Suede-Trimmed Canvas and Neoprene Sneakers. Designer Yohji Yamamoto has teamed up with Adidas’s brilliant minds to bring innovative and performance-based materials together with his signature street style. These chunky-soled Kaiwa shoes have a black sock-like upper made from canvas and neoprene. It luxuriously hugs your foot for the ultimate fit. Meanwhile, the tongues are printed with Y-3 branding, and the sole is made from molded rubber for traction and support.
14. New Balance Men’s 3000 V4 Turf Baseball Shoe
New Balance is perhaps one of the most iconic brands of the dad shoe trend, as popularised by tech-daddy Steve Jobs. The Men’s 3000 V4 Turf Baseball shoe is a classic style that fits easily into most wardrobes. Comfort is a focus with a foam midsole, rubber soles, mesh uppers, and a built-in lace cage. The simple paneling makes for a distraction-free design. Best of all, it comes in a vast range of colors, including black and white, bright red, forest green, royal blue, black and yellow, and simple grey, among others.
15. Fear of God Essentials Sneakers
Choose a more modern take on the dad shoe trend with Fear of God. These Essentials’ sneakers have a distinctive, thick rubber sole and suede paneling. The signature silhouette also has a sock liner and drawstring laces, keeping you secure and stable. Your feet will stay cool with the breathable mesh also used in the uppers. It’s a style that looks great worn casually with jeans and a parker or dressed up with trousers and a button-down shirt.
16. Fila Men’s Strada Disruptor
Fila’s Strada Disruptor is an iconic dad shoe that fits the chunky athletic sneaker brief perfectly. While the all-white is an excellent option, it does come in various other colors, including black, red, grey, beige, and fluoro variations. Styling features include embroidered logos, a thick rubber sole, lace-up closure, and statement paneling. It’s a robust and durable shoe that will stand the test of time. Pair it with your favorite sports shorts, or mix it up with tailored trousers and a turtle neck jumper.
17. Calvin Klein Jeans Men’s Marvin Sneaker
Opt for the sporty aesthetic of the Calvin Klein Jeans Marvin Sneaker. It’s made of mesh, suede, and lycra in a stylish white and beige combo that’s anchored by the burgundy sole. Features such as geometric paneling and a pull tab on the tongue link are also distinctive of the dad shoe trend. Rock this sneaker with a pair of slim fit light denim joggers and a blouson jacket to blend athleisure and streetwear.
18. Nike Air Force 1 ’07 Sneaker
If you’re after a more subtle look than the regular chunky dad shoes, go no further than one of Nike’s most classic models, the Air Force 1 ’07 Sneaker. Its lowcut profile sits more in the realm of a casual 80s tennis shoe, therefore fitting easily into a street-savvy wardrobe. The uppers are made from soft, durable leather, while the platform sole is rubber for grip and traction. Wear this with a pair of relaxed jeans and a sweatshirt, or dress it up with chinos and a blazer for something more modern.
19. Skechers Men’s Energy Afterburn Lace-Up Sneaker
Skechers is another great brand making the ultimate dad shoes. The Energy Afterburn is a flexible trainer that looks great both at the gym and when worn casually. A padded heel gives you extra comfort, while the non-slip rubber sole keeps your feet firmly on the ground. Leather uppers ensure you look fashionable while also being durable. It also comes in various colorways that feature varying combinations of black, white, and grey, so the monochromatic look works well with most wardrobes. Slip these on for all-day comfort and style.
20. Reebok Royal Turbo Impulse Sneaker
Another throwback to the 90s, the Reebok Royal Turbo Impulse Sneaker, is a great choice for embracing the dad shoe look. It’s low cut ankle gives you plenty of mobility, while the laces keep your foot secure. The thick rubber sole has a plush foam midsole for the ultimate cushioning. Plus, the uppers feature iconic mesh, leather, and suede layered paneling to create detail yet still breathe. These Reeboks are the perfect fit for a sporty look, or wear them with your favorite pair of jeans and a sophisticated polo shirt.
What are Dad Shoes?
Dad shoes are chunky, retro-styled sneakers that have recently seen a resurgence in popularity, placing them firming among high-fashion street style. They often have thick soles, textured paneling, and bright colors. Plus, they're exceptionally comfortable with plenty of cushioning and a generally wider fit.
Why are dad shoes so popular?
Dad shoes are popular because they're both comfortable and trendy. They allow for self-expression through bright colors and interesting patterns. Additionally, because many of them feature retro styling inspired by the 1980s and 90s, they fall well within the resurgence of other throwback trends such as oversized t-shirts and scrunchies.
Who started the Dad Trainer Trend?
It's hard to pinpoint exactly who started the dad shoe trend. Of course, Steve Jobs was famous for wearing New Balance 992, but his preference was hardly a fashion statement at the time. Other reasons for the resurgence include 90s nostalgia that's seen the return of bike shorts, scrunchies, and oversized tees. The normcore and athleisurewear trends have also contributed to the rise in the popularity of these shoes. Big brands like Nike, Adidas, and Balengiaca met increased interest with an increase in the production of chunky sneakers, thereby fueling even more demand.
Are dad shoes still in?
Dad shoes are absolutely still in. The variety of styles, comfortability, and ease of wearing means that they won't be going away any time soon.
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