Sleek, form-fitting silhouettes were a staple for sneaker design around the first half of the 2010s, with silhouettes like the Achilles from Common Projects and Adidas’ iconic Stan Smith dominating store shelves around the world. Everyone from Saint Laurent and Gucci to H&M and Zara followed suit with their own renditions of the minimalist sneaker.
Then, out of nowhere, exaggerated soles and garish details akin to shoes of the 1990s started to become commonplace among style-conscious attendants of runways and fashion weeks. While they were initially hit with some bemusement, it wasn’t long before everyone was sporting a pair of the Balenciaga Triple S – or some more accessible alternative.
As we edge closer to the 2020s, the chunky sneaker trend is still holding strong, especially with the rise of 90’s fashion and the explosion of sportswear. To help you find your own take on the trend, let’s run through the best chunky sneaker designs you can buy right now and how to style them.
Reebok x Vetements
Most fashion-forward communities know Vetements as the French fashion house that’s always putting their own outlandish spin on current trends. It should come as no surprise then that their collaboration with Reebok resulted in a truly compelling take on the chunky sneaker, with a recognizable silhouette and plenty of unique details.
Balenciaga Triple S
No list like this would be complete without a mention of the shoe that started it all: the infamous Triple S. Styling it should be easy with all the inspiration you can find on Instagram. The real challenge comes with finding a pair of Balenciaga sneakers, as they tend to sell out pretty quickly. Fortunately, you can find a wide range of Balenciaga sneakers online at sites like SSENSE. The good thing about SSENSE is that they ship worldwide, and shipping is free in most cases – bonus!
Contrary to what most people think, Calvin Klein makes more than just Justin Bieber’s underwear. Their take on the “dad shoe” is a fitting example, featuring a less garish appearance that still stays true to the 90’s inspired design principles. A mix of premium materials, clean color combinations and a slightly lower price tag make them a great choice.
Styling Chunky Sneakers
What’s great about these types of shoes is that you don’t really have to put much effort into styling them with your ensembles. Since they’re guaranteed to take all of the attention, they’ll go with just about anything. Toning their structure down with a lightweight miniskirt is a good way to go.
If it’s a little colder outside, a pair of loose-fitting track pants will lighten up the impact of your kicks and keep a consistent look. Pairing them with other oversized pieces such as a blazer, jacket or graphic tee is a popular choice.
When these options aren’t available, you can always rely on a pair of mom jeans to finish off the 90’s look. Trends come and go, so there’s no telling how long chunky sneakers will remain in the fashion world. But for as long as they’re around, we might as well make the most of them and have a bit of fun in the process.