We’ve all seen Adidas’ Stan Smiths in every color and iteration since the shoe was relaunched in 2014, so it’s easy to think that the world has a penchant for white sneakers—but there’s a new kind of sneaker starting to fill the streets. Last September, Balenciaga premiered the Triple S, a retro sneaker with triple-stacked soles and a pre-worn look. Despite looking like something your grandparents would wear, the rise of the chunky white sneaker is definitely upon us.
Dior, Vetements, and Gucci have all hopped on board with this new trend and while it’s a little mind-boggling, there is something appealing about these sneakers. They are no longer the pointedly minimalist Stan Smiths, but a mix of high and low fashion together. The hints of Cubism and avant-garde are balanced with the nostalgia these shoes invoke. These new sneakers are anything but basic or nondescript; they are a twist away from normcore into the extreme.
That isn’t to say that the rise of the chunky white sneaker has been greeted solely with acceptance. They are bulky, overdone, and sometimes referred to as ugly. In the words of one Twitter user, “£500 for these new Balenciaga’s and they really be looking like shoes found in the lost property at school.” He’s not wrong, but isn’t that part of the appeal? They are harkening back to our pasts in a new and exciting way. If they remind me of a pair of Sketchers my dad threw out about a decade ago, aren’t they doing their job in the best way fashion can? Balenciaga and all those now hopping on the chunky sneaker trend are bringing the pasts and future together.
The mixed reviews have done little to stop the rise of the chunky white sneaker. Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Migos, and A$AP Ferg, to name a few have all been spotted in a pair of these extreme kicks—and it seems unlikely that they’re going to disappear anytime soon. With spring running rampant and summer on the way, keep an eye out for over the top sneakers and check out garage sales to find your own.
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