Chunky Sneakers are Turning Nostalgia into Fashion

Remember back in 2005 when you were the coolest kid on the block in your light-up Skechers? Or how about some pink Velcro Disney shoes? Let’s throw Crocs in there too while we’re at it (I still can’t believe they were once worn unironically). We’ve seen trends come and go due to nostalgia and interest for nearly every decade in the 20th century, but it’s kind of weird noticing items from your own past resurface in a new way. Whether it’s a Tamagotchi I could never keep alive or a penchant for belting out showtunes, there are certain things from my childhood that I wish would stay there. I thought big clunky sneakers were one of them. . . until now.

Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney are just a few fashion houses that have added chunky sneakers to their recent collections. Classics like Nike, New Balance and FILA have been doing this for years and should definitely be credited for their style and influence on the variations we see today. The monotonous general shape and use of sneakers can feel boring, but models, celebrities and the brands themselves show plenty of ways to style chunky sneakers. The trend has really taken off, especially online.

Opinion leaders are marked as the group of consumers that come after the initial release of something new but before it gains popularity with the general public. This group can currently be defined as celebrities, YouTubers, and social media influencers. They influence the positive or negative perception a product (or in this case an entire style) receives. The fashion industry has a very large, prestigious pool of leaders that spans everyone from Kim Kardashian to generic Instagram models.

I personally like this trend and enjoy the unexpected twist on something nostalgic. Fashion is fun and shouldn’t be taken seriously at all times. Afterall, bi-annual fashion week comes along and has the ability to completely dismiss trends from previous seasons. The fact that designers are always finding new, quirky and novel pieces to create is wonderful and keeps things interesting. If you want to see heavy duty sneakers in action here’s some of the top selling styles (and where to cop them).

Nike Air Max 97

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Featuring a smooth wave pattern, thick sole and multiple colorway options, the Air Max 97 has arguably become 2018’s most coveted shoe for footwear fans. This style was originally about $170, but the price now depends on the seller. Some models can be found here.

Balenciaga Triple S Sneaker

This hyped sneaker has been seen on celebrities like Hailey Baldwin and Bella Hadid. The starting retail price for this style was originally $745 but has increased due to a quick sell-out time. Certain colorways and sizes can be bought here and here.

Louis Vuitton SS18 Sneaker

As reported by Highsnobiety, this bold shoe was designed by Nicolas Ghesquière. According to Louis Vuitton, they were inspired by ‘90s basketball shoes and the futuristic trends on runways in recent years. The retail price is a cool $1,009 and are sold here.

Stella McCartney Eclypse Sneaker

With an exciting array of colorways including sky blue, rainbow and leopard, the Eclypse sneaker is both bold and wearable. The retail price is $625-665. They can be bought here.

FILA Disruptor II Sneaker

The classic “dad” shoe, FILA sneakers are now sold in trendy shops like Urban Outfitters. Pairing these shoes with jeans and a sweatshirt now gives a cool college girl vibe rather than a 45-year-old on vacation one. The classic white colorway is available here and costs $70.

Gucci Rython Logo Sneaker

With the red, green and gold Gucci logo blasted across the side of the shoe, no one will wonder where you got them from. Gucci is definitely a "clout" brand and has strayed from their brown and gold theme of previous years (for which I’m wholeheartedly grateful). The shoes retail for $820 and can be found here.

Adidas Yeezy Wave Runner 700

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This recent collab of Kanye West and Adidas offers a smooth silhouette and classic colorway. The design calls back to an old sneaker—the Adidas EQT Solution—from the mid '90s.  These retailed for $300, but now this style is resold online for as much as double the price. 

A lot of these shoes retail for prices way out of my range. With the exception of FILA, I guess I’ll have to enjoy them from a distance. However, chunky sneakers won’t be going away for certain brands and the stores that carry them. Think of Wal-Mart, Payless and even your local thrift stores. Some sneakers are available for as little as $30 and the best part is that you can customize them all you want. Whether it’s paint, new laces, drawings or screen printing, there are infinite possibilities if this trend really catches your eye. The bold and unconventional style of the chunky sneaker isn’t for the faint of heart, and should be worn with confidence. No one will question it if you rock it—that goes for anything.

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