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The Best Chunky Sneakers for When You’re So Over Heels

This year, you may have seen many fashion influencers hanging up their high heels in exchange for chunky dad sneakers. Beyond marking a return to retro fashion and even reflecting the ability to showcase one’s femininity in different ways, chunky sneakers have become even more popular than high heels due to their duality and versatility.

If worn the right way, these shoes can take your outfit to the next level – whether it's on a date night or a casual city stroll – with their totally comfortable and throwback style. And unlike heels, dad sneakers can definitely add an effortlessly chic dimension to your outfit. 

So instead of slipping into uncomfortable heels for your next event, why not take some inspiration and try this timeless (and way more comfortable) alternative? From classic white leather to ‘80s style, there’s a sneaker out there for everyone. But just in case you’re overwhelmed by all the options, we’ve put together a guide to finding the perfect fit when you want to feel comfortable, but still look trendy.

1. Nike Air Monarch IV ($48.97)

They’re chunky, comfy and the perfect blend of ultimate support and lightweight cushioning—just the ideal addition to your wardrobe for a casual stroll with friends or walking around campus.

And even better, you can still pair dad sneakers with a heel-worthy outfit and get maximum comfort. If you're looking for a relaxed fit, try pairing these white shoes with some classic denim essentials, from a unique patchwork style denim jacket to rolled up jeans and even a classic white tee so your shoes can stand out. And if you want to go for a more timeless style, try pairing these sneakers with a pair of rosy-toned sunglasses for an extra dimension of contrast.

Better yet, this classic white hue will be sure to complement any and all colors in your wardrobe, and they’ll feel way more comfortable for those days when you need to rush to class but still want to look cute.

Related: 7 Cozy Fits to Try During Finals Week

2. Adidas Yung-96 ($100)

If you're craving a pop of color to add to your outfit, you should take a look at these timeless shoes. 

These long-lasting and finely detailed shoes will not only take you back in time, but will also add some bright color to your wardrobe. If you want to keep your shoes as the main focal point, try wearing them with a basic white tee and jeans, or use them to add an eclectic twist to a classic all-black look.

Don't be afraid to try wearing these sneakers with more formal outfits that would normally be more suited for heels, too. Like heels, these colored sneakers can add visual interest and even playfulness. You can also dress them up without going overboard. Try adding subtle pieces of jewelry, like delicate gold bracelets or a watch.

From fluorescent orange to red, you won’t go wrong with any of their unique color choices. They even come with embroidered tongue details and some mesh for comfort so you can guarantee that all your outfits won't result in an unnecessary injury. 

3. FILA Disruptor II ($65)

If you’re digging the classic, chunky sneaker look, this FILA shoe is the perfect addition when you want something that’s a bit more subdued and casual. With their leather design and cushioned insole, they work with all outfits, no matter your personal style

For a more dressed up look, feel free to be bold with your choices by pairing a pair of pale pink sneakers (great for adding some sweet color) with a comfy jersey dress and a black leather jacket. These oh-so-sweet shoes will add some color contrast and ensure that your outfit will look totally effortless. 

So instead of feeling pressured to put on heels for that fancy date night, don't be afraid to switch it up with these adorable sneakers. It won't detract from your style, and in fact, it might just make it way more chill and chic.

4. Steve Madden Memory ($99.95)

Do you love bright colors, but prefer pastels for those casual days? With their muted color accents, these shoes will be the perfect addition to your wardrobe when you want to stand out but still pair them with your favorite light wash jeans. Their light pink and desert sand accents are not only stylish but contemporary–a unique complement for your chilly day outfits.

Try bringing out the colors of this unique sneaker by throwing on a rosy pink knit sweater with some dark wash leggings, or even some light browns and golds to tie your outfit together. And if you really want to show off these shoes, try pairing them with some cropped jeans that'll showcase their totally sophisticated look.  

Related: These Are the Shoes You’ll Need This Season

5. Nike M2K ($100)

This chunky sneaker, with its subtle two-toned colors and cushioned insole, is great for any dad sneaker newbie. With their white base and leather detailing, you’ll be sure to impress with their totally modern style and fit.

Try elevating their casual, athleisure style by pairing them with some flared denim jeans to add a nice contrast, as well as well as a light blue tank top and an oversized denim jacket. Because these sneakers can be worn with a casual or formal outfit, you'll have plenty of options to dress it up–like adding some dangling silver earrings or a chunky knit scarf for those colder days.

Whether it’s a casual date night, just another long day at school work, dad sneakers are the perfect addition to your wardrobe. You definitely won’t have any injuries with these comfortable shoes (like we all know you can with heels), and even better, they’re ideal for those days when you need to rush to class or work. So, take a trip down memory lane when you wear these versatile shoes, and even perhaps even get inspiration from your dad’s wardrobe when you don them with your next outfit.

Karen Chang

UC Berkeley '22

A current first-year at UC Berkeley, Karen Chang is deeply passionate about writing short stories in cafes, dabbling in exploring the intersection between art and culture, and indulging in occasional Netflix binges. In her free time, she can be found trying eclectic dishes from around the world and going on an occasional hiking trip!
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