DEMAND for chunky, dad-style sneakers has hit the mainstream, as brands report a spike in sales of the so-called “ugly” shoe trend.
Adidas’ newly-launched Falcon runners sold out in less than a day on a string of top Australian online stores.
It came after social media star Kylie Jenner, 21, had been promoting the ’90s-inspired adidas Falcon as part of her seven-figure endorsement deal with adidas (Jenner stars in the advertising campaign).
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The all-white version of the Falcon, priced at $150, sold out on Australian sites including The Iconic and Stylerunner within 24 hours of launching earlier this month.
And Californian brand Skechers has recorded a 25 per cent increase in sales of its sports range since the “dad’ sneaker trend started this year, a spokeswoman said.
Based in Manhattan Beach, Skechers’ top-selling “dad” shoe is the $A120 Skechers D’lites, featured in seven runway shows during New York fashion week.
Fila and Puma also have popular versions of thick-soled runners.
The trend follows the sought-after Balenciaga Triple S low-top trainers, as seen on Bella Hadid.
Priced around $A1245, the Balenciaga Triple S regularly sells out on high-end sites including matchesfashion.com and net-a-porter.com.
Hailey Baldwin and Kourtney Kardashian have also been pioneers of the “dad” shoe look, which has also been worn by John Mayer, and resembles something Jerry Seinfeld sported on Seinfeld.
In a statement to Forbes, Alegra O’Hare, who is adidas’ vice president of global brand communications, described the Falcon shoe as “inspired by the Falcon Dorf, an iconic model from the ’90s”.
She added that “its bold and unapologetic DNA is at the core of today’s Falcon and reflects the confident mindset of a new generation of female creative consumers”.
The “ugly” sneaker trend is typically teamed with shorts, skirts or bike shorts, adding a feminine edge to the masculine look.
Stylerunner founder Julie Stevanja said demand had increased rapidly for thick-soled sneakers among Australian consumers, and there was “no such thing as too chunky right now”.
“It’s about having the confidence and attitude to pull off the look,” Stevanja said.
“It’s amazing to see how the fashion industry is embracing sneaker culture by mixing with high end—layering a feminine vibe to a traditionally male dominated product category.”
The “dad’ sneaker is not the only sporty trend raising eyebrows in fashion right now.
Skin-tight, knee-length Lycra tights are now a legitimate fashion staple for Australian shoppers, experts said.
A limited edition line of Vogue Australia-branded bicycle shorts (priced at $89) sold-out within five days of launching this month.
It has even filtered down to Australian chain stores like Cotton On, where they are priced at $19.95.
While the average pair of designer bike shorts tends to be priced around $100, one the most expensive pairs available are by Off-White (aka Virgil Abloh’s streetwear label), which cost about $US399 ($A500).
Kim Kardashian typically wears $US120 ($A170) bike shorts from her husband Kanye West’s Yeezy collection, teamed with heels, sneakers or slides from the brand, and made of cotton and elastane.