Streetwear's Hottest Item: The Chunky Sneaker

Written by Peyton Haahr
Photos courtesy of

Sneakers are a big deal, period. With the growth of the street wear market, the quantity and quality of footwear options has only gone up. Fresh brands are jumping on board and getting in on the action – many creating affordable (others not so much), incredibly unique, and wearable shoes that have been splashed across magazine covers and adorned the figures of models and celebrities alike. Chunky sneakers, also known as “dad sneakers”, have had their fair share of time in the spotlight, and it doesn’t look like they’re ready to leave just yet. These hefty shoes have been seen on the most historic of runways, furthering the evidence that street wear is becoming more intertwined with high fashion. Not sure about this one yet? We urge you to read on, once again.

The chunky sneaker with the biggest splash in the fashion world has to be the Balenciaga Triple S sneaker. Seen first on their men’s runway in 2017, the shoe has translated easily to the women’s wear world, and has been seen on everyone from models Hailey Baldwin and Bella Hadid, to Pharrell and Rihanna. The shoes are obviously heavy, not only in appearance but also in weight – yet this shouldn’t cause you to shy away from trying to style them with various pieces. Celebrities pair them with both skinny jeans and baggier styles alike, and also work easily with yoga pants and a crop top for a casual look. They aren’t as dressy a sneaker as some others are, so it’s best to keep them with your slouchier, more relaxed outfits. Also, they work wonderfully with jean skirts or athletic-inspired shorts, and are easily completed with whatever fun sock you want to slot it in with. For your casual wardrobe, these are well worth the investment if you can get your hands on them.


Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2017 Ready-To-Wear, Photos Courtesy of Monica Feudi / Indigital.TV

Coming in behind the Triple S is another expensive and exotic take on the ‘Dad’ shoe was Gucci’s take, named the SEGA sneaker. Boasting a price tag of over $1,400, the shoe is decked out in leather straps and jewels, all placed on top of a construction worker influenced sole. The tongue reads the house’s name, and was worn with both men’s and women’s looks on the runway. The variety of color ways allowed it to be paired with long dresses and pants, both in contrasting colors that highlighted the shiny jewels and chunky nature of the shoes. These, unlike the Balenciaga’s, take a little more work to fit it with an outfit. The extra jeweling and bedazzled nature gives more of an opportunity to make them the star of your whole look. Some tips? Go easy on any extra jewelry when wearing these, and allow the shoes to be highlighted by grabbing a pair of dark jeans or a simpler mini dress to finish it off.


Gucci Spring/Summer 2018 Ready-To-Wear, Photos Courtesy of + Titelmedia & Marcus Tondo/Indigital.TV

As mentioned in our last blog post, Louis Vuitton’s ‘Arclight’ sneaker has been a little less popular than the aforementioned, but has still struck a cord among the fashion elite. The whole of the runway was spotted with the sneaker, with an assortment of colors that worked well with the heavily detailed and embroidered looks on the models. These have the unique feature of an exaggerated sole, which differentiates them from all others. While their actual styling may not be wildly unique, it is the shape and lines of the sole that make this such a fun shoe. These were seen paired with silky track shorts and metallic pants, all working off the dots of color on the sneaker itself. These can work great as an everyday shoe, and if you’re someone who doesn’t like to wear their logos on their sleeve, this is the sneaker for you. A nondescript ‘LV’ is on the sole, but won’t be noticed unless someone is actively looking for it. Try these with your favorite cropped jean or mid-thigh skirt, and go for a graphic tee on top or a button-down for a little dressier look.


Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2018 Ready-to-Wear, Photos Courtesy of Kim Weston Arnold/Indigital.TV

While the chunky shoe trend is a huge one today, it is not guaranteed a slot tomorrow. We aren’t saying it’s on the decline, though. It has already been around for a few seasons, but we are still getting new styles in each runway session. The Balenciaga Triple S is still heralded as the cream of the crop, and will most likely remain there for the time being. We look forward to seeing more defining and intricate additions to these high-end sneakers as brands look to create the latest and greatest shoe on the market