Sneakers are a big deal, period. 

With the consistent growth of the streetwear market over recent years, the quantity and quality of footwear options has continued to increase. 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 are splashed across magazine covers and worn by 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 popular of runways, furthering the evidence that streetwear is totally intertwined with high fashion. 

The chunky sneaker with the biggest splash in the fashion world was the Balenciaga Triple S sneaker. Seen first on their men’s runway in 2017, the shoe has translated easily to the womenswear world, and has been seen on everyone from models Hailey Baldwin and Bella Hadid, to Pharrell and Rihanna. The shoes are heavy, not only in appearance but also in weight – yet this shouldn’t cause you to shy away from trying to style them with your closet. Celebrities pair them with both skinny jeans and baggier styles alike, and even with yoga pants and a crop top for a more casual look. 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.

Coming in behind the Triple S is another expensive and exotic take on the ‘Dad’ shoe: 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 namesake, and was worn with both men’s and women’s looks on the runway. The variety of colorways allows it to be paired with long dresses and pants, both in contrasting colors that highlight 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 give 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.

Louis Vuitton’s ‘Arclight’ sneaker has been slightly less popular than the aforementioned, but has still struck a chord among the fashion elite. Past runways were heavily spotted with the sneaker, boasting an assortment of colors that work well with the 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 an unexpectedly special shoe. These are seen paired with silky track shorts and metallic pants, complimenting 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 seen 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.

In conclusion, while the chunky sneaker trend may have its peaks and valleys, its impact on the fashion world is undeniable. From the iconic Balenciaga Triple S to the luxurious Gucci SEGA sneaker and the unique Louis Vuitton Arclight, these bold footwear choices have solidified their place as statement pieces in any wardrobe. As the fashion landscape continues to evolve, we eagerly anticipate the next wave of innovative designs and additions to the sneaker scene. So, whether you're a devoted sneakerhead or simply a fashion enthusiast, stay tuned for the next chapter in the ever-evolving story of footwear fashion.