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Wear These Fashionable Dad Shoes Anywhere

By October 13, 2020 No Comments
Wear These Fashionable Dad Shoes Anywhere

Dad shoes. Ugly sneakers. Cringe-worthy, colour-laden, unfashionable sneakers. Imagine for a moment the chunky sneakers that your dad has been wearing a version of since the early 2000s. The ones you tried to get him not to wear. These are the comfortable sneakers you begged him not to wear in front of your friends, lest you be embarrassed. Well, fret no more young one, the world of fashion and sneaker design has successfully hijacked this particular dad shoe look and made it into the latest sneaker craze. And not just men are getting in on the action, famous female celebrities have taken up the trend as well, and there seems to be no stopping it.

Brands like Balenciaga, Zara, New Balance, Nike, Fila, Puma and Adidas have jumped on the awkward dad shoe trend. You see, dad shoes are cool now. They’re fashionable, and while their transformation into icons of cool began with some trendy Instagram influencers, it’s now being adopted by style icons all over the world. So if you’re ready to put on those high-waisted jeans just like dad and throw on some truly wild and crazy high-top sneakers, mostly in white, of course, it’s time to get a pair of these sneakers on and hit the streets. Here are 25 of the best old-school dad shoes you can find.

1. Balenciaga Triple S Sneaker

Balenciaga is a high-end brand of shoes whose shoemaking tradition goes back to the year of the last great pandemic, 1918. Headquartered in Paris, this brand has been a fashion influencer for a long time. And while this particular sneaker is on the expensive side, it’s designed for those that don’t mind spending close to a thousand dollars on what may be the ultimate dad shoe you can buy.

Available in an almost absurd 20 different colour combinations, the Triple S sneaker is a multi-layered dad shoe that almost resembles a fancy layer cake you’re wearing on your feet. With a unique composition of Polyester, Calfskin, Lambskin, and Lycra, this sneaker is the height of dad shoe cool.

Key Features

  • Materials: 55% Polyester, 25% Calfskin, 15% Lambskin, 5% Lycra
  • Embroidered sie at the toe’s edge
  • Two lace loops
  • Athletic lacing system
  • Washed effect for a worn look
  • Pull tabs
  • Rubber outsole

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 6-14 for Men
  • Removable insole
  • Heel height: 1″
  • They’re quite heavy

2. Puma - Men's Thunder Spectra Sneaker

Directly inspired by CELL running silhouettes of the 90s, the Puma Thunder sneaker features an excessive outsole with large proportions so common among the dad shoe genre of sneakers. These men’s sneakers feature a loud and colourful design with no room for apologies for the style they represent. And the best part? These Puma dad shoes are a fraction of the cost of the Balenciagas I featured above.

Key Features

  • Mesh upper with suede and leather insets
  • Protective sidewall
  • Thick platform heel
  • IMEVA midsole for extra comfort

Specifications

  • PUMA cat logo on the tongue tab
  • Weight: 11.99 oz per shoe

3. Nike Air Max 95 SP

Nike Air Max 95 SP

I’m not going to mince words. This sneaker and the inspiration behind it is kind of weird. And yet, there is something compelling about the Nike Air Max 95 SP design that turns it into a bonafide dad shoe. The colourful and iconic side panels take inspiration from your body’s muscles and give the entire shoe a wonderful aesthetic effect. Even the laces and lace loops are a colourful assault on the visual senses. Known for its comfort, these Nike sneakers are a revolution in dad shoe comfort.

Key Features

  • Foam midsole
  • Mesh in the upper has woven overlays for breathability and strength
  • An innovative lacing system provides even more comfort

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 4-15
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs

4. New Balance 990v5

New Balance 990v5

Available in six colour combinations, including this snazzy grey with Castlerock combo, this New Balance sneaker is proof that quality Made in the USA manufacturing still exists. Designed with a sleek and sporty style, these Men’s sneakers are considered to be some of the more subtle dad shoes we’ve seen. Made with pigskin suede and mesh upper, the oversized rubber outsole ensures plenty of cushioning and that, “Hey, look at me, I’m a slightly overweight dad in his 40’s still trying to be cool look”. Oh wait, I just described myself. I guess I have to go and buy a pair of these now.

Key Features

  • Midsole support
  • Made in the USA
  • Dual Density Collar Foam
  • Reinforced toe tip

Specifications

  • Weight: 2.47 oz
  • Available in sizes 7-16

5. Zara - Multi-Piece Running Shoes

Wow! These are some wondrous looking sneakers from Zara. Many will agree that they fall into the dad shoes category, but I’m of the opinion that they’re more than that. Sure they’re colourful, but it’s just the right combination of colours that makes this sneaker a fashion icon. Also available in all-black, these lace-up sneakers feature seven pairs of eyelets and an extra-thick, mostly rubber sole. Even the rubber sole is the perfect combination of green and beige to complete this quintessential sneaker’s look. Oh, and it’s also quite affordable.

Key Features

  • White shoelaces with seven pair of eyelets
  • Thick sole
  • Upper construction is 55% polyurethane, 30% polyester, 15% thermoplastic

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 6-11
  • 100% polyester insole

6. Adidas - Yung-1 Shoes

Adidas - Yung-1 Shoes

The Yung-1 sneakers from Adidas are a much more fashion-minded dad shoe that you can almost get away wearing and pretend that your father wouldn’t wear these as well. But perhaps that illusion is quickly wiped away by the fact that these sneakers are directly inspired by the late 90’s-era Adidas Falcon Dorf shoes. So, at the end of the day, these layered white sneakers are a sexy re-imagining of a popular 90’s shoe.

Key Features

  • Available in five colour combinations
  • Wide fit
  • Lace closure
  • Mesh upper with nubuck overlays
  • Sculpted lightweight EVA midsole

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 8-14

7. Acne Studios - Manhattan Sneakers

Acne Studios - Manhattan Sneakers

This here is possibly the chunkiest, thickest, and most brazenly bulbous set of dad sneakers I’ve ever seen. Also inspired by the bulky silhouettes of American 90’s sneakers, this pair of shoes from Acne Studios features an upper made of 75% calf leather. That alone makes them super comfortable and soft to the touch. Combined with an almost 2-inch rubber sole, these shoes run a bit large, so make sure to choose a size smaller than normal. Long live the chunky monkey dad shoe!

Key Features

  • Lace-up front
  • Sculpted platform sole
  • Pull tab at the back
  • Silver foil branding
  • Sculpted branding at the bottom of the sole

Specifications

  • Available in sizes: 6-11
  • Sole height: 45mm

8. Asics Gel Diablo

Asics Gel Diablo

While these sneakers from my most favourite brand of shoes in the world, Asics, are available in other colour combinations, the above-pictured wild and wacky Black / Tai-Chi Yellow combination is what speaks to the dad in me. Yes, I’m a father, and thus I am qualified to say what constitutes a dad shoe, and this pair of Asics most certainly qualifies. Based on a classic Asics runner from all the way back in 1995, this shoe features a breathable mesh tongue and a pigskin nubuck suede upper.

Key Features

  • Suede and leather construction
  • Ankle-high runner
  • Perforated throughout for maximum breathability
  • Retro styling

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 4-14
  • Synthetic rubber sole

9. Nike M2K Tekno

Nike M2K Tekno

It’s time to go extra-chunky with this pair of decidedly bonafide dad shoes from Nike. Oh sure, Nike calls it a “fashion-forward” sneaker, but let’s be honest, this is one pair of ugly runners. And as we all know, in this upside-down world of 2020, where up is down and down is up, these “ugly” shoes are a bonafide hit of high-fashion. This is the spot where a shrug emoji would normally go. Serving as an update to the all-time classic, this Nike sneaker is available in two colour combinations and seems to be out of stock almost everywhere. That’s simply a tribute to its popularity. So quick, make a decision, are these for you or your dad? If you want a pair of them, you better get your money in before your daddy beats you to it.

Key Features

  • Leather and textile upper
  • Heel tabs
  • Padded foam tongue
  • TPU heel clip
  • Phylon foam midsole
  • Rubber outsole

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 9-11

10. Champion - Men's 93Eighteen BIG C Low-Top Casual Fashion Sneakers

Champion - Men's 93Eighteen BIG C Low-Top Casual Fashion Sneakers

The colour combination options with this pair of sneakers from Champion are on-point. There is no wrong note hit with the choices the manufacturer made. From the decidedly wild Black Multi option pictured above to the more subtle Navy option, everything about these shoes screams, “hey, look at me. I’m a dorky dad”. But of course, in this twisted fashion world of ours also says, hey, I’m so full of ironic style, that I wear shoes like this ironically, thus making me the epitome of what is fashionable. That’s the logic I’m going with as an excuse for buying a pair of these. Go ahead and feel free to repeat it to your friends when challenged about this pair adorning your feet.

Key Features

  • Available in eight colour combinations
  • Suede and leather upper
  • Chunky rubber sole

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 7.5-13

11. Skechers D'Lites - Biggest Fan

Skechers D'Lites - Biggest Fan

Yes, even a lowly pair of Skechers sneakers can qualify as a great dad shoe. After all, if there’s one common thread that binds many dads together, it’s the fact that they’re often cheap, or as they like to put it, “frugal” as sin. But that’s only the beginning of the story when it comes to this fine-looking Skechers sneaker. First, it’s the fact that it’s colour combination options would suggest that this here is a Unisex shoe. Now I don’t want to be all gender normative, but when you offer it up in this wide array of colour combinations, I think I’m on pretty safe ground saying that. So go ahead, let your dad flag fly high and mighty, I’ll still be your biggest fan.

Key Features

  • Leather and synthetic upper
  • Rubber sole
  • Lace-up front

Specifications

  • 1.25″ rubber sole height

12. Calvin Klein Men's Marvin Sneaker

Calvin Klein Men's Marvin Sneaker

Wait. Does Calvin Klein make sneakers? Yeah, I was as unaware of this fact as you are, my dear reader. Then again, the Calvin Klein brand has been on the cutting edge of fashionable apparel for decades, so its no wonder that they too have embraced the dad shoe trend that rocketed into the stratosphere in 2018. Remember 2018 and how care-free we all were? Good times.

In any case, this awesome leather and suede sneaker features six different colour combinations, but my favourite is the Jamaican flag-themed Black/Green/Lemon combination. Don’t miss out on one of the best dad shoes out there.

Key Features

  • Leather and suede upper
  • Synthetic upper sole

Specifications

  • Available in sizes: 7-13

13. Hoka - Men's Bondi

Hoka - Men's Bondi Sneakers

Whooo boy. Where to begin with this monstrosity of… awesome?! I mean, it’s so ugly, it comes full-circle to being beautiful again, doesn’t it? And if that’s not the true essence of what makes a sneaker a quintessential dad shoe, I don’t know what does. So there you have it. Breathe it in. Take in its rich white, grey and citrus colours. Now go bleach your eyes, and take it in again. Yes, now it must adorn your feet. Because if your ironic cool meter runs too low, you’ll quickly slip into fashion oblivion.

Key Features

  • Mesh upper provides plenty of breathability
  • Super-lightweight sneaker
  • CMEVA midsole for cushion and low weight

Specifications

  • Weight: 10.3 oz
  • Available in sizes 7-14

14. Puma - Prevail Classic Sneakers

Puma - Prevail Classic Sneakers

I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but here we are again. Another fine looking shoe inspired by an earlier 90s version of itself. First launched in 1994, the Prevail’s bulky silhouette from Puma was received as a style icon. As clunky sneakers fell out of favour in the 2000s and 2010s, this shoe also dwindled in popularity. But now it’s back and better than ever. With a low-boot design, textile and leather upper along with classic Puma styling, it’s a sumptuous looking white sneaker with turquoise, grey and black accents throughout.

Key Features

  • Die-cut EVA midsole
  • Rubber outsole
  • PUMA No. 1 Logo on heel
  • Available in four colour combinations

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 4-12
  • Weight: 1lb 10.8oz
  • Rubber heel height: 1″

15. Nike Men's Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer

Nike Men's Air Monarch IV Cross Trainer

While not quite as chunky as some of the other trainers on this list, this addition from Nike still has plenty of dad shoe DNA embedded in it. The thick white sole is just the start. The fact that it’s available in various colour combinations, including an all-black version, also adds to its “dad shoe” credentials. Featuring a lightweight foam midsole, this Nike sneaker is mostly made from a leather upper that features various overlays, including an oversized Nike logo.

Key Features

  • Synthetic rubber sole
  • Leather upper
  • Air-Sole cushion
  • Available in nine colour combinations

Specifications

  • Available in sizes: 6.5-15

16. Zara - Maxi Sneakers

Zara - Maxi Sneakers

These uncommon sneakers from Zara feature an Air-bubble cushion that runs the length of the rubber sole. (I thought that Air cushioning was patented by Nike when it came to sneakers, but perhaps I’m wrong on that account). In any case, these lace-up Maxi sneakers feature a combination of materials on the upper and include a large chunk of meshing to give them that old-school 90s “dad shoe” appeal. The outsized reflective details are also a nod to that era of sneaker making.

Key Features

  • Upper is made of 51% polyurethane and 49% polyester
  • Lining is 100% Polyester
  • Sole is 100% thermoplastic rubber

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 6-12

17. Fila Men's Strada Disruptor II Sneaker

Fila Men's Strada Disruptor II Sneaker

Fila is a brand that was probably born to catch the wave of the chunky sneaker resurgence. After all, when you look at any original Fila, or even their modern-day lineup, there’s already plenty of sole thickness built-in to their standard designs. So it’s no surprise that this lightweight, retro-inspired shoe from Fila lands on this list. This shoe features a nubuck upper with a removable cushioned insole and extra-thick rubber sole. It’s also available in a truly ridiculous thirty-eight colour combinations.

Key Features

  • Premium leather construction
  • Lightweight EVA
  • Embossed and embroidered logo
  • Unique eyerow detailing

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 6-13

18. New Balance Men's 608V5 Sneaker

New Balance Men's 608V5 Sneaker

This New Balance shoe hits all the right notes with classic retro-sneaker styling, and dare I say it doesn’t even look too objectionable. It’s available in five colour combinations and has plenty of high-tech features for a very reasonable price. Known for their excellent shock-absorption, these New Balance shoes are no different. The patented ABZORB cushioning in the midfoot provides all the comfort you’ll need. And while I suggest you don’t use these as your primary running shoes, going for a quick trot for half a block won’t be a painful experience while you’re wearing these.

Key Features

  • Available in five colour combinations
  • Available in three widths (Standard, Wide and Extra Wide)
  • Leather upper

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 6.5-18

19. Skechers Men's Energy - After Burn Sneakers

Skechers Men's Energy - After Burn Sneakers

Holy hell. Even the name of these sneakers exudes a certain “dad” energy that simply cannot be ignored. “After Burn”? Ok, I’m sold. This is a 90s or 80s inspired shoe from Skechers. This cushioned flexible trainer is ideal for taking to the gym to lift some weights or just wear around town. It’s got a 100% leather upper and features a pretty huge 1.5-inch heel. It’s also available in a copious amount of “dad shoe” colour combinations. That means it is available in every permutation of grey, black and white you could possibly imagine. Now go forth and get that chunk on your feet. Oh, and don’t worry, as far as “dad shoes” go, these are pretty cheap.

Key Features

  • Leather upper
  • Rubber sole

Specifications

  • Available in 6.5 to 16

20. Reebok Aztrek '96

Reebok Aztrek '96

The Aztrek ’96 line of shoes from Reebok is quite varied. You can find regular sneakers, adventure shoes, and even shoes that are more tailored to the trails. But out of all the choices, I decided that this variant was most in-line with a fashionable and retro sneaker with a tall rubber sole. With some pretty awesome angular lines and added overlays, the mix of materials on this sneaker further cements its deserved place in this list. The 90s era colours pop right off the shoe in any of the available six colour combinations.

Key Features

  • Rubber outsole
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Suede and textile upper

Specifications

  • Available in men’s and women’s sizes
  • Women’s sizes available in 7.5 – 10
  • Men’s sizes available in 6-8.5

21. PUMA Unisex-Adult RS-X Sneaker

PUMA Unisex-Adult RS-X Sneaker

This techno-retro-style sneaker is exactly what you need if you’re going for that perfect 90s style that imagined we’d all be cruising around in flying DeLorean’s just like Marty McFly. Featuring a blazing number of unique colourways, the RX collection from PUMA is breathtaking in its sheer vastness of colour combination options. Exaggerated to the extreme, these shoes feature a bold combination of materials to produce a true bulky silhouette.

Key Features

  • Mesh upper with suede and leather overlays
  • Full lace closure
  • Padded tongue and closure
  • Lightweight PU midsole
  • Rubber outsole

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 7-13 (Unisex) – depending on colour combination choice

22. Zara - Combination Multi-Piece Sneakers

Zara - Combination Multi-Piece Sneakers

Available in only two colour combinations, these sneakers from Zara are a modern-day interpretation of the classic 90s shoes that would be found on many a dad coaching their son’s or daughter’s soccer team from the sidelines. Sure, back then, it was an eyesore, but now that the dad shoe trend continues unabated, these lace-up sneakers with five pairs of eyelets feature thick white soles with an elegant caramel coloured outsole.

Key Features

  • Upper construction is 70% polyurethane and 30% polyester
  • The lining is 100% polyester
  • The sole is 100% thermoplastic rubber

Specifications

  • Available in sizes: 6-12

23. FILA Men's Ray Tracer Sneakers

FILA Men's Ray Tracer Sneakers

Combining a retro style with a thick-sole with colour accents is a nice way for this FILA sneaker to stand out in a crowded field of shoes vying for the top spot in the dad shoe kingdom. If chunky sneakers are where it’s at when it comes to men’s fashion-forward runners, then these Filas have plenty to offer. And if you like this style, you’ll likely like the Oakmont line from Fila as well.  

Key Features

  • The Upper is made of suede, leather, and mesh
  • Embroidered FILA logo on the tongue, vamp and back counter
  • EVA midsole
  • Available in seven different colour combinations

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 7-12 (depending on the colour chosen)

24. PUMA Men's Thunder Desert Sneaker

PUMA Men's Thunder Desert Sneaker

Paying homage to the past is all well and good, but unless you dedicate some thought and design talent to updating that retro look for modern-day consumers, your sneaker will likely fail. Thankfully, PUMA has successfully taken this sneaker that dabbles in paying tribute to past collaborations and silhouettes ahead of their time. The style of this decidedly dad sneaker from PUMA re-imagines what a great looking pair of bulky kicks can be. Unapologetic in its styling and blown up proportions are the signature style of this amazing shoe.

Key Features

  • Leather, mesh and suede upper
  • Rubber sole
  • Available in 12 colour combinations

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 4-14 depending on the colour
  • Heel sole height is approximately 1 inch

25. Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 Wave Runner

Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 Wave Runner

I was somewhat loathed to include this pair of sneakers on this list. Not for their merits. And not for their collectible value as they are certainly not cheap and quite rare. It’s mostly because I really can’t stand Kanye West. And this sneaker is a collab between his Yeezy brand and Adidas. But what can I say, as far as the chunky sneaker trend goes, this is one of the great ones.

Key Features

  • Combination of materials on the upper
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Boost cushioning 
  • Rubber outsole
  • Available in two colourways

Specifications

  • Available in sizes 4-17
Sebastian Arciszewski

Sebastian Arciszewski

An enthusiast of all things minimalist. I love the simple design and always look for an aesthetic that complements how an item works. Because after all, a design is how a thing works. You can find me on twitter: @sebastian_a