To this day I remember the excitement I felt when I would wear my turquoise crocs around the halls of middle school. A Jibbitz in each hole to showcase my personality — a basketball to show off my hooping skills, a burger to show I appreciated American delicacies, and a smiley face to signify an easygoing nature.
Is there any wonder I wasn’t popular back then?
And while I can’t quite agree that crocs are “ugly,” there seems to be quite a consensus on the matter. Some would say they are the most hated shoes in the world. Yet, the Post Malone Crocs collaboration sold out in minutes after going on sale. Country music star Luke Combs recently dropped a collaboration with Crocs as well, reaffirming what we already know: that what was once dad is now rad. Although, the line between what is classified as ugly and high-fashion is so thin at times that it seems as though brands are competing to see who can pull what atrocity off the best. When shopping I often have to ask myself, “Do I like this, or have I been brainwashed by Stockholm fashion week Instagram accounts?”
Either way, it is hard for me to stay away from shoe trends. Especially when they are of the ironic “don’t take yourself too seriously” shoe pool — Skechers Shape Ups or Heelys anyone? So, I closely monitor my Instagram feed in search of shoes that pique my interest. Keep scrolling for a list of every ugly shoe trend Instagram influenced me into desiring.
They don’t tell you this when you are younger, but there will come a day when you have to forego Velcro straps in favor of laces (shudders). However, thanks to our newfound love of 2001 we have seen a resurgence in Velcro straps! Long live the sweet “schruuutcccch” sound after a long day at the playground. Sure, they may remind you of your dad, but think about all the extra miles you will walk when sporting these comfortable strappy sandals. You can now think about walking to the grocery store rather than having everything Insta-carted to you. I bought a pair of Tevas recently to wear with my summer dresses and would 100 percent recommend.
Light Up Sneakers
In a conflict-ridden world, sometimes the only thing that can brighten your day is quite literally a pair of light up shoes. Balenciaga sent LED shoes down the runway for their pre-spring 2019 collection, and in January, Iris van Herpen lit up the runway at Paris Fashion Week with light-up heels. Relive your youth, but in the name of fashion.
Millennials are turning towards hiking (or forest bathing) as a form of stress relief — a way to unplug and engage in the world around us. We now feel the same deep admiration for those who are rendered “outdoorsy” that we do someone with a low Instagram screen time. So, it was only a matter of time we took the mountain shoes to the streets. Hiking shoes are straying from their original outdoorsy purpose and into street style. You too can look like you have fashion week at 6 p.m. but a hike at 7 p.m.
Animal Print Sneakers
Remember when it was embarrassing to wear cheetah or other prints in public? In 2017, I tweeted “real friends are those who stood by you back when you wore cheetah print,” yet here we are! A society in which it is socially acceptable to wear cheetah again (For further proof, check out fan-favorite Instagram account @leopardmidiskirt)! Almost overnight, the world became a safari in which leopard, snake skin, crocodile and zebra print shoes run amuck.
You are a little girl by the pool, and your jelly sandals are gleaming in the sunlight. Nickelback is blasting through the radio and your mom is yelling at you about the importance of sunscreen. We as a culture continue to romanticize the past, and as a result continue to see a resurgence of trends from childhood (i.e. butterfly clips and the Jonas Brothers). My current favorite throwback happens to be the jelly sandal, for there are so many looks to be created. Pair with frill socks for three times the fun.
Long gone are the days tie-dye was reserved for summer camp or backyard craft projects. The nostalgia never ends, and we saw a surplus of the beloved hippie print at New York Fashion Week this spring. Yes, there is a certain allure to knowing you could make these yourself. However, your Etsy project likely won’t top a Prada beauty.