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Like it or not, dads are style influencers. Just look to former fads such as jorts and cargo shorts for proof. And now, dad-inspired footwear is a statement style that’s here to stay.
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Making its fashion debut on runways and Instagram feeds in 2018, the chunky “dad” sneaker trend has brought practical silhouettes often worn by dads in the 90s — like the New Balance 624 — back into the Zeitgeist. Even designers have offered up their own unforgettable takes on the trend, including Louis Vuitton’s wavy Archlight sneakers and Balenciaga’s thick-soled Triple S.
Since then, we’ve seen dad sneakers on the feet of countless celebrities. Gigi Hadid has been known to hit the streets in Reebok Classics — gum soles and all. Kourtney Kardashian matches them to swimsuits, biker shorts and sweatshirts. Kaia Gerber takes them to the next level with equally dad-esque bootcut jeans and polished blazers.
And the list goes on. Jaden Smith is a longtime fan of the trend and has his own New Balance collaboration. In April, the second release in the collaboration dropped, which is a speckled cream and grey ultra-chunky version dubbed the Vision Racer.
Yes, there are haters (Steph Curry knows this to be true), yet the dad shoe has remained a fashion staple for almost five years now, and continues to be reinvented by designers from brands like Nike, Yeezy and more. As it turns out, the old refrain is true: Father knows best.
Ahead of Father’s Day, here’s a roundup of go-to shoe dad shoes, as well as some classic shoe styles like sensible loafers and athletic slides that dads have embraced.
L.L.Bean All Week Slipper Mocs
L.L Bean calls these versatile moccasins “backyard slippers,” which should keep your old man’s feet comfy from from the den to running errands thanks to a cushioned midsole and sturdy hiking boot-inspired outsole.
To buy: L.L.Bean All Week Slipper Mocs, $89; Llbean.com.
Calvin Klein Marvin Sneaker
A stylish, two-toned sneaker, Calvin Klein’s Marvin Sneaker has handy double pull tabs for when you want to get out the house quickly in the morning.
To buy: Calvin Klein Marvin Sneaker, $72; Amazon.com.
Adidas Adissage Slides
Hello ’90s dad. The Adidas Adissage Slide evokes feelings of nostalgia for many, and offers unbeatable comfort with a flexible footbed featuring massaging nubs.
To buy: Adidas Adissage Slides, $30; Adidas.com.
Asics The Gel-1090
Another throwback, Asics The GEL-1090 running shoe from 2003 has been reimagined for the modern man while keeping its signature lines inspired by motorcycles.
To buy: Asics The Gel-1090, $95; Asics.com.
Teva Omnium 2 Water Shoe
If your dad is all about practicality with his footwear choices, he’ll definitely appreciate Teva Omnium 2‘s sport shoe, which offers both water and land function.
To buy: Teva Omnium 2 Water Shoe, $90, Backcountry.com.
New Balance 574 Rugged Sneaker
These New Balance 574 kicks are perfect for someone who is going for the streamlined, rugged look instead of the popular chunky white style.
To buy: New Balance 574 Rugged Sneaker, $85; Newbalance.com.
Dr. Scholl’s Thrive Slide Sandal
Sometimes it really is just too hot for socks and sneakers. Instead, opt for Dr. Scholl’s Thrive Slide Sandal and receive the same level of comfort with some much needed air flow.
To buy: Dr. Scholl’s Thrive Slide Sandal, $50; Dsw.com.
New Balance 624
New Balance’s 624 Cross-Trainers are a classic dad shoe style. You can’t beat its signature lifted base with a thickened toe and treaded outsole, complete with vintage detailing.
To Buy: New Balance 624 Cross-Trainer, $75.
Sperry Boat Shoes
For beachside and lakeside wear, these Sperry’s Original 2-Eye Boat Shoes are a go-to, which can easily be dressed up or down.
To Buy: Sperry Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoes, $95; Sperry.com.
Steve Madden Loafers
A loafer can make or break any dad’s closet and Steve Madden’s Grab Loafer is both affordable and stylish to tout.
To Buy: Steve Madden Grab Loafers, $81; Amazon.com.
A modern take on a chunky shoe, Adidas’ Strutter sneaker offers a slightly more streamlined look with a textured bottom.
To Buy: Adidas Strutter, $46 (was $65); Amazon.com.
Reebok’s Classic sneaker is not as chunky as other pairs, and for that reason, dads can appreciate its relaxed comfort and everyday feel that provides ’70s and ’80s-style accents.
To Buy: Reebok Classic, $65 (was $75); Amazon.com.
Nike Air Monarch IV
If your dad prefers lifted over flatter style, Nike’s Air Monarch IV is the ultimate pick with its mega-boosted sole featuring an Air unit for comfort.
To Buy: Nike Air Monarch IV, $58 (was $70); Nike.com.
Take a trip back to the ’90s with Skechers’ Afterburn sneaker, featuring a lugged outsole and smooth uppers adorned with stitched detailing.
To Buy: Skechers Energy AfterBurn Sneakers, $43-$123; Amazon.com.
Crocs Yukon Vista Clogs
Unlike a classic clog, Crocs’ Yukon Vista Clog uses leather panels for a more work-ready look that can be worn to the beach or pool, too.
To Buy: Crocs Yukon Vista Clog, $45-$149; Amazon.com.
Kenneth Cole Reaction Sprinters
Kenneth Cole’s Reaction Sprinters blends together a sneaker and a leather loafer for a casual look that can still bring a dressier vibe.
To Buy: Kenneth Cole Reaction Sprinter Sneakers, $55; Amazon.com.
Merrell Moab 2
For outdoorsmen, dad shoes usually aren’t a practical choice, but this pair from Merrell changes that. It’s a must-have with its water sealing technology and extensive cushioning.
To Buy: Merrell Moab 2, $100 (was $125); Zappos.com.
Dockers Searose Fisherman Sandals
With its closed-toe design, Dockers’ Searose Fisherman Sandals help block out dirt, debris and any sharp objects at the beach or on the trail.
To Buy: Dockers Searose Fisherman Sandals, $40-$54; Amazon.com.
Pops of color in Puma’s Prevail Classic Sneakers offer a fun pick-me-up. They’re also compete with a wedge-style heel for subtle boost and lift.
To Buy: Puma Prevail Classic Sneakers, $52 (was $100); Zappos.com.
You can never go wrong with Birkenstock’s Arizona sandals. Dress up the retro, supportive silhouette with khakis and a button-down or wear them with a casual tee and jeans.
To Buy: Birkenstock Arizona Sandals, $130-$165; Amazon.com.