Have I ever mentioned how much I love awkward, dubious trends, especially when it comes to shoes? Probably not, but I’ve definitely given a shoutout to those infamous Balenciaga Triple S sneakers. I wouldn’t wear them, but I do think they still have a place in the world. Anyway, these Balenciaga eyesores came to mind when I asked myself what item of clothing dads are associated with, and the answer has to be their offbeat taste in shoes. And thanks to their taste, we now have a subset of fashion I like to call ‘dad chic’.

Think oversized trench coats/blazers, polo necks as a staple item for every outfit, oversized shirts, loose-fitting jeans, trousers that aren’t high-waisted worn way too high, and the shoes. Don’t forget the shoes. Of course, the only people who wear all these items in one outfit are dads and everyone else who made sure that Skechers never went out of business, while the rest of us merely opt for a few separates that make more sense in sartorially astute spaces.

Here are some examples:

CHILLIN

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THE DAD SNEAKER TOUR CONTINUES ~ @balenciaga

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Now that you have Instagram evidence of what I mean by ‘dad chic’, let’s focus on the signature footwear that makes a dad outfit, namely loafers and takkies. Yes, takkies – not our edgy kicks. And it’s at this moment I have to mention that if it weren’t for my mom’s firm input on all clothing purchases, my own daddy dearest would be a fashion statistic too (a fashion statistic I love and appreciate nonetheless). But besides his beloved pair of Crocs, he has a pretty impressive collection of loafers and formal shoes, which he treats with the utmost care. So, if your dad has had a micro-influence on your style, this is how you can walk a mile in his shoes just in time for Father’s Day.

Dad’s Nike Air Monarchs

With a Nike Men’s Training history, for the longest time, this shoe’s devotees have been primarily fathers. But the Nike Air Monarch has evolved (ever so subtly), and its inspirations have cut across different ideas, making it more appealing to younger folk. Thanks to social media, these trainers raised their profile in fashion circa 2013, altering its cultural status. And just like that, takkies became cool again.

Dad shoes are having a moment

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Dad’s ugly luxury label sneakers

Fashion has been gifting us meme-worthy kicks such as the Raf Simons x Adidas Ozweego, the Balenciaga Triple-S and Super-S, Louis Vuitton Archlights (which I adore), and the Yeezys that Kim K has been sporting lately. Dazed so fittingly described some of these as ‘a conglomeration of our fears and fantasies.’ All so ghastly, yet so necessary for the culture.

dad shoes are having a moment

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Dad shoes are having a moment

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Dad shoes are having a moment

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📸 BACKGRID

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Dad’s dapper loafers

Loafers and masculine formal leather shoes are the least frowned-upon dad shoes. If anything, they’re the most popular within style circles. The thing about these shoes is that they’re reminiscent of any father figure’s work shoes, or that immaculately polished pair of lace-ups they pull out only on special occasions. That’s perhaps why we feel so well put together whenever we put them on.

Dad shoes are having a moment

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Dad shoes are having a moment

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So, our dads may not necessarily have street (style) cred, but they have certainly inspired a new wave of fashion. Thanks, Dad.

Signed, the Sartorial Podiatrist

Dad chic 👞

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