The Next Wave of Ugly Sneakers Is So Ugly

Bad news for anyone who already spends too much money on their trainer collection: The trend for ugly sneakers is set to continue with gusto, morphing into its most aggressive form yet. So 2019 will see a new wave of styles making a bid for your feet, and whilst it might take a while for some of us to catch up, sneaker freaks we follow on Instagram are already showcasing their ahead-of-the-curve credibility, being photographed wearing the most radical, fresh kicks.

The signs for this shift have been there for a good six months or so (if you were willing to look). This past year saw a few boomerang styles find their way back into fashion favour, and they're helping to shape the vibe for the new year. We spotted girls wearing Sketchers again, adopting Buffalo boots once more and delving into the long-forgotten world of Fila.

The latter brand's Disruptor trainers provided big business for many a retailer, and they were just pipped to the post as Lyst's number one sneaker for 2018. For those with more cash to splash, it was Balenciaga's Triple S sneakers that carried on ruling the designer roost, alongside anything and everything that came from Yeezy. In particular, it was the Yeezy 500 that spiked in Google search terms year over year by 1550%.

All of these popular styles have influenced the silhouettes, finishes and colours that are taking ugly sneaker trends to the next level for 2019. From neon to genuine mountaineering lace-ups, keep reading to discover the new gen of truly cool kicks.

1. HIGH-TECH 

Just ask the buying team at BrownsFashion about their key sneaker purchases for 2018, and they'll respond with one of two names: Mizuno or Salomon. If those are complete unknowns to you, you're not alone. These European labels are purveyors of high-tech mountaineering gear, so we're talking super-practical, performance kicks, complete with all of the weird "dad" panelling, trekking-ready soles, up-turned toes, clashing laces and comfy support that you'd usually baulk at and turn away from. The more obscure and old-school your brand choice, the better. The more bizarrely you can wear them, the better.

2. PLATFORMS

From Eytys and its popular chunky lace-ups to the return of thick-soled, super-stacked Buffalo boots, this could be the answer to anyone who likes their trainers to be extra bouncy and add a few inches to one's height. We've seen girls pairing them with smart clothes—like trouser suits—for a more modern approach than how we styled them the first time around in the '00s.

3. NEON

Last year saw soft pastel colours come to the footwear fore, but as spring/summer 2019's runways are so vibrant, it's perhaps no huge surprise that neon hues look like they'll be next to dominate in this sporty realm. From highlighter yellow to ultra-punchy pink, sneaker fans are using these bright shoes to punctuate more sombre outfits. However, once the new season kicks in, I wouldn't be shocked to see the Scandi set trying them out with printed dresses or colourful suiting.