Best chunky sneakers for men 2021: top brands, style, how to wear them
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Trend designers were called crazy when they started wearing chunky sneakers, but a few years later the kicks are still everywhere. Also known as “daddy’s shoes” or “ugly sneakers,” chunky, oversized sneakers have been around since the sneakers first came out, but the look really took off around 2018 and showed no signs of slowing down. Now, the best chunky sneakers are easier to wear (and more plentiful) than ever.
At the start of the trend, some of the best chunky sneakers were the Raf Simons x Adidas Ozweego, Balenciaga Triple S, and New Balance 990. Some of them stuck, although we were also seeing new chunky sneakers on the streets and runways. such as the Hoka One One and the more recent Track Sneaker from Balenciaga.
Whether you’re getting ready to dip your toe into the world of daddy’s shoes or shopping for your fifth pair, read on. We’ve rounded up eight of the best chunky sneakers to buy right now, along with some tips for styling your new pair.
How to wear chunky sneakers
The chunky sneaker trend relies on other fashion movements to make it work. Loose pants, baggy tops, and oversized outerwear all allow the best chunky sneakers to really shine. We also believe chunky sneakers look best with looser clothing, so thick, structured jeans can be difficult to pair with these sneakers. Plus, there’s one hard and fast rule when styling chunky sneakers: no skinny pants or skinny jeans.
When it comes to the outfit palette with chunky sneakers, the choice is yours. Neutral, monochrome outfits are a great way to showcase statement-making sneakers while colorful palettes match the boldness of “ugly” sneakers.
The best chunky sneakers
Below are some of our favorite chunky sneakers to buy online. We’ve included options ranging from old-fashioned sneakers like the Nike Air Max to modern Adidas, so there should be something for every personal style.
1. New Balance 990v5
If you’re new to chunky sneakers or want maximum versatility, check out the New Balance 990v5 silhouette. Nice with everything from chinos and an oxford to shorts and a logo tee, the shoes are clean daddy style in a sneaker. The 990v5 are also among the most comfortable shoes on the market thanks to a premium breathable mesh and suede construction, as well as an Ortholite insert for support.
2. Nike Air Max 90 SE
The Air Max 90 is a retro sneaker that Nike has continually updated due to its enduring popularity. This SE model colourway is a great choice right now with variations of white on each panel, a green logo on the heel and a green Air unit in the sole. Very versatile when it comes to outfit options, the Air Max 90 looks great with minimalist chinos and jeans or maximalist cuts.
3. Adidas Ozweego
Originally released in 1998, the Adidas Ozweegos have always been the first choice for chunky sneakers. Raf Simons breathed new life into the maximalist silhouette in 2013, and now the Ozweegos are a staple in many sneaker collections. We love this modern all-black colourway, offering cushioning in the Adiprene heel and Adiprene + technology in the forefoot. This cushioning system makes the shoes extremely comfortable for long days, commutes or walks, although it is still an end-to-end fashion statement.
4. Reebok Lifestyle Classic Leather
The retro style has made a comeback recently and Reebok sneakers are at the center of the trend. These Classics in white leather with a rubber sole are probably the most iconic option. While they’re certainly bulky, the classics are a bit more streamlined than some of our other picks. This makes it a good choice for anyone with a casual and low-key sense of style.
5. Air Jordan 4 Retro “Fire Red 2020” sneakers
As any sneakerhead will attest, Jordans are a staple in any fashion lover’s wardrobe right now. We love these Jordan 4s because you don’t see them as often as the ultra-popular (and ultra-hard-to-get) Jordan 1s. This ‘Fire Red 2020’ model adds a splash of color with red accents on the sole, eyelets and logo. Wear them casually with streetstyle basics like loose chinos or cargo pants and a tee.
6. Hoka One One Bondi 7
For a sporty choice, go for the Hoka One One Bondi 7. Using Hoka’s beloved cushioning and Meta Rocker for the early stages, the shoes make walking and running smoother and easier on the joints. Memory foam collars and TPU overlays in the midfoot provide structure for even more support. Although they are intended for athletics, we have seen very well worn Hoka on the streets of fashion week and on the feet of stylish people everywhere.
7. Balenciaga Track Sneaker
Balenciaga’s Triple S sneaker was one of the shoes at the forefront of the chunky sneaker trend a few years ago. The Spanish designer label has since released these Track sneakers that have generated a lot of buzz for their technical, running-inspired look and voluminous silhouette. Design highlights include a hyper-flared sole, multi-layered lacing cage and mesh top base layer. Make sure to wear them with other bold pieces like an oversized top and loose pants, for example.
8. Puma Thunder Spectra
If you want a thoughtful color, go for these Puma Thunder Spectras. They combine red, yellow, pale blues, black and white in a cohesive and athletic look. With a mesh upper, leather toe and rubber heel, the materials are just as diverse and interesting. As the style is distinct, the shoes look best with simple outfits such as light chinos and a white t-shirt.