The Invasion of the Chunky Sneaker

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Chunky Sneaker Fashion Trend
PHOTO: VIA INSTAGRAM FOR TITLE MEDIA Pictured: Balenciaga Triple S trainers

NYFW brings with it a whirlwind of new trends and fads, but there is one in particular that we just can’t seem to ignore. It looks like the athleisure trend is kicking it up a notch in the shoe department as chunky sneakers are making an appearance at multiple fashion shows, as well as our favorite top fashion influencer’s latest Instagram posts. You either love it or hate it, but this divisive trend seems to be here to stay.

These big soled sneakers have been around for the last few fashion seasons now, so we can safely say that it has surpassed the “fad” phase. It is clear that every designer is trying to capitalize on this “ugly” sneaker phenomenon, as shelves in department stores are filling up with these crazy “moon-shoes”. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it has been interesting to see how this unique accessory is being styled in so many different ways, transcending into something bigger than just street or sportswear. This elevated “dad shoe” seems to be growing a cult following and poses the question: does the phrase “too ridiculous” really have a place in the fashion industry?

Chunky Sneaker Fashion Influencers 2019
From left to right: Caroline Daur @carodaur, Julia sarr-jamois, chiara totire @chiaratotire, Irina linovich @irinalinovich, Pernille teisbaek @pernilleteisbaek


Although these sneakers have a futuristic feel, this trend is actually a major blast from the past. These platform sneakers are reminiscent of the late 1980’s and 90’s, with styles like the Y2K. We all know fashion is cyclical, so it is expected to see old trends make a re-appearance on the market. What is particularly interesting about the chunky sneaker trend is not so much its re-emergence, but rather its adoption into the world of luxury brands. This is something that has been evolving over the last few years in the fashion industry. Streetwear and urban trends are being consistently picked up by big luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Balenciaga and transformed into styles that make their way into the closets of the most influential fashion leaders.

Ready to Wear Styles to Shop:

Unique trends like this create a lot of attention and demand from all areas of the fashion consumer market. This means that shoppers can buy their newest pair of chunky sneakers at stores like Urban Outfitters and Zara, as well as Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman’s.

Luxury Sneakers (Yeah... It's a Thing Now)

LV Archlight Sneaker
Louis Vuitton Archlight Sneaker
Balenciaga Sneaker
Balenciaga Triple s trainers
Chanel Sneakers
Chanel Lambskin and Nylon sneaker

This pair of silver space shoes retail for $1,170 at The style is called the LV Archlight Sneaker, and it features a uniquely shaped rubber platform sole and metallic details. This style is definitely going to be a standout piece in any ensemble (and for that hefty price tag, we would expect nothing less).

The Balenciaga Triple S Trainers are the “luxury chunky sneaker that started it all”. This particular pair retails for $950 at and features a lot of different textures and lines, definitely making it a standout accessory. This sneaker has definitely built a lot of street “clout”, and Balenciaga has a new following from the sneakerhead community because of this model alone.

This colorful style is part of Chanel’s latest collection of sneakers. They are available for purchase at for $950. This statement sneaker features materials like lambskin, nylon, and suede calfskin. The classic Chanel logo has been seamlessly added on to the side, elevating this otherwise seemingly “dad shoesque” sneaker into the world of high fashion.

Affordable Styles

CAT Footwear Intruder Sneaker
CAT footwear intruder sneaker
Adidas Falcon Sneakers
Adidas falcon sneaker
Fila Disruptor 2
Fila Disruptor 2

Falling in line with the futuristic and varied textured concept, pictured here is the Intruder sneaker by CAT Footwear.  This pair retails for $100 and is shoppable at .We can safely say this is a runway look at a ready to wear budget, perfect for the everyday fashionista. It currently comes in a few different colors, with more new colors on the way. CAT is widely known as a company that creates durable construction machinery, and it is interesting to see how the design elements of the shoe branch from the designs of their machinery. The chunky sole of the shoe is actually a reference to that of a CAT truck tire, meaning that the wearer will leave tire prints where they walk. (Now that’s a tough shoe!)

Another style that falls within the new trend is the Adidas Falcon sneaker. This style comes in many color combinations and retails for $100 at It is described to be reminiscent  of their 90’s silhouettes and claims to have good cushion and support… and with the size of that chunky sole we would expect nothing less. This particular style also has a combination of many different textures and materials such as suede, making for an interesting look. 

We can’t talk about the chunky sneaker trend without mentioning the Fila Disruptor 2 sneaker (quite the fitting name). This bold shoe retails for $80 on This Italian shoe appeared on everyone’s social media feed overnight and became the must have sneaker. It did so well that it was awarded shoe of the year 2018 by Footwear News due to its ongoing buzz in the social media world and innovative marketing.

Industry Impact

The invasion of the chunky sneaker was quick and unexpected. Only a few seasons ago everyone was swooning over the minimalist designs of the Yeezy line, so the loud colors and designs of these sneakers feel like a harsh contrast. This is yet another reminder that top fashion can flip and flop in unexpected ways, and nothing is too outlandish or crazy. We are excited to see what new trends New York Fashion Week will bring, as well as seeing how other fashion predictions for 2019 will be elevated and transformed.

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