The Ugly Side of Shoe Fashion

Whilst the saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder carries a lot of truth, and just because I find something to be beautiful, the person sitting next to me may not and that doesn’t mean that he or I are necessarily wrong. However, 2018 has been the year of Ugly Fashion, there is no doubt about it especially seeing as big name brands from Nike to Balenciaga are going out of their way to compete for the title of “Ugliest Trainer 2018”.

Gucci have had a fantastic season and a huge response to their “Distressed Trainer” which at £615 GBP looks like it has been rescued from a dump truck after having the life worn out of it and Italian designer shoe brand Golden Goose who gained notoriety back in 2000 for its vintage inspired footwear, even took it one step further with the “Poverty Trainer” complete with a strip of duck-tape across the front to hold it together. To add insult to injury they were selling at £430 GBP, more than enough to feed and put a roof over the head of someone on the streets for at least a month or two.

Dumbest idea ever: the ‘Poverty Trainer’ by Golden Goose at £430

It’s not just trainers that are making these bold moves, it’s all types of shoes. who could forget the Birkenstock which were popular in the 60’s and 70’s with the dope smoking laid back free loving youth, with their contoured cork and leather soles and which quickly went out of fashion by the conservative era of the 80’s when life was not about comfort and women would endure a lot more than today in their quest for femininity and elegance.

Yet by the 90’s they were back and more masculine than ever, and if that is not bad enough they now come with a high heel and platform if required. For anyone feeling really brave there is also the PRADA take on the Birkenstock which has just been released as a winter sandal complete with fur lining and is to be worn with a sock. Not elegant in the slightest.

The PRADA take on the Birkenstock

We have also had the hospital croc with its antibacterial foam to prevent fungal infections, when did fashion get so serious… back in April this year Ebay reported 25,000 searches for Crocs and almost 15,000 pair sold on Ebay alone, which equates to roughly 20 pairs an hour.

No wonder luxury fashion label Balenciaga wanted to cash in on this by creating their own version of the rubbery shoe with a 10cm platform and a hefty price tag of $850 USD. After their initially cynical reception on the catwalk in 2017, designer Demna Gavasalia’s “must have” let out a huge sigh of relief when they sold out before even hitting the shop floor.

The $850 Balenciaga ‘Crocs’


Then there is of course clogs. Like the trainer, the clog has recently become the fashionista shoe of choice. Authentic wooden clogs usually need to be made by hand and can be found in farming communities’ world wide. Following fiercely in the footsteps of the croc, and the Birkenstock and being widely dubbed as the feminist shoe of our times, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear that they are not as ugly as you may think, by that I am of course not talking about the ‘dansko’ clog traditionally worn by chefs and nurses, noooooo.

Enter the Diorquake with its 2cm heel and star engraved aged metal studs available in calves leather, goatskin or signature logo Dior print canvas as well as patchwork denim and embroidered patchwork with clutch bags to match. For those worried about the open back aspect of the clog, fear not as Gucci have this covered with their Amstel leather clog with its fully lined trimmed kangaroo fur and signature Horesbit detail.

Well……..I hear you thinking, these are not too offensive and maybe I am being a little too harsh so just let me throw these out at you from Canadian fashion brand Matieres Feccales (yes if you speak French you heard that correctly, it does translate in to English as “faecal matter”).


Montreal based Design couple Hannah Rose Dalton and Steven Raj Bhaskaran are no strangers to providing shock factor and are creating quite a stir with these $10,000 thigh high boots made to look like actual skin and available in various skin-tones to match the that of whoever is brave enough to wear them.

They are complete with individual toes and devil horns and heels shaped like bones so if you though Lady Gaga’s meat dress was riske think again because this takes ugly fashion to a whole new dimension and begs the question, are pretty pumps and sexy sandals a thing of the past?

Matieres Feccales at $10,000

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