The World Is Wearing Ugly Dad Sneakers Because One Designer Hates Looking at Small Feet


If you have wondered why everyone is trudging around in orthopedic father shoes that look like flashier Rockports, you may blame Demna Gvasalia for that. The influential Balenciaga/Vetements designer and possible troll popularized the style with his chonky Triple S, above, and knockoffs continue apace, reproducing like Gremlins in a warm bath (even though, as friends who own them have told me, the Triple S is pretty heavy on the foot and not all that comfortable to walk in).

In an interview with WWD, Gvasalia finally broke his silence, so to speak, on this rather interesting development in fashion fugliness, explaining that he was not going for ugly (he hates ugly) but in fact trying “proportional exercise of footwear.” Moreover, he was motivated by his disdain for small feet:

“I hate to see small feet visually. A lot of guys don’t like to have small feet,” he said. “To me, large shoes are more stable, and more masculine. Also, I believe when you create a new silhouette, the product succeeds.”

Strangely conservative notions of masculinity aside, I honestly can understand this motivation, having several foot hang-ups myself; I can handle small feet but recoil at a gnarled, naked foot on the subway during sandals season, my thoughts permeating with the irrational notion that it is infected with hookworm or hep. Beyond that, this is perhaps a win for the larger footed among us, though it is unclear from this interview if Gvasalia’s small-foot disdain also applies to non-guys. There’s a lot more in it, though—his past with a lack of diversity in casting, his feelings about appropriation, his obsession with Eckhart Tolle (of course)—but the most important point is that people are clonking around in brick shoes because one man likes a big-ass proportion. How nice.

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