RIP last summer’s Birkenstocks and move over trainers, there’s a new shoe to slip your foot into this season: introducing the ugly hike shoe, the Hugly. One part trainer sole to one part tech sandal, it’s a footwear hybrid that combines the sort of sandal your dad might own with a Jesus sandal and flatform.
It’s a high-tech riff on fashion’s current penchant for gladiator sandals, has utility appeal in its appearance and is a step on from the awkward and fugly shoes of seasons just past. And bizarrely we all want to wear it – even if it’s not the prettiest shoe in the box. If you’re wearing it then I’ll wear it.
Leader of the pack at the spring/summer 2015 shows was Marni – those buckle-strap sandals soaring on towering tractor soles. Velcro fastenings are key too: think function first and the fashion part will come later once your eyes have had a chance to adjust. These are all about clomping about and have nothing elegant to say. They shout “practical” not “pretty”; “take a hike”, not “catch a cab”; “What are you wearing?”, not “Oooh, they’re nice”.
But just like the Birkenstock revival before them, they have that clever and transformative allure – just as when things are so bad, they’re good, these walk the line of being so ugly, they’re acceptable. They’re cool. And they stride into the lead of summer’s favourite footwear.
Despite all this I’m still a little undecided. Practical – definitely. Fashionable – mmm not quite sure yet. Shop below and decide.
Prepare yourself… its Hugly!