Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Ugly shoes for the win

Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Graphic by Nicolette Baker

Lemme get this clear: I try my best to not be a hater. But when it comes to Crocs, I’ll write a subtweet or two.

It’s not that they’re necessarily my least favorite footwear ever, but Crocs are on a very short list. There was definitely a time and place where I absolutely loved the shoes, but that time isn’t now.

The so-called “ugly” shoes have been popping up everywhere, from influencer’s Insta stories to high-fashion streetwear photos. In June, designer brand Balenciaga announced a pricey collab with the footwear company.

Wait, wait — before you click “close tab,” lemme explain why “ugly” isn’t a bad thing, at all.

There’s a certain element to fashion that pushes past the aesthetics of everyday life, asking the consumer to choose something that’s a lil out there. It’s weird, conventionally ugly pieces that fit into the art of composing an outfit.

And I L-O-V-E weird fashion.

Individuality and those “ugly” items in fashion have exploded throughout the past year, signaling the world is ready for the return of the Crocs. They’re perfect for adding an unexpected element to a cute dress or complementing a chill, sweatpants-and-cropped-tank outfit. So, even though I kinda sorta (totally) hate Crocs for what they are, I totally appreciate their role in the fashion world.

Moving on, I’ve got three words for ya: platform chunky loafers.

Loafers are already rad in the way they combine elements of menswear and professionalism in a cute, preppy package. I’m personally in love with this classy pair by Gucci — they’re the equivalent of more than two months’ rent, but who can put a price on chic?

Uhhh my budget, that’s who. Ily Gucci loafers, but it’ll never work between us. ),:

Thick platform tread adds a bit of edge and modern twist to this classy staple, like these from Free People. I feeeeeeel like the chunky platforms on loafers should never work — uhhh, wouldn’t that be ugly? — but they are totes adorable, promise. Pair with wide-leg light wash jeans and a flowy top for a très chic look.

In another part of the footwear world, we see platform and jewel details in trendy pairs of flip flops, giving us true Y2K realness. Flip flops aren’t exactly “ugly” shoes, but wearing generic pairs to formal occasions has def been called out on social media before.

Soooo, stomp down every runway (and hallway!) in those chunky clogs, platform Mary Janes and sky-high combat boots. Set your Crocs to speed mode and run off into the sunset, if that’s your thing. Consider their signature clack, clack a lil round of applause.

Next week, I’ll be breaking down the best outfits for cheering on the Redhawks at the War for the Wheel! Tweet me your thoughts at @nbakerARROW!