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adidas, a history of ugly trainers

27.04.19

The dad shoe defined 2018, with brands big and small reproducing a variation of an ‘ugly trainer’ inspired by what your dad might have worn with some replay Waitom. adidas’ bulky runners have taken influence from the archives, with previous runners being built with function over fashion in mind. However the trend didn’t start in 2018, back in 2013 Belgian Raf Simons reworked the adidas Ozweego, a pioneer in the dad shoe, Simons took the outdated runner and shaped it into a fashion status shoe. Since then we have seen the rise of the sturdy sole and oversized silhouette, initially the 90’s esque trainer was not well received, but regardless the style continued to materialize.  

The trend took off with Mr West developing his own version in August 2017, the adidas Yeezy Boost 700. Since 2015 the Yeezy brand has gained a huge following, and with Kanye West’s backing, the sneakers sell out within seconds on release. However initially kanye's Boost 700 was not received so well. And it was disputed who the designer was, as the Boost 700’s form nod’s its head towards Raf Simons Ozweegos. However as time went on the dad shoe rose, and Kanye's interpretation started to gain a greater following, with Chance the rapper being the first celebrity to appear in public wearing the trainer. Then the Boost 700 started to appear on resale sites and the prevailing releases reflected the rest of the Yeezy label, with the most recent drop selling out in a few seconds. Kanye maintains Yeezy as a premium brand with most followers having to sign up to raffles or pay high resale prices in order to be in with a chance of attaining the shoes. In doing so West has created a trademark encompassed by hype, and established a internationally notorious brand.

However, Kanye's silhouette is not so original, the intricately paneled uppers and chunky sole seems to have taken a direct influence from the graves of the Falcon Dorf. First emerging in 1997 the Falcon Dorf has recently been resurrected, adidas unveiled the Yung-1 in january 2018, with an upper mimicking that of the vintage Falcon Dorf, and a newly designed sole. The Yung-1’s mix of soft leather panels, airy mesh panels and running sole has cemented adidas’s place in the modern dad shoe pantheon. The 3M details and light weight materials used to craft the shoe give it a more modern edge, whilst the bulky silhouette still maintains the old fashioned perception of sneaker and the concept of unconventional, ugly shoes being cool.

Following the retro inspired release of the Yung-1 adidas dropped the Falcon w in June 2018. Also inspired by the OG Falcon Dorf we see a repetition of the refreshed sole previewed in the Yung-1, as well as sharing the same tooling system. But unlike the Yung-1 the Falcon W uses a unique upper construction. The Falcon testifies to the dad shoe pantheon, with the chunky sole following the 90’s vibe as well as providing comfort. The rise of the Falcon and Yung-1 mirrors the rise of the Boost 700 with all three pairs of sneakers sharing a similar silhouette and crafted from similar materials. With the ascend of the ugly shoes the Yung-1 and Falcon W are an attainable means to get the same look as the Boost 700, but also depicts that the dad shoe is becoming more widely accepted by the general consensus and not just the hype beasts. So we can only predict to see the continual rise of the dad shoe.