We accept it takes all sorts to wear some of the stuff produced by this fun, but frankly mad, industry. After all, one man’s monstrous is another man’s must-have.
The world of sneakerheads is no different, having been responsible for some of the most effed-up Air Zoolanders to ever come off a production line.
Still, if you fancy trying your hand/feet at the ugly trainer trend, here’s a list of the 15 worst crepes to ever make someone say: “What are those!?”
Nike Air Max Lunar 90 ‘Moon Landing’
The Oregon-powerhouse can’t win ‘em all. As much as we love Nike, the Air Max 90 Moon Landing takes an already divisive model and sends it into ugly-ass orbit with an awful all-over photograph of lunar craters. With respect to Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11, screw these shoes and the spaceship they rode in on.
The only people who wear the original dull-as-dishwater Keds are Australians, kewl dads who work in middle management, and guys in college who sell tickets to club nights. The brand has made some decent styles since, but these are the pits – a flat-sole abomination – and so generic that they’re actually offensive.
Adidas x Jeremy Scott ‘Bones’
Since first teaming up with Adidas in 2008, the Moschino creative director has built a name for himself turning out kicks that are seriously crap, but even we didn’t see these coming. When you make trainers this tacky, this demonstrably ugly, they should come with some kind of warning.
Adidas Kobe 2
To make this list just a running tally of ugly basketball sneakers would have been too easy. These, though, are something else. They look like someone tried to make toasters out of foam and wrapped them in plastic so cheap it’s almost certainly illegal.
New Balance 576 ‘Thunder God’
We see what Flimby’s finest was going for here but… No. Bless you, but no.
Nike Air Rift
We’ve heard these are making a comeback but, to be honest, any shoe that tries to separate – actually, get the hell over here, Vibram…
Vibram Fivefingers Elx
Admittedly we haven’t read it in a while, but we’re pretty sure that the separation of toes in footwear is covered by the Geneva Convention. They’re just creepy. If you think ‘creepy’ is an adjective that has a place in sportswear then be our guest, but don’t come crawling back to us when you’re no long allowed within 100-yards of your local swimming pool.
Reebok Ice Cream
As far as we’re concerned, the jury’s still out on Pharrell’s footwear credentials. Now sold on eBay at an astronomical mark-up, Reebok’s mid-decade collaboration with the singer and designer pal Nigo wouldn’t go down so well in the British brand’s hometown of Bolton… or anywhere really, since it looks like someone’s vacuum-packed a bouncy castle.
Adidas x Jeremy Scott ‘Totem’
A repeat offender, Scott casually lapsed into some good old fashioned cultural appropriation – yours for £250. An impressively poor rendering of the totem poles in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, this is what happens when someone goes: “Yeah, so just do like a Native American thing or something” and hands design duties to a studio intern.
Nike Roshe Run
We’re calling it: the Roshe Run is officially dead. The lifestyle runner had its moment, becoming one of the first mass-hyped mainstream sneakers of the #menswear era. But since then, the model has been tainted by the wardrobe of every tasteless meathead who went to your school and as such has totally lost its lustre.
Still, even as we wince to admit it, we must concede that they are super comfortable.
Rick Owens Island Sole ‘Black Suede’
Rick Owens’ shows usually leave us baffled. This is the man who sent 69-ing models and a whole lot of peen down the runway at one point. Equally ‘WTF?’ are his cemetery-luxe shoes – mostly worn by off-duty footballers and Instagram rappers.
The designer’s Island Sole sneakers have a weird cloven-hoof fetishism about them, leaving wearers looking like a mythological Greek god.
Under Armour Micro G Anatomix Spawn II
They look like they came out of those squidgy alien birthpod eggs you used to keep in the fridge. Nuff said.
Puma Disc Blaze OG
Subtlety isn’t a word often found in the streetwear vocabulary, but if these Puma Discs are anything to go by, maybe the sector could benefit from picking up a dictionary. We’re sure there’s someone out there who loves them, but as far as we can tell, there’s no way to wear them and not look like you’re actually an over-excited toddler.
Reebok Instapump Fury
They look exactly what we’d imagine the kids from Hey Arnold! thought cool sneakers looked like. The novelty of being able to pump up your own shoes is fun until you realise that it makes literally no difference. We have to face facts, guys: there’s no getting away from these being a big old bag of attention-seeking shite.
Prada Americas Cup
The inexplicably popular Prada Americas Cup was a half-mesh, half-leather, all-ugly testament to the old adage: expensive sneakers suck. One of the biggest selling high-end kicks of all time, the model was favoured by UK garage heads and blokes who borrowed their dad’s Range Rover to go on dates.