While 2016 will go down in history as the year of Brexit, Trump and Harambe, there’s no denying that 2017 will be remembered – at least in fashion circles – as the year that trainers got ugly. Like, really ugly.
Those massive Sketchers with the light-up soles that your little sister used to wear to her friends’ birthday parties may have been banished to the fancy dress box more than a decade ago, but here in 2017, they’re a bona fide fashion commodity.
The thing is, fashion comes in cycles, and given that we’ve just had several years of minimalism and slim-fit, understated everything, it was only a matter of time until OTT chunkiness prevailed, whether you like it or not.
This sartorial turning point has paved the way for some truly horrific trainers. So, sit down and keep your sick bag at the ready, while we remind you of some of the worst from the past 12 months.
Adidas Yeezy Boost V2 Frozen Yellow
Frozen yellow is something of a trend at the moment, but Kanye may have taken things a step too far with these fluorescent failures. No one will miss you coming in these weapons, but is that really a good thing? No, it’s not a good thing.
Vetements X Reebok Insta Pump Distressed Leather
Vetements may be the hottest brand in the world right now, and founder Demna Gvasalia is undeniably the name on the lips of every Fashion Week oddball, but… oh hang on, the phone’s ringing. Demna, it’s Batman. He wants his slippers back.
NikeLab x Undercover Gyakusou Veil Runner
As far as unlikely inspirations for sneakers go, Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons is pretty high up the list. And yet, here we are with Nike’s sneaker-sock hybrid. Now, does anyone have some bleach handy? I need to clean my eyeballs.
Asics X Wood Wood Gel DS
It says something about sneaker design today that another iteration of this very collaboration made it to our list of the best trainers of 2017. But where that pair kept things relatively muted, this looks like your secondary school PE teacher designed these in collaboration with Robocop. Is that really a look you want to invest in?
Under Armour Flat Tire 2
This shoe kind of looks like it’s designed to serve a very specific purpose. We’re not sure what that purpose is – circuit training on the moon maybe – but whatever it may be, please count us out.
Nike X Supreme Air More Uptempo
The less said the better here, really. We’ll just let the shoe (if you can call it that) speak for itself. Which it does. At volume. Great, great volume.
Prada Panelled Mesh Trainers
Scuba diving. Not exactly the most runway-friendly activity in the world. Well, Prada has spotted a deep sea diving-shaped gap in the fashion footwear market and decided to fill it with these rubbery shit-flickers. Can anyone else feel a case of the bends coming on?
Fear Of God X Vans
The great thing about Vans is that you just cannot go wrong with them. They’re affordable, simple, timeless and clean. However, hypebeast-favourite, Fear Of God, was seemingly determined this year to achieve the impossible and make the Californian stompers unwearable, so came up with this hideous rendition. Bravo.
Fila usually does a nice line in retro sportswear, but this has to go down as a clunking misstep. Sporty Spice would probably have been all over these monstrosities about 20 years ago, and if that’s not enough to put you off then we’re not sure what will.
YEEZY Desert Rat 500
Nobody likes rats. They’re rodents, carriers of disease and, let’s face it, they don’t exactly look cute. Presumably that’s why Kanye named his latest footwear abomination after one.
Adidas EQT Racing
If you love the socks and sandals vibe but consider yourself a bit of a sneakerhead, you’re probably fed up with the lack of satisfactory footwear options available to you. Luckily, Adidas has the answer, a meshed mash-up between the ugly trainer trend and something you’d find on a market stall.
NikeLab x CDG Air Force 1
Nike meet with Rei Kawakubo, the founder of Comme Des Garçons:
Nike: “Ok, so, we need to bring something together for our next collab. We were thinking you could give us your spin on the Air Force 1, one of our most classic silhouettes. What would you change?
Rei: “I’ve always thought it needed to look more like a fried egg.”
Nike: “Consider it done.”
Louis Vuitton X Supreme
Probably the most overrated, overpriced and over-hyped collab of 2017, and looking at these things, it’s hard to see why. Your gran would probably be bang into these, but if she cops them you can kiss goodbye to your inheritance.
Puma Fenty Hi
Rihanna and Puma’s steamy love affair has resulted in some reasonably palatable footwear designs. This, however, is not one of them. We did the whole beige thing like two years ago, Ri. And we’re not going to the moon any time soon, either.