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When does a shoe become “ugly?”

“Ugly” shoes are all the rage. J.Crew has Birkinstocks all over their catalog, Racked thinks Tevas look modern, and we’ve all seen the



monstrosities that have been traipsing down the runways lately. It’s gone past bloggers and tastemakers to the general public: ugly shoes are okay. Practical shoes are okay. Having ugly shoes doesn’t mean you’re broke! (Your taste may still be questionable.)

As a shoe lover, I have mixed feelings about this movement. The negative: I love pretty shoes. I love pretty shoes the complement an outfit. I love pretty shoes that help. the wearer feel beautiful. So, the idea of sticking on some ugly, ultimately utilitarian shoes bothers me.

But. The positive: gosh, comfy shoes are underrated. I do love the idea of wearing a basic, comfortable shoe out and about all day without getting strange looks from my friends—or strangers. (This happens now: I wear my running shoes to baseball games since I can walk to the stadium, but I do look a bit like the stereotypical soccer mom when I do.)

If ugly shoes are popular, does that mean I can’t make fun of my sister for wearing Crocs? These are real, practical thoughts I have. Do I need to apologize for my past transgressions? And do my friends need to apologize to me for making fun of my “normcore baseball shoes”?


I’m not sure I’ll come around to Birkenstocks and Tevas this summer, but I do anticipate wearing comfy, casual shoes like Toms or Clarks. If you’re sold on utilitarian shoes, Wardrobe Oxygen has awesome practical tips for rocking them.

What do you think of “ugly” shoes? Love ’em? Hate ’em?

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1 Comment for When does a shoe become “ugly?”

Antionette Blake
April 28, 2014

uh, yes, those are ugly – lol

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