Podiatrists everywhere are cheering for joy—because “ugly” (read: feet-friendly) shoes are gearing up to make a fashionably unfashionable return, due in no small part to Christopher Kane who debuted a footwear collaboration with—wait for it—Crocs during his spring 2017 show at London Fashion Week. Yes, Crocs. The very suggestion of which has the power to cause any fashion editor to shudder in horror. The act of slipping on a perforated rubber pair is one that has been decried as a fashion faux pas for anyone over the age of five. But perhaps this high-fashion makeover will change that mindset before we write them off completely. Finished with a marble print and decorated with rough mineral stones (such as sodalite, red leopard, malachite, diaspro, and zebra jasper), these ChrisKane Crocs are still “ugly,” but in a quirky-cool man-repeller-y way.
The beauty of an ugly shoe is that it telegraphs an effortless IDGAF attitude. It’s less “done,” it’s less in-your-face sexy compared with a sleek-and-skinny stiletto. And it’s why ever since designer Phoebe Philo sent out fur-blanketed Birkenstock-like sandals on the Celine spring 2013 runway, so many embraced it in all of its “ugly” (and super comfortable) glory, prompting the resurrection of the sensible sandal in the years following. And then came the look-alike Tevas, and then Dr. Scholls, and then flip flops, which brings us back to present day. So in a style salute to Crocs’s first-ever coming-out on the fashion scene, we’re taking a look back at all the “ugly” shoes to ever stomp and clunk their way down the runway.