First, there was retro chic, then geek chic…now ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce you to the new fashion kid on the block – dad chic. No, we are not talking about high waisted trousers, Velcro strap sandals or knitted cardigans here, but more your father’s fashion-forward footwear – aka, the best ‘dad shoes’.
No longer are those bulked up sport shoes that your dad (or those of us over a certain age) favored in his youth out of vogue. Instead, those chunky sneakers are more like the on-trend way to put your best foot forward. Who knew that platform sport shoes, in your face branding and flash block colors could still work, but hey, they really do!
For this dad shoetrend to really hit the fashion mark, you need to ditch the mid-calf socks, belted slacks or the long dad shorts and go for a more laid back, low slung trouser or jean look. Oh, and a wry smile and a knowing nod to those who admire your new chunky dad shoes wouldn’t go amiss. So, before you root through your father’s closet for his collection of old sport sneakers, check out our best dad shoes review to make sure you really are in the right dad shoe fashion ballpark.
The Best Dad Shoe
The Fila Strada Disruptor for men is a total chunk monster that will have the retro shoe fan rocking their new sneakers with a nostalgic look for old school basketball in their eye. There is no denying the size of these dad shoe bad boys and that is their selling point; add to casual low-slung jeans and you have a super cool style that is easy to wear. And who knew that comfort could be so fashion-forward? Made with a durable nubuck leather upper, super-soft textile lining, a cushioned collar and padded tongue as well as an extra-thick rubber sole, those mean city streets will make no difference to your feet, no matter how long you are out about town.
Despite their size, the Strada Disruptor is also surprisingly lightweight and easy to wear. And they are well-priced tooand give you so much retro-cool that you may have to fight your Pa for rights to wear them! Good looking, old school and totally awesome, we are more than happy to put the Fila Strada Disruptor in our best choice slot.
Soft nubuck leather upper for white cool styling
Five eyelet crisscross lacing
Comfort padding in collar and tongue
Rubber lugged outsole for street traction
Distinctive Fila branding
- Weight2.81 pounds
Cool dad shoe design with old-school basketball vibe
Chunky sole gives excellent support and absorption
Despite the outer size, the inner shoe can run a little narrow
You can’t say your dad is retro sport shoe cool without paying tribute to your even cooler mom, and you don’t get more 90s sneaker fabulous than the original adidas Falcon.
The original athletic shoe styling with the flashes of color and old-school adidas logo are a joy to behold, and let’s not forget the sheer comfort of this uncomplicated sport shoe design. Solid lacing, cushioned insole support and a thick rubber sole, there is so much to like about these sneakers, which can be totally rocked with jeans, dress or a skirt. And the support and shock absorption they offer mean they can also step up on the sports court too. An absolute classic for all mom sneaker fans out there and one to enjoy and take care of.
Textile and synthetic upper
Six eyelets lacing for a secure fit
Rubber sole with color blocking
Cushioned insole support
Choice of 12 retro colorways
- Weight2 pounds
Awesome retro styling matched with laid-back comfort
Slightly oversized so check in case you need to come a size down
If you like to attract full-on attention with all your sporting footwear, then you will be certain to whip up a storm with Puma’s Thunder Spectra. Inspired by the oversized sneakers of the 90s and with a running track vibe, these chunky dad shoes are out and proud when it comes to retro styling. Color blocking, thick outsole, side flashes, exaggerated tooling – these old school stunners have it all.
With mesh uppers and suede/leather overlays, the Thunder Spectra sneakers are not just about the look, they are also determined to give your feet a comfortable ride. Add to the dad shoe mix inner heel support, protective side walls and midfoot stabilizers and while you may not always be blasting around the running track, you will certainly be foot comfort cool. And, despite the obvious bulk, the Thunder Spectra dad sneaker is also surprisingly lightweight. At the mid-weight price tag, they are a good option if you are looking to introduce chunky dad shoe chic to your shoe cupboard but don’t want to blow your budget.
Inspired by 90s cell system running shoes
Mesh uppers with suede/leather overlays
Block styling in a choice of two colorways
Heel support and midfoot stabilizer
Internal lace woven system
- Weight2.56 pounds
Surprisingly lightweight for the size of shoe
Toe fabric is a little on the thinner side
Go absolutely oversized with the Men’s Fusion from Globe, with its chip off the old chunky block style more than a nod to the skater boy days of the 90s and early 2000s. Slouchy, solid and oh so skatepark, these huge sneakers will make your inner dad shoe aficionado proud. Wear with low slung jeans or board shorts and you will totally feel the retro skate vibe.
The overall shoe build on the Globe Men’s Fusion is equally impressive, as is the less than $80 price. Made from leather, with extra thick walls, TPR heel stabilizer and EVA midsole as well as a triple layer toe cap, the Fusion can also step up from a mere fashion item to functional and practical footwear.
Made from 100% quality leather
Chunky synthetic sole
Hidden inner lacing system
Tongue pull for easy access
EVA midsole shapes to fit your foot
- Weight2.95 pounds
Awesome 90s skater styling with a cool slouchy lacing system
Great price for a quality leather shoe
Narrower footwell can feel a little snug around the ankles
Get all nostalgic for your old high school running track with the 93Eighteen sneaker that looks equally cool as classic street wear. Made from leather and with a super supportive rubber outsole, your inner athletic jock will go chunky dad shoe crazy for these classics from Champion. Available in more than 10 cool colorways and block color designs, the 93Eighteen are really easy to wear and will add more than a dash of dad shoe styling to whatever you wear.
But away from the fashion forward vibe, do these dad sneakers have any sport credentials too? For theirvalue price, we think they do. They may not be the bulkiest or the most in your face sneaker in our best dad shoe review, but as we know, size doesn’t always matter. You get a breathable sock lining, cushioned insole and a logo tread on the outsole for a half-decent track tread. And, with the oversized Champion logo and locker patch, you will have a retro brand to up your street cred, on and off the sports track.
100% leather or suede upper
Rubber sole with logo tread
Breathable fabric sock lining
Padded collar and tongue
Good choice of colorways
- Weight12 ounces
Quality leather provides good foot support
Excellent value for money
Runs on the narrow side so check your sizings
Skechers’ contribution to the world of the chunky dad shoe is this not-so-ugly sneaker that combines foot comfort with subtle retro sport shoe styling.
Using the ‘so comfortable it’s just like a slipper’ foam technology Skechers are renowned for and with proper 80s athletic styling, the Dlt-a Oxfordare an affordable way to add a nice touch of dad style to your casual wardrobe. First up, the comfort – you get the memory foam insole for that Skecher marshmallow comfort underfoot while the outer shoe is made from soft, flexible woven mesh fabric. Then there is the very chunky outsole which reaches up to the midsole with TPU straps for added structure and foot support. While the Dlt-a Oxford may not stand up to too much really strenuous and prolonged sport action, they are certainly a ‘shoe-in’ for an everyday chunky dad sneaker, where super comfort and a retro vibe are top of your list.
Woven mesh fabric upper
Chunky synthetic outsole
Memory foam insole for comfort
Wraparound heel panel
Traditional lace up system
- Weight12 ounces
You get that cloud-like foot comfort Skechers are famous for
Nice athletic sport styling and quality shoe build
The woven mesh fabric outer is perhaps not up to too much hardcore sport play
Check out the awesome pimped-up bumpers on these bad boy dad shoes – the M2K Tekno from Nike. You’ll be rocking the 80s with these fantastic looking sport shoes, which have all the fine details and retro styling you need. The super-chunky rubber sole has a dad shoe-chic heel clip for extra support and stability – as well as a cool flash of color – while the leather and mesh upper looks more sports shoe streamlined. Inside you get a foam insole and round the ankle collar padding, as well as old-school lacing to keep your feet snug and happy.
The M2K Tekno is a nicely balanced chunky dad shoe in a choice of colorways that are not too in your face yet still work the retro vibe. The result is a fantastically chunky dad sneaker you can style up with pretty much any outfit and the beauty is, they won’t break the bank.
Leather and synthetic upper
Durable rubber outsole
TPU heel clip for foot stability
Foam midsole for comfort
Heel tab for easy shoe removal
Subtle dad shoe design with a modern and wearable look
Nice, chunky outsole for cushioning as you walk
Narrow foot well may mean you need to loosen those laces
8.adidas Yeezy Boost 700 Inchwave Runner
Is Kanye West the instigator of dad shoe fashion revival? Who knows if he can claim full credit, but even if he can’t, Mr. Kim Kardashian has certainly added his own unique take on the 90s retro look and taken it back into the mainstream. With his ongoing collaboration with adidas, the Yeezy Boost 700 takes all the best bits of old school street and sport sneakers and packed them into one mighty fine-looking dad shoe. The Yeezy Boost 700 are certainly not cheap – hence our review’s Premium Pick title – but if street fashion really is your passion, then you will see these cool and chunky dad sneakers as a good investment.
The bulky shape and super-chunky outsole are real eyecatchers and the Boost 700 comes in a nice range of colorways, all sticking with the Yeezy utilitarian vibe. Made from suede, leather and mesh, the upper looks great, all layered, laced and shouting street style. Underfoot you get a substantial rubber outsole, with cool lime green flashes and plenty of oversized support. And the Yeezy Boost 700 are not all style over function either, thanks to the adidas Boost technology, quietly working away in the midsole to keep your feet feeling energized and comfortable. In short, the Yeezy Boost 700 are distinctive looking, well-made sneakers that will set your feet apart and elevate your dad cool look to a whole new street style level.
How We Chose Our Selection Of Dad Shoes
With so much retro style choice out there, we needed to get focused to ensure we brought you the very best dad shoe trendsetters. Rather than just dipping our toes in, we went in deep and used the following criteria to come up with our ultimate list of chunky dad shoe fashion.
Reviews – we checked out all the user reviews and first-hand customer feedback to know that all of our top ten best dad shoes are totally wearable and desirable.
Brand – not all sneaker brands cry out dad shoe chic so we filtered our list down to those brands that give the retro chunky shoe styling but are also bang up to date on the street, so you can be sure you are a leader of the dad-fash pack.
Price – fashion, especially dad shoe fashion – doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank so we also looked at what you get for your money, from materials used, quality styling, ease of wear and versatility. Your dad would be proud as we totally want you to get value for your money!