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Historians may someday look back at 2020 as the year in which the ever-popular sneaker made the sudden leap from cool to ugly.

Head into any sports shoe shop and you’ll notice any number of hybrids that blend shoe styles in strange ways.

Take for example the so-called trail sneakers. They’re an odd mixture of hiking and gym shoes that feel oddly out of place in both a mountain hike and a marathon. Another peculiar creation is that of the classic shoe in a more casual sportsy look.

But perhaps the most strange movement in sports shoes right now is the trend of ugly sneakers, the latest fashion hit among men that like pushing the boundaries of good fashion taste.

The name doesn’t say much at first, other than the shoes are ugly. But once you start looking at examples of these shoes, you notice it’s quite an accurate descriptor.

They typically have a very thick sole, which makes your feet look unusually large. To make things worse, the designers like to go for colours and materials that just don’t belong on a shoe – fake diamonds and neon are a tricky design to match with the rest of your outfit.

The dad sneaker look, which was arguably first pioneered in women’s fashion, has also been referred to as the “chunky sneaker” trend in men’s fashion.

“In general, men are also becoming bolder when it comes to their shoes,” is how fashion consultant Andreas Rose sees the latest fashion developments. “That’s what fashion has adapted to.”