Dad-Core Is Back: 6 Shoe Styles Defining The Trend Right Now

Given the chatter over dainty Cinderella-esque stilettos and skyscraper platforms last year, we were all due for the pendulum to swing the other way. And you can say that it has definitely shifted. Casual, low-maintenance shoes have been at the forefront of fashion’s dad-core renaissance with notable styles like Birkenstock’s Boston clogs and Uggs leading the charge. The trend is a nice change of pace for an industry that notoriously favors hardcore heels and toe-pinching silhouettes; these shoes are easy on the feet.  . Not too long ago shoes like Uggs and clogs were on the fringes of the trend cycle, so it’s a bit unusual to see them embraced so hardly among fashion insiders all over the world. But fashion girls have been styling them in surprisingly chic ways that make even the most dubious person reconsider. Along with weathered biker jackets, baggy parachute pants and oversized button-down shirts I guess looking like a dad is here to stay.  To check out the styles that are defining the dad-core wave right now, keep scrolling below.

When one of my friends mentioned that Boston clogs were coming back in 2020, I almost didn’t believe him. But true to his New Yorker sensibilities he was in fact one step ahead. Flash forward to 2022, and Birkenstock’s Boston clogs are one of the most popular shoes of the year. So much so, that it’s almost impossible to catch them when they’re not sold out. The shearling-lined versions are a fashion-person favorite, but the leather versions are just as cool when styled with tube socks and denim.

Ugg boots have had their ups and down within the trend cycle, but consider this season (and year) to be a high point. The hysteria has persuaded me to dig out my own pair, and I’ve been wearing them with jeans and joggers during busy days in place of sneakers. While all of its variations (from mini to short and tall) are popular, its newest Ugg platform boots are as coveted by hypebeasts as any recent Nike drop.

If you’ve been in the know, the appearance of New Balance on this list shouldn’t surprise you. Styles like the 550s and 990s are regulars in any fashion girl’s wardrobe, but it’s still intriguing to witness the brand’s transformation from dad footwear to an It-sneaker brand. To get the look that’s been a particular favorite, try wearing them with chunky socks and cool, elevated sweatpants. 

Another style to join the chorus of dad-core shoes is the Clark’s Wallabee boot. Part boot, part shoe, it’s a bit more complex to style, but taking note from the streetwear crowd, the Wallabees look particularly good with baggy pants or denim. The Wallabees are a great option to consider if you’re looking for a new entry to your winter footwear lineup.

The Ugg mania doesn’t stop at boots. One of the brand’s most notable recent styles, the Tasman, has been spotted on street-style favorites like Elsa Hoesk and Gigi Hadid. Part of its appeal lies in its ease as a mule that feels like a slipper—and who doesn’t want the sensation of clouds on your feet? There’s also the benefit of a platform for an added bit of height and comfort. 

Rounding out this list is a sneaker icon, the Adidas Samba. A soccer-inspired sneaker, the slimed-down profile, and simple design look especially stylish with minimalist outfits. It’s virtually impossible to scroll through Instagram without spotting them on every It-girl making the rounds, which is all the endorsement we need.

Next up: I Never Wear Uggs, But These 10 Cool Outfits Just Changed My Mind