When I worked in fashion magazines, I learnt an important lesson: never write a trend off.
Everything - everything - has its time.
I distinctly remember an old editor saying Birkenstocks would never be cool. But then one of the Olsen twins wore a pair of them out in New York, and in an instant, Birkies became the go-to shoe of the off-duty fashion girl. Boom.
That was like, 11 years ago, and the popularity of 'ugly shoes' has been climbing ever since.
By way of definition, an Ugly Shoe is a style of footwear that is deliberately unattractive. It can be used by the wearer to offset an outfit - to add a dimension of nuance.
Now, Birkenstocks are one level of ugly. In that subset of shoes you'll also find things like "Dad sneakers" and chunky hiking sandals. Cute, on-trend, still relatively inoffensive. Won't draw stares on the street, etc.
But level up, to another echelon of ugly - to the pinnacle, if you will - and you'll arrive at the ugly summit. A summit only some dare to scale. There, on a rubber pedestal, you'll find Crocs.
Yep. For this roadtest, I went straight to the top.
But first, a (tiny) fashion history lesson. Crocs were first developed in 2001 as a boating shoe, rendered in rubber for durability and being around seawater and whatnot - hence the little holes on the sides.