“Ugly” Boots Are Your Ticket to New-Age Fashion

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Ugly boots lie on their feet.



From ugly uggs to flashy flip flops, footwear fashion has reached bizarre heights and continues to gain more and more customers.

If you take a walk through any footwear store, it is not uncommon to see a plethora of chunky, spotty, and downright weird patterns on shoes. What is surprising is that these selections have a niche market that is growing in millions.

Adidas’s $80 Yeezy Foam Runners, JW Anderson’s $640 leather loafers, Bottega Veneta women’s $1,250 spotty wedges, and Jenni Kayne’s $375 Shearling Moc Clog sales are a testament to the fact that off-beat fashion is here to stay.

According to the New York Times, at a time when sales of other footwear are down, crocs have managed to improve by about 48% in comparison to 2019. 

crocs are consdered fashionable

Clogs have grown in popularity in recent years.

A Tale of Crocs & Clogs

Fashion experts attribute this trend to a shift towards comfort. With the pandemic forcing the entire population to stay home, people found themselves prioritizing their needs over fashion. Crocs have managed to up sales at a time when the industry was expecting a slump in sales. Shares of Crocs Inc. climbed great heights and the company expects its revenue to double in the coming year. In the recent past, everyone from Kate Middleton to Rihanna have been spotted stepping out in crocs. The clunky, foam shoe has slowly become a wardrobe staple for many, especially during the pandemic.

Another type of footwear that has gained widespread fame is the clog. Clogs, or wooden shoes, have been used in The Netherlands since the 13th century. Although initially they were not made from wood, clogs were designed to protect the feet of the working class. Furthermore, many famous designers have taken note of this trend and have started adding them to their collections. Shopping app Klarna recently revealed that there has been a steady increase in the popularity of these ugly-but-comfy footwear. Molly Goddard’s spring 2021 collection had a collaboration with UGG, which included what most would call a hideous clog. 

While there has been an increase of 872% in searches for crocs, clogs are not far behind with a search volume increase of about 391%.

What is Fashion?

The high-priestess of fashion, Coco Chanel once said, “I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” 

The Covid-19 pandemic helped people filter their choices based on what works for them. They ditched the high-heeled, uncomfortable shoes for gaudy, comfy styles.

Unexpectedly, bizarre footwear can also ignite conversations at a time when people are starved for social connections. As we step out in masks, it is only our clothes and footwear that make a statement on our behalf. 

Fashion is ever changing and evolving. Carolyn Mair in her book The Psychology of Fashion informs us that how a person perceives fashion is influenced by different factors, including personality, emotion, and mood. She believes that fashion is art, and so even if it is “ugly” it is fine. 

The Ugly Side of Fashion

One company that has managed to take the word “ugly” and run with it is Deckers Outdoors Corp. The shoemaker has built a multi-billion empire, and its bestseller is the UGG. With a presence in almost 130 countries and revenues close to $1.8bn, there is no denying that the company has managed to get its priorities right. 

Hermes’ creative director, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, told British Vogue that fashion is all about “resurrection”. By this, he means that after sufficient rest and recovery, we rediscover things. This can be a valid explanation for the rising popularity of footwear that was earlier deemed unsightly by the fashion gurus. Just a few years back, no fashion-conscious celebrity would be caught dead wearing a croc. But today, GQ calls it cool. Designers have realized that products at the intersection of confidence and comfort have a growing fan-base, and are tailoring their wares to meet this demand. 

Change is the only thing constant in fashion. In the words of celebrated shoe designer Jimmy Choo, “The right shoe can make everything different.”

Christy Gren
Christy Gren is an Industry Specialist Reporter at Industry Leaders Magazine she enjoys writing about Unicorns, Silicon Valley, Startups, Business Leaders and Innovators. Her articles provide an insight about the Power Players in the field of Technology, Auto, Manufacturing, and F&B.

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