We can all blame it on the '90s. The oversized proportions in everything fashion—from our outerwear to our T-shirts–has taken almost 20 years to fully circle its way back into our lives. You know it's a massive trend when the effect is felt all across fashion. From Prada to Zara, it's rather easy to jump on the oversized bandwagon. And when it comes to shoes, those chunky trainers we wore back in our school days in the '90s, have clearly become fixtures for the past couple of years; every brand worth its salt has an iteration.
It's not that these oversized, dad sneakers are all downright ugly. We definitely can't discount the fact that there are some decent looking ones out there. Louis Vuitton took on a futuristic slant on the trend and turned the Archlight sneaker, with its instantly recognisable wavy sole, into a sensation. And Balenciaga's Triple S sneaker, with its many colour combinations (some of which are a miss, to be honest), is arguably the OG in this genre and challenges one's perception of what is ugly and what's alright.
That is to say, beauty is really in the eye of the beholder. But one would think that with the advancement of technology and the race for everything to be faster, better and stronger, fashion would've caught up and streamlined everything—slimmer silhouettes, lighter materials yet with heightened durability.
Thankfully, fashion's never just one-note. If you don't need or want your feet to look any bigger than they actually are, here are eight sleek options that'll get you through this '90s overload, and beyond.
Stan Smith leather sneakers, by Adidas Originals
If it was good enough for Phoebe Philo—a stalwart supporter of minimalist designs—to wear, it's a good enough staple in our books. Who could've resisted a pair of Stan Smiths after she made them cool again?
Spoiler low-top leather sneakers, by dunhill
When a tailoring brand like dunhill does sneakers, it's definitely a sign that traditional codes of menswear are not like what they used to be. The moulded upper takes on the shape of a sports shoe, but you can definitely sport a pair with your best tailored suit.
Nubuck velcro sneakers, by Acne Studios
Trust a Swedish brand to make velcro sneakers that don't look like a chunky pair of dad sneakers. We like the hint of gum sole peeking out from the front, giving it a rather old-school vibe.
Ace leather sneakers, by Gucci
If Gucci's thick-soled Rhyton sneakers are not to your liking, steer yourself towards the classic Ace sneakers. This version is designed with a collapsible heel that allows you to just slide ride in. Genius.
Cap-toe suede sneakers, by Axel Arigato
Axel Arigato is a cult brand known for its streamlined designs with minimal unnecessary details. This variant is crafted from Italian suede and features a matte leather cap-toe for a touch of sophistication.
Jack Purcell signature canvas sneakers, by Converse
By now, everyone should have at least a pair of white Converse low-tops in their style arsenal. This is the ultimate anti-dad sneaker sneaker that'll never really go out of style.
Original Achilles leather sneakers, by Common Projects
A pair of Common Projects is distinguishable from any other run-of-the-mill sneaker, by a series of numbers positioned towards the heel. Besides being a cool, signature feature, they actually represent the style codes of the particular shoe.
SL/06 Court Classic suede sneakers, by Saint Laurent
Nothing in fashion is as slim and sleek as Saint Laurent's designs. You might not be able to fit into a pair of Saint Laurent jeans, but this is one piece you can definitely slide easily into.