The 8 Best Dad Shoes

Shoes By James 

The 8 Best Dad Shoes

Shoes By James 
Show Contents Hide Contents

The sneaker: it has undergone a glorious and 360º transformation during their time in the spotlight, from big honkers to sleek, foot-hugging, barely-there slippers, and back to big honkers, as it were. There are all different color- and size variations, some that light up, some with wheels, and some with pumps on the tongue to increase speed and agility.

There is, however, on a specific trend we all know and love, and that is the “dad shoe.” It is a timeless shoe, a chunky sneaker often worn with calf-high socks and shorts. Maybe your dad is a bit more fashion-sensitive than mine and can tone down the dad shoe with a simple pair of jeans. In any case, they’re back, and they’re all the rage!

Dadcore, as it has been dubbed, is an interesting phenomenon–you see, it is the son of “normcore,” a trend in which people flocked to wearing the most mundane clothes possible in a push to fit in wherever possible. The mundane became trendy, and now it seems that dad “fashion,” or anti-fashion, as it were, has lit up the world as Haute-couture. Bring on the fanny packs and windbreakers, and a pair of tube socks for our dad shoes!

It appears that dad shoes aren’t just for good old dad anymore; the ladies in the family are getting in on the comfort and practicality of these oversized sneakers. Dressed just right, they can make a pair of calves look like they’ve been pumping pedals for gold.

Best Dad Shoes


PUMA Men’s Select Rs-x FD Sneaker

PUMA Men's Select Rs-x FD Sneaker

Sneakers so fresh they come straight from Bel-Air. I can see the boombox on the shoulder, a flat-top hair cut, the whole nine yards. With the neon colors, speckles, and accents, these are not just your everyday trainers! These sexy shoes are going to be saved for special occasions. Cosmic bowling, anyone?

Paired with a clean pair of black pants and a white shirt, this pair of dad shoes is going to blow up your phone with Tinder matches, or if it’s more your style, matches from Plenty of Fish. Be sure to text us with all the details!

The suede upper part of the shoe is a nice touch, and it has synthetic leather overlays as well. Pull tabs on the tongue and heel help to guide your foot easily into the shoe without a three-minute, purple-faced wrestling match. Your new pair of sneakers also comes equipped with a foam EVA R-SYSTEM midsole and comfort rubber outsole to cradle your precious toots for a comfortable walking experience with great traction and stability.


Fila Men’s Strada Disruptor

Fila Men's Strada Disruptor

There is something mean-looking about this pair of white, lace-up tennis shoes. The jagged soles are reminiscent of teeth and say, “I’ll stomp on your soul [no pun intended] if you mess with this dad-bod,” and mess with that dad bod we will not. The dad-shoe chunk is also oddly aerodynamic-looking, as if while crunching the sidewalk to smithereens, this dad can sprint 400 meters in forty seconds flat.

The Fila Strada Disruptor–dude, just that name is a banger! I digress. The shoe has a thick sole for shock absorption as well as padding in the tongue and collar for maximum ankle and achilles support.  These kicks are a kick-back to the 90’s from which they were born, and pay tribute to the decade of hip-hop very well.

The Disruptor looks slammin’ in white, but if you’re the kind of person who likes to switch it up a bit the shoe also comes in black on black on black, black-white-and red, white, peacoat and red, white on white on white, two variations of a really cool-looking wheat, and we aren’t lying when we say they are hands-down winners in any color.

These are the ultimate dad shoe for rocking with a suit, dressing down in the ultimate “dadcore,” (it’s a thing, we looked it up) with some whitewashed jeans, a belt, and a tee-shirt, or even a pair of slacks and a fleece pullover.


Balenciaga Men’s & Women’s Vintage Triple S Trainers Fashion Sneakers

Balenciaga Men's & Women's Vintage Triple S Trainers Fashion Sneakers

Look, we told you that dadcore was a thing. Not only is fatherly fashion trending hard, but your dad’s sneakers, which once you abhorred, possibly even shrieked in horror at the thought of ever wearing are now crafted as a high-fashion statement piece. Enter Balenciaga, the Spanish luxury fashion power-hitter: Famous for bubble dresses, interesting silhouettes on the runway, dad shoes.

The teal, tan, yellow, and black go together on this shoe effortlessly and should be allowed to do the majority of dad’s outfit’s dirty work. By that, we mean, the rest of his outfit should stay quiet! Subtlety is key to allowing these shoes to impress. Jeans, white shirt, blazer? Not as hardcore “dad,” but a solid yes as far as we’re concerned.

The high-stacked heel on this shoe is perfect for the chunky sneaker look, although the smooth contours of the lines on the shoe itself allow the stack of the heel to not look too excessive. The colors are a “holla-back” to the glory of the ’90s, and we feel that this shoe gets an A+ for sneaker swag. Dads who dare to wear the Balenciaga Triple S Trainers will be adding a little pep in their step because they will know they’re wearing the cream of the crop!


Skechers Men’s Energy Afterburn Lace-Up Sneaker

Skechers Men's Energy Afterburn Lace-Up Sneaker

There was a period of time, I think it was around the year 2000, when Sketchers’ popularity sort of fizzled out among kids and dads alike. Truth be told, I think a lot of things went completely weird around that time; Y2K made the globe a little nuts, the best decade of the previous century for fashion–laugh it up, it’s okay, hammer pants are coming back, too–had come to a grievous close, and worse, the future had arrived free of flying cars and commercial trips to the moon.

Alas, almost twenty years later and Skechers are back–they never truly left for those of us who matter–and they’re bringing the chunk. The Energy Afterburn Lace-up Sneaker is one of the sneakers with the best aesthetics if you’re looking for a sizeable thickness, color options on the conservative side, and something that says, “Yeah, I work out…”

Not only does the Skechers Energy Afterburn have the look, but we also can’t have dad slipping around! This pair of shoes provides traction that is top-notch amongst its competitors, so slippery surfaces are going to be just fine. The all-black variation of the sneaker might double as a work shoe, depending on dad’s occupation, but as with all Skechers, this shoe is a decent choice for taking long walks or even hiking trails.


New Balance Men’s 608v5 Casual Comfort Cross-Trainer Shoe

New Balance Men's 608v5 Casual Comfort Cross-Trainer Shoe

Nothing, nothing, nothing compares to New Balance when it comes to dad fashion footwear. They didn’t know when they came out that they were cornering a market! Why is the New Balance Casual Comfort Cross-Trainer a number one? Well, it’s all in the details.

It starts with the look: these puppies are casual, non-descript kicks that come in several choices that don’t scream for attention. A lot of dads like the look-at-me-flash of the Balenciaga, but many of them just like a shoe that looks like, well, every other shoe they’ve ever worn. Every shoe they’ve ever tried to sketch: a plain, black or white tennis shoe, with a little bit of chunk, and an “N” on the side.

Comfort: a dad has put in a few hours on those paddles he calls feet. Now that his rockin’ male physique has metamorphosed into a super bangin’ dad-bod, he’s got a bigger load to haul. He’s got to make up for that fact by treating his tootsies to a pair of shoes that are going to pay tribute to him by being a solidly comfortable wear, all day long. New Balance does the trick here.

A Cross-Trainer is a perfect choice for a dad who plans to do it all. He plans to do some walking in the hardware store, run after his dog who has escaped for the fifteenth time this week, and crawl up onto the hot roof to fix those rain gutters dear mom has been griping about for three springs.

Plus, there is a verifiable meme going around: if he’s not wearing a pair of New Balances and tube socks, I’m not eating at his BBQ.




The shoes we’ve reviewed so far have that funky, retro look that brings us back to the nineties in a way that only dads can. Nike tennis shoes have always broken the mold for shoe technology, and they’ve done so here with the Nike M2K TEKNO, at once reaching back to the nineties and somehow hinting towards the future, with this high-tech looking masterpiece of a shoe.

The shape of the dad shoe is incredible: massive chunk in the heel and streamlined sleek-chunk toward the toe to give an excellent boost to your morning run. We imagine these shoes will make you run fast! Yes, that’s what we said. Don’t hold us to that. In any case, they’ll help you to feel like you can run faster–and at least make you want to head out for a jog! There’s a start.

This pair comes in several different colors, but we like the subtlety of the white shoe as well as the versatility that comes with a plain white jogger. The TEKNO is a new generation of dad shoe, and is actually as unisex as, say, the Converse Chuck Taylors, as women are raving about this shoe as well.


Steve Madden Women’s Cliff Sneaker

Steve Madden Women's Cliff Sneaker

Speaking of the ladies, we can’t leave them out. Women around the globe are jumping on the dadcore bandwagon and refuse to be left out of this trend. Why? Chunky tennis shoes are the platform of the sneaker world! They’re the wedge heel of the practical shoe. They make your legs look great with shorts or a mini-skirt, look dashing with jeans, and designers are making some irresistible dad shoes…for women!

Take this one for example: Steve Madden Women’s Cliff Sneaker is not only bringing the chunk, but it also puts all of the chunk in the trunk! We’re talking two and a half inches of heel on this shoe, which is going to be the envy of the catwalk. Or the theme park. Or the jogging trail, mall, hot date, or backyard barbecue. Really, these shoes are statement-makers wherever you choose to walk them.

The design is not for the faint of heart, either. Dad is going to be jealous of the options Steve Madden has given you to choose from here, for sure. Each option is doused in bright colors, from neon yellow to peach, pink, red, and orange. They come in leopard print, snake, or camouflage. There is also a simple black or simple white option, for those who prefer. Steve Madden has got himself a banger of a dad shoe here!


Vimisaoi Chunky Dad Sneakers for Women

Vimisaoi Chunky Dad Sneakers for Women

Taking the dad chunk to the extreme is the Vimisaoi Chunky Dad Sneakers. These are some serious pumped-up kicks, with a wedge inside that gives the heel a chunk height of 2.75 inches. Step aside, Steve Madden, Vimisaoi has securely one-upped you on heel height! The options are every bit as eccentric as the Steve Maddens and the shoes are unique in the world of the tennis shoe.

Made from a breathable, stretchable cloth interwoven with leather, these dad shoes are as comfortable as the New Balance, and as futuristic as the TEKNO by Nike. They feature a nice rounded toe, which is both nice for practicality and aesthetics. Vimisaoi’s chunky dad kicks come in many different colorful varieties, each with unique tweaks from the others.

The Champaign Gold, 1Purple, Yellow, and 4Purple come with a heel that is flush and straight from the ankle to the floor, other variations–like our favorite, the 7white, which is more of a pastel palette, has a bubbly, rounded look to it, and still others have a serious bridge gap beneath the sole, between the chunky heel and the toe. Overall, a very cool design!