The ugly shoe trend that dominated fashion last spring and summer had a lot of things going for it. Blocky, cushy, ugly shoes are extremely comfortable. Since the movement meant embracing everything from Birkenstocks to Tevas and even Adidas shower slippers, ugly shoes are also generally pretty inexpensive, compared with their “pretty” designer counterparts. And honestly, ugly shoes aren’t even all that ugly. During the 90s I was convinced that the bigger and blockier my shoes were, the slimmer my legs would look by comparison.
But now Isabel Marant, who kind of started the whole “ugly shoe” thing with her hidden wedge sneakers, has gone too far and may well have driven a big, ugly nail into the ugly shoe coffin. That nail is the Isabel Marant Holen Leather Sandal. The “It Shoe” of spring 2014 looks like this:
With one look at that shoe, I am completely over my nostalgic and comfortable ugly shoes. Not only do these look exactly like the flip-flops I wore to avoid getting athlete’s foot when showering in college, they are 290 Euros on Net-a-Porter, or $394. And they’re not waterproof, which means they aren’t even as practical as the shower shoes. (Every day I thank Adidas because I was the only girl in my dorm who did not get plantar warts freshman year.)
I’m sure these would look just great on Alexa Chung, but Chung’s success as a style icon is due to her supernatural ability to wear ridiculously ugly clothes and still look chicer than Audrey Hepburn, and that is not a common attribute. On anybody else, these would just look like a pair of orthopedic $400 wart shoes. If you want a comfy pair of big ugly sandals, just buy the Birkenstock and use the rest of the money for BLT sandwiches.