Trend Report

7 'Ugly' Shoes You Need In Your Closet ASAP

The “uglier,” the better, imo.

by Jamie Feldman
Originally Published: 
Kendall Jenner in platform flip flops.
Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

You know the phrase so ugly it’s cute? Applied typically to kitschy, vintage furniture or squash-faced animals, the same principle has, in the last few years, swept the fashion industry — from jewelry to shoe trends.

“Ugly” shoes, specifically, have reigned supreme over the past few years and for good reason. They are typically way more comfortable than your average shoe, while still offering that trendy aesthetic we all crave. Ever since Birkenstocks went from summer camp must-have to wardrobe staple (not to mention their Manolo Blahnik collab), there’s been an uptick in interest for footwear that is cute and comfortable.

Now, there are even more options to choose from. The reemergence of ’90s and ’00s style has not only brought polarizing clothing trends like mini skirts and low-rise jeans back in fashion, they have also thrust a shoe trend (or 9) back into the spotlight. Remember the heeled thongs of your youth? They’re now Kendall Jenner’s favorite off-duty look.

Ahead, seven pairs of ‘ugly’ shoes that are surprisingly cute.

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When you want to add some height without sacrificing comfort, flatforms are your best bet. This white style is stylish and supportive.


Thong Heels

Make like Kendall Jenner and elevate your flip-flop game with cushioned, thong heels.


Dressy Clogs

Justin Bieber just wore Croc-inspired clogs on the red carpet — yep, eveningwear clogs are officially a thing. This pair, from Autumn Adeigbo, makes a bold fashion statement thanks to crystal embellishments and a fun, floral pattern.


Jelly Sandals

These aren’t your typical jelly sandal. Embossed with gold detailing, they’re a modern, chic take on the childhood trend.


Classic Flip-Flops

For the thong look without the heel height, these white flip flops are perfect for wearing with just about anything.



Nab the Gucci look without the Gucci price tag, these blue Sam Edelman loafers are a safe bet.


Casual Clogs

If you’re looking for a more everyday clog, this pair, with a rugged sole and perfect heel height, is for you.

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