If you were to look only at the shoes that dominated the last 10 years, you might assume that the 2010s was the decade that sex died. In footwear, what was hot was what was most definitely not. Clumpy trainers, hiking boots, camping sandals and, perhaps most unimaginably, Crocs, united in their outright rejection of sexiness, all enjoyed their moment in the limelight.
But if you were on board with any of the above, you’re in luck – the ugly shoe isn’t going anywhere. The latest evolution in ‘ugly’ shoes is the return of the clog – a shoe so unapologetically orthopaedic, that even those of us who are normally steadfast in our dedication to dad styles might think twice about dipping our toes in.
Now they've had a high-fashion call up, with a winning endorsement from none other than Hermès. The maison made the case for the haute clog, teaming sleek leather versions - complete with telltale H straps - with every look. These are not just clogs, they're Hermès clogs; AKA the end word in quiet, ultra-desirable luxury.
As a nation currently committed to comfort and practicality, the clog's time is now. You can expect to see a lot more of them this spring; Dua Lipa just posted a picture of herself wearing a sky-high platformed pair. Celine currently has an excellent version, as do Bottega Veneta who have reinterpreted their rubber Puddle boots as a new mule. Don't think it's going to die down by next season, either. Eudon Choi proposed them with thick socks and A-line skirts and Sandy Liang with knee-high pop socks.
LA-based designer Rosetta Getty, a woman renowned for her pared-back, art-inflected aesthetic, is a committed clog-advocate who's been wearing them since her teens. Last year she teamed up with ECCO, the Danish shoe brand, on a clog design that had fashion editors on the hop (you can still buy some styles on her website).
‘The clog is an incredibly practical and comfortable shoe,’ she told Grazia at the time of the ECCO launch. ‘I think it’s interesting that they date back to the 1200s, but still feel so modern today because of the clean, architectural silhouette.'
When many other ostensibly 'ugly' shoes have been done to death, the appeal is also in their unexpectedness. As Getty put it: ‘Clogs are still a relatively novel choice of everyday shoe in comparison to, say, a simple tennis shoe, but that’s the beauty of them’. It's time to get involved with the clog collective - before everyone else does.