Bulky Skate Shoes Are The Next Wave of Chunky Sneakers

With the dad shoe trend experiencing a prolonged relevance in the footwear community for not only several seasons, but several years, many of us have been gripping the edges of our seats to find out what’s next. After Virgil Abloh’s first fashion show at the helm of Louis Vuitton and A$AP Rocky dropping his first silhouette inspired by the Osiris D3 with Under Armour, there seems to be consistent evidence that one of the new popular silhouettes on the horizon will be a throwback to skate shoes from the early 2000s.

SS19 Louis Vuitton Collection
SS19 Louis Vuitton Collection

Many of us who skated can remember scanning through copies of Thrasher and Transworld Skateboarding growing up and seeing unforgettable imagery of skateboarding legends, like Geoff Rowley, Tony Trujillo, Josh Kalis, and Stevie Williams appearing in shoe sponsor ads throughout the magazine. It was this point in time where you’d stop on the page to admire a particular shoe, imagining they’d be on your feet someday and you’d be the one stomping an FS Feeble down an eight stair handrail. This was before the era where every skate shoe became vulcanized and started to look the same.

Nostalgic skate brands like DC, es, Vans and even Nike SB have all caught the boat early, slowly trickling more and more offerings that appeared in their catalogs from the early 2000s back into the marketplace. DC Shoes has reissued heritage offerings like the Kalis (Josh Kalis’ signature shoe) and Legacy silhouette, which reappeared in a collaboration with Montreal based skate shop, Dime – now having been unveiled in several inline offerings. Now the brand is even releasing new iterations that mimic the bulky skate shoe vibe, like the E. Tribeka shoe, which has even been prevalent amongst several atmos collaborations.

Vans is on the same page after relaunching Geoff Rowley’s first signature silhouette several months back. The California skate brand has also started their most recent campaign, which entails the Varix WC – a new offering that pays tribute to the chunkier styles of the early years of the millennium. Geoff Rowley also had a few other styles that leaned toward the bulkier aesthetic, so it will be interesting to see if any of those, like the XLT series see another release. One of the popular styles that were also relevant in this timeframe for the chunkier offerings was the forgotten Dr. T, which was a signature offering made for the brand’s long-time skate member, Tony Trujillo, and was released in both high and low-top renditions.

Last, but maybe the most relevant on the list is the topic of Nike SB. Will the brand make a comeback that recreates the impact storytelling mediums as they did in the early and mid-2000s? And will we see some of the other original offerings besides Dunks, like the Tre AD, the Air Zoom Harbor, and even the first few signature P-Rod offerings?

Over the past couple of months, it appears that Nike SB has indeed stepped up their game in terms of their Dunk releases, but will they jump on the bandwagon and join in on the upcoming trends in footwear? Aside from all the almost impossible skate specific styles that released early on, it would also make sense that if they do indeed start conforming to the early skate trends of the early 2000’s, that they’ll also start making Dunks with their original construction – puffy tongues, thicker uppers, and wilder colors with thought-provoking storylines behind their designs.

All in all, the trend has started to surface in the market, but at this point, one can only guesstimate how much the movement will actually take off. Virgil has already created a theme of irony and parentheses in fashion, so if this sort of repetition hits the LV footwear line, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the industry rides the wave in with him.