A Field Guide To Spring’s Fugliest Footwear

Don’t get us wrong, we’re always up for a little sartorial experimentation. A sequin here; a strong shoulder there. But there are times in fashion when things just get ugly. Like WTF, clogs?

How — we wonder, while trying to erase memories of the J. Crew clunkers we stomped around in circa 1998 — did ergonomic footwear stage such an epic comeback? (For the record, we blame Alexa Chung.) Even the four inch-loving ladies over at Style.com couldn’t help but gush, declaring that what was once reserved for surgeons and argumentative vegans has been elevated to a new level. “If it’s good enough for Karl, bring it on.”  Um, pardon us for not being ready to stand up and cheer a la Kirsten Dunst.

Furthermore, those towering and clunky wooden soles were just the unfortunate beginning. What about those ankle fattening kitten heels? Or worse yet: socks chez sandals? Next thing you know Karl will re-imagine the Teva and we’ll be forced to revisit velcro straps and waterproof soles.

Alas, with the glut of celebrities who’ve been giving the clog their tacit endorsement we’ve got a feeling this one is going to last through spring, so in the interest of all things semi-chic here’s your field guide to fugly footwear. Tread carefully, ladies.

The Clog:

Loved by: The cast of Grey’s Anatomy, Mario Batali and Alexa Chung

Worst Offender: Crocs (we hope we don’t even need to explain this one)

Least Offensive: The woven leather straps and open toe on these Swedish Hasbeens braided beauties almost makes us forget that it shares a sole with Dansko. To make the most of the fugly trend, think about pairing these wood-soeld sandals with a pair of ruffled ankle socks.

Platform Flats:

Loved By: Snooki, Britney Spears, and her sometimes pregnant little sister.

Worst Offender: Rocket Dog Platform Flip Flops

Least Offensive: Despite the uniform heel height, the eyelet detailing and retro T-strap styling on We Who See’s pair of Eyelet T-Strap Wedges help remove any lingering air of trashiness.

The Kitten Heel:

Loved By: Betty White, Anna Wintour, and Suri Cruise

Worst Offender: Unless you’re under the age of 5 or over the age of 50, they’re all pretty bad.

Least Offensive: Sure, they clock in at a whopping two-inches, but even the most stiletto-loyal would have a tough time finding fault with Lanvin‘s demure heeled ballerina pumps.

Socks with Sandals:

Loved by: Deadheads, avid hikers and (you guessed it!) Alexa Chung.

Worst Offender: Anything that approaches a Birkenstock/hiking sock combo…

Least Offensive: Save the school-girl knee-highs for fall and opt for a cute pair of Lolita-esque ankle grazers like Urban Outfitters adorable Pointelle Ruffle Socks. Pair them with a pair of sky-high wedges and a satchel — heart-shaped glasses optional.

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