The Godfather Of Ugly Sneakers Is Back

by MR Magazine Staff

In basically everything but sports, being first doesn’t automatically guarantee recognition or success. That goes for fashion, too. Just because Raf Simons essentially birthed the idea of the “ugly fashion sneaker” back in 2013 with his take on the Adidas Ozweego doesn’t mean the sneaker was an instant hit. (I personally remember finding a pair of navy blue, green, and pink Ozweego 2s at a Barney’s Warehouse sale in 2014 for around $150, and passed on them.) Today, “ugly sneaker” is synonymous with Balenciaga’s Triple S, or maybe even Kanye West’s Yeezy 700. But Adidas and Raf are still churning out Ozweegos in new colorways—and there’s perhaps no better no version than this maroon and red iteration of the Ozweego 3 that just hit shelves. The original Ozweego was released by Adidas in the late 1990s to little fanfare, and truthfully Simons’ take shares little with the OG other than the name. And that’s what makes the kicks special: they aren’t just a replica of a vintage sneaker re-issued for today—they’re a genuinely novel, thoughtful, elevated take. Raf’s version doesn’t even have Adidas’s three-stripe design on the side panel, instead replacing it with translucent plastic inserts that give the shoe serious sci-fi points. Combine that with premium leather detailing and the bold color combo of maroon and red and it’s easy to see why these shoes took a minute to catch on—and why, when they did catch on, they were a hit. Read more at GQ.