Love it or hate it, Gigi Hadid photo proves ‘ugly’ shoe trend is here to stay

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An iconic Australian brand has just launched a new iteration of the hotly-debated “ugly” shoe trend – and as expected, the product is proving highly divisive.

UGG recently launched its “Venture Daze” clogs, a unisex slipper-sneaker hybrid that combines the box-stitched comfort of the brand’s hugely popular “Tasmans” with the supportive soles akin to running shoes.

While the launch proves the controversial “ugly” shoe trend, sparked by the rise of Crocs and Birkenstocks, is here to stay, it seems there are some who still need convincing.

However, several celebrities have already embraced the new Ugg, including supermodel Gigi Hadid who was spotted in a pair of sand-coloured kicks this week.

The mum-of-one paired the chunky footwear with a pair of low-rise baggy jeans, a white T-shirt and black biker jacket.

Hadid, 28, accessorised her chic streetwear look with dark shades and her blonde bob tucked behind her ears.

Meanwhile, Saltburn star Barry Keoghan was photographed in the vibrant green colourway of the clunky clogs.

The movie star teamed the statement shoes, which retail for $219.99, with a grey jumper vest worn over a white T-shirt and black sports shorts.

The “ugly” shoe trend officially began back in 2016 with the rise in popularity of Birkenstocks, according to Vogue.

But if you’re confused by the appeal of a conventionally unattractive shoe, the secret lies in the statement its appearance makes, Carolyn Mair, Ph.D., a cognitive psychologist who specialises in fashion, explained to Refinery29.

“Ugly fashion attracts attention because it is different,” she said.

“We tend to ignore “normal” or average objects since we know how to process them, she says, but we pay more attention to complex or unusual objects — ugly shoes included.

“It may be considered aesthetically unpleasing, but it’s this exact feature that appeals to others… Wearing something different that draws attention could be interpreted as risk-taking, which may be perceived as exciting, adventurous, and fun.”

Despite the celebrity tick of approval, some social media users appear sceptical, stating the “ugly” shoe trend has them on the fence.

“I’m not sure about these, they look like my mum’s favourite shoes 30 years ago,” one wrote.

“I want to love these, but I’m just not sure,” another agreed.

However others said the Venture Daze would make them “finally buy a pair of UGGs”, labelling the clog “elevated” and “stylish”.

“I’ve never bought a pair of UGGs but I actually really like these. The elevated midsoles in the classic Ugg colourway are fire,” one TikTok user declared.

“I love them, they’re so cute,” another buyer shared.

As another wrote: “Love mine, just ordered another pair in the green.”

The brand said the new clogs “pulled design inspiration from the iconic Tasman” and used responsible materials like sugarcane EVA and Leather Working Group suede while maintaining the brand’s infamous look.

The shoe is one of two new launches that have just hit Australian stores, which also includes the GoldenGlow sandal, which will set buyers back $159.99.

Unlike many of its UGG predecessors, the “classic boot-turned-sandal” is designed to be worn outside in warmer weather.

The iconic brand was founded in 1978 by an Australian surfer on the coast of California, and has amassed a cult following for decades, largely due to the popularity of its Ugg boots which soared in the late 90s.

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