JD Sports | June 25, 2019

Trainer Trends to Look Out For: Chunky Trainers

Big, bold and chunky! The chunky trainer trend has been makin’ moves for the past two years now and its only gettin’ BIGGER!

With chunky creps croppin’ up everywhere you look, it’s the perfect time to retrace our steps and see exactly how we got here.

How did the chunky trainer trend take over?

A History of Chunky Style!

The chunky trainer trend – also known as the ‘ugly’ trainer and ‘dad shoe’ trend – originally started back in the ‘90s. Loads of brands were dropping trainers that prioritised comfort above everything else. The result was sneakers that while comfy, had a bulky and imposing look. Far from lighting up the world of fashion, these trainers were mostly worn by dads in search of support. Style wasn’t even considered.

Chunky trainers for comfort remained popular throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s, but it wasn’t until the Normcore trend took off in the early 2010s that chunky and style started to become synonymous! Normcore is a fashion trend where normal-looking clothing is worn in order to make a statement, so chunky trainers suddenly went from being your dad’s practical and comfy shoes to essential, must-cop sneakers.

With Normcore on the rise, chunky trainers and ‘90s style were fully revived on the catwalk! In January of 2017, Demna Gvasalia revealed his autumn collection for Balenciaga. Each one of his models wore the supersized Balenciaga Triple S sneakers – made with an exaggerated sole of 3-footbeds merged together. Now chunky trainers had done a complete 180, going from ugly and comfy to statement and stylin’ – without actually changing that much!

Chunky trainers

The initial reaction to the Balenciaga Triple S sneakers on the runway was confusion, but soon after they became best-sellers (even with their £600 price tag!). The Triple S trainers led the way for the chunky trainer revival, while allowing for silhouettes such as the Yeezy Runners and LV Archlight to also make a splash on the runway!

While Normcore played a part in chunky trainers coming back in a big way, there was another trend that pushed these bold sneaks to the top – athleisure! With the rise of sportswear and activewear being used as everyday ‘fits, as well as a strong nostalgia for everything ‘90s, chunky trainers were suddenly the hottest creps to cop!

Once the trend got popular enough, it went from a high-fashion experiment to a global phenomenon! Brands began releasing their own chunky trainers that were more affordable but just as bold. Brands that had seen a boom in the ‘90s had the opportunity to make a comeback on the back of the chunky trainer trend. One of the biggest chunky trainers to emerge from the revival are Fila’s iconic Disruptors. Relaunched in 2017, they put Fila back on the map!

Chunky trainer collage

The chunky trainer trend was taken to the next level when when style icons and trend influencers like Kim Kardashian, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Kendall Jenner were seen stepping out embracing these bold sneaker looks.

In the face of tech changing the way sneakers are made and worn, the chunky trainer trend emerged in opposition to the streamlined and minimalist look of knitted sneakers and modern silhouettes. Right now, they’re bigger than ever and only gettin’ bigger. The chunky trainer trend isn’t goin’ anywhere.

Get in On the Trend

Like the sound of chunky style with a ‘90s edge? Thought you might!

But with so many chunky trainer silhouettes, it’s gonna be tough to pick out your faves. Here’s a look at four chunky sneakers that are blowin’ up right now and how exactly you can style them:

Fila Disruptors

The Disruptors have become street essentials ever since their return to the peak in 2017. Made with a luxe leather upper for premium support, Disruptors are packed with throwback detailing. Sat on a chunky EVA midsole that helps you step up and standout on the streets, these creps also have an aggressive outsole for traction no matter where you’re steppin’.

Wanna go bold with the Disruptors? Check out the entire collection here!


When it comes to stylin’ the bulky Disruptors, you’ll wanna get a contrast look going.

For the gals, why not try some sleek leggings and an oversized top for a contrasting look and fit throughout. Givin’ you some eye-catchin’ style that’s perf’ for those off-duty days, whether you’re stayin’ home or steppin’ out.

For the guys, since it is Summer, let everyone see how chunky your creps are by matchin’ them up with some shorts. It’s a bold look, but it’s go big or go home! Couple the shorts with a fresh tee or vest and you’re ready for everything – from Sunday chills to festival season!

Disruptor               @lifeofshameer                                                                                                                      @michelle_tsiak

Nike M2K Tekno

Want the chunky style while keepin’ a sporty edge? Then the M2K Tekno creps are the ones for you. Layered up with premium leather for a supportive wear and an active look, they’re sat on a textured midsole for standout style that makes a chunky statement. These sneaks have risen support to the heel along with the iconic Swoosh to the sidewalls.

Wanna get the sneaks that bring a sporty step up? Cop the M2k Tekno here!

m2k tekno

Embrace a sporty aesthetic and style out your fresh creps with ease!

Stay active in your kicks and match them up with a bold tracksuit. For the gals, switch things up and get a cropped top or hoodie for some added standout style, or switch out the track pants for some matching leggings. For the guys, why not go the classic route? Hoodie and joggers for a sleek look that’s ready for the streets.

M2K Techno                                                                                             @renzzie

adidas Originals Yung 96

Why not add some Trefoil style to your street ‘fits with the Yung 96 sneakers? Bold and sleek, these creps come with a combination upper that has a mesh base for a breathable wear, along with synthetic overlays for added support. With 3-Stripes to the sides for a classic adi look, these trainers are sat on a chunky EVA midsole with a Torsion system for cushioning and comfort with statement style. Given a throwback finish with the iconic Trefoil to the tongue.

Fancy a retro ride that’ll boost your sneaker collection? Then check out the Yung 96 collection here.

Yung 96

The best thing you can do when stylin’ the Yung 96? Don’t overthink it.

While chunky and bold, they’ve still got essential 3-Stripes style. So no matter who you are, they’re perfect for reppin’ with some jeans or track pants. Add an overhead hoodie for laid back comf, or keep things consistent with a Trefoil tee. Wanna play up the retro side of the look, then maybe grab some taped track pants for a throwback edge.

Yung 96                                                                                            @nilsheit

PUMA Storm

If you wanna grab the latest creps from the chunky trainer trend, you need to start reppin’ the Storm Origin sneaks from PUMA. Textile mixed with suede keeps your feet fresh and supported, while the wide and chunky midsole adds cushioning and a standout look. Coming in a rounded style, the creps bring a new take on chunky trainer silhouettes.

Take the chunky trainer trend to the future and refresh your style. Check out the Puma Storm trainers here.

PUMA storm

With the Storm, you’ve got a fresh take on the chunky trainer trend, so make sure your ‘fits feel fresh too!

Go loud with bold colours and mix and match different fits and find your statement style. Whether you’re goin’ oversized and sleek or wearin’ your socks high with some contrasting stripe style. Push the limits to find a refreshed style that suits!

PUMA Storm                                                                                     @kamilkakam                                                   @shaquillerayes

Chunky trainer style is here to stay. So make sure you know what you’re reppin’.

Wanna find out more about the hottest trends of 2019? Check them out over on the blog here.

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