We’ve been blessed in 2018 with some seriously sexy drops — ok, there’s been a few bad ones, but for the most part, this year has been straight fire. Years like this are rare. But for every heater, there’s 40 or more duds.
We’re sure that you’re aware there’s been some seriously ugly sneakers over the years. We highlighted that in our recent article; 15 of the worst Hip-Hop Sneaker Collaborations in History (number #1 on that list still has me in tears!). But For the purpose of this list, we’ve omitted those previously featured.
We’re also avoiding the likes of Merrell and Vibram, who typically opt for performance over aesthetic. This has a focus on known brands that sneakerheads hold dearly, featuring sneakers designed with the intention to look good.
You’ll find their results were quite the opposite.
Sneakersnstuff x Reebok Pump Twilight Zone “Punsch-roll”
How much ugly can you fit on one shoe? I mean, if you’re going all out on ugly, why not find the biggest, chunkiest, highest high top you can find. Hell, these are huge even in a size 6.
I love a Punsch roll as much as the next guy, but definitely not this much.
Comme De Garçons X Nike Air Force 1
CDG may be founded by a fashion legends in Rei Kawakubo, Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara. It may be widely regarded as one of the most influential and authentic companies in the fashion industry. But this collaboration with Nike should bring all of that into question, when the Japanese brand butchered the world’s most iconic sneaker.
Simply taking a plastic dinosaur and bolting it to the toebox screams uninspired design. Even worse, they did it across 6 sneakers, high and low, without changing any other design aspect of the shoe. It’s no surprise not one of the silhouettes ever sold out.
Failing to unload their inventory, SSENSE still carries this design, now at 75% off. Even that is steep for these eyesores.
Starbury’s Starbury 1
Look, we love Stephon Marbury, which is why this one in particular is so hard to bring up. But we don’t discriminate or play favorites here at the House of Heat.
We love what Starbury is about; a sneaker brand founded on an incredible premise: bringing quality basketball sneakers to kids who couldn’t afford the high price tags of major brands. But when you’re only dropping $15 on a pair of sneakers, you’re going to get what you pay for.
And it seems Stephon didn’t pay his designers much at all, with a shapeless leather (pleather, actually) boat that, like the Knicks colors it comes in, screams “L”
The brand’s purpose is a win, the price point was admirable, but the rest of it was a mess.
DADA Sprewell Spinner
Forget your nostalgic attachment to the G-Unit, baggy jeans and Latrell Sprewell’s Spinners, the early 00’s was awful.
In a moment of lacklustre innovation, DADA brought the streets to the NBA Hawrdwood. Ok, yeah, using the air pressure from the sole to make them spin was cool, but in reality, it looks like the DADA design team took the inside of a fake Rolex and stuck it the side of a K-Swiss tennis shoe.
But we’re not past these yet, with a confirmed retro happening sometime in 2018.
Versace First Idol Slip-On
Versace has been at the pinnacle of respectable style for decades, but the world-class fashion house slipped up on these slip-ons.
In a bold move for the notoriously complex design house, they opted for an understated approach, but ended up shapeless an uninspired, looking like a mid version of a $20 sandshoe from Forever 21.
The only luxe element is the giant golden Medusa head on the tongue, which looks drastically out of place given the simplistic design of the shoes. WHat’s worse is that they retailed for $1200.
adidas X Rick Owens Superstar Ankle Boot
Rick Owens has been a gold mine for adidas. But he’s not Midas — not everything he’s touched has boomed. With too many bangers to count filling up their collaborative back catalogue, you’d expect them to miss on more than one occasion. And none missed the mark more than this afterthought.
Granted, his style is not for everyone, but this design-less Superstar boot is nobody’s style. It’s clearly riding the 80s sci-fi wave right into a galaxy far, far away; exactly where this belongs, far away from me.
I don’t even want to get into it’s $1000 price tag.
Nike Air Force 1 ‘Invisible Woman’
Firstly, I have to thank the Nike designer who whipped this one up, because it’s provided me with too many LOLs over the years. Your horrendous efforts in design sparked a million fake clear-capped copies (and even Air Jordans) that are still making people laugh today.
Nike actually tried to bring back the feature on a number of occasions, but really, no-one wants to see your cheesy toes. After decades of ridicule, it’s only now that Nike are revisiting transparent materials, like that found on the Nike REACT Element 87, this time, with a little more class.
Few brands design sneakers worse than Dada. In fact, if you can name one, I’ll buy myself a pair of these.
Chris Webber’s signature sneaker from 2002 is unforgettable in the worst way possible. Slabs of chrome make these feel heavy just looking at them, which is not ideal when you’re trying to sell a ‘performance’ basketball sneaker.
Nike Air Max A Lot ‘Rasta’
These are that bad, even the name sounds like a joke. I don’t even know where to begin on this More Uptempo-inspired hybrid. Patent leather and gradients have all vanished from modern design, so it’s astonishing to see both surface on the one sneaker. And it seemed they used as much of these elements as possible wherever they could, including those fashionable patent leather tongues. But if that doesn’t get you screaming “FAKE”, trying to replicate the original Uptempo “AIR” makes these look even more like a cheap knock-off.
Jeremy Scott x adidas Originals JD Wings “Totem”
The lack of respect is rife on these. A sneaker taking religious icons and slapping them thoughtlessly over athletic wear for a profit is a big no-no, that is, if these even made a profit.
Just no, Jeremy.
Jeremy Scott x adidas Originals Mega Softcell Cowboy Boot
What would you get if a cowboy boot mated with a dad sneaker? Well, thanks to the man that never disappoints these lists, Jeremy Scott has given us an unnecessary answer to a question that was never asked.
Perfect for dads who like to rodeo on weekends, Moschino’s creative designer made this hybrid back in 2012 with adidas Originals. Six years on, I’m still yet to think of an occasion that these would either look good or be purposeful.
AND1 Chosen One
Speaking of horrible hybrids, AND1 gave birth to this mess of a basketball shoe last decade. You’d be forgiven if you thought these were a collaboration with Crocs, but if you ever owned a pair, you won’t be getting any of my forgiveness.
There is no denying this is one seriously hideous pair of kicks – and yet they were a sales marvel thanks to Kim Kardashian touting their butt–building capabilities.
We all know that she’s full of more plastic than a bottling plant — we are wise to modern marketing tactics. As a result we have low expectations of products claims, but we expect them to work to an extent, right?. These didn’t actually work at all. In fact, they actually caused back injuries, resulting in a $40 million class-action lawsuit.
Nike Air Footscape Woven Motion “Animal Print”
I have to admit my love hate relationship with these. The pony hair Footscapes are ugly as fk. Really ugly. But if you get them right, they work on so many levels. The challenge is finding the perfect outfit, and then you can only wear them with that, even then, you need to look like Tyson Beckford to pull these ones off. Because on their own, especially with a pair of shorts and pasty white legs, they’re horrible.
Prada Punta ALA
Year: Too many to count
For far too long Prada have been getting away with this fashion crime. In one of the strangest success stories in sneaker history, the Prada Punta ALA has become one of the most popular high-end sneakers ever made. But being popular doesn’t make it good.
In fact, there’s a well known saying that states “Money can’t buy style”, and this is a perfect example.
Unless your style is orthopaedic correction steezed out with patent leather, leave this one on the shelf.
Golden Goose Distressed adidas Superstar
Let’s not get into the $585 price tag for a pair of beaten up sneakers. Let’s just not get into this one at all.
adidas Kobe 2
No wonder Kobe left adidas for Nike. You couldn’t pay me enough to wear the Tree Stripe’s second signature attempt for the Black Mamba. But adidas can’t be completely blamed here. Because, despite what you may have heard, Kobe was actually involved with the sneaker’s design.
It hit the market like a brick, something Kobe was also known for throwing up from time to time.