The Best Summer Sneaker Style Is a Skinny Chunk

Yes, we just made up that term

Chunky dad runners have been roaming around high-fashion runways and throwback sportswear collections since 2015. While this is enough for a trend to surface and die three times over, the movement is far from slowing down. A chunky runner or “dad shoe” can be defined as a running sneaker with a bulkier shape that has excessive layering on the upper panels and an ultra-thick midsole. This style of footwear design has been appearing in high-end designer sneaker collections and Yeezys to retro-inspired offerings from brands like Nike and Adidas.

But what about when the style gets slimmed down—like it has gone on a summer diet in search of its beach bod? Meet the Skinny Chunk. These five sneakers are still chunky and dad-like but trimmed down in their excessive amount of pouf. 

Indulge in this diet dad shoe roundup. And if you partake, join us in the journey to #skinnychunks. 

adidas yung 1
Matches Fashion

Adidas Yung-1

The Adidas Yung-1 capitalizes on the chunky runner trend with a shape that’s inspired by some of its retro classics, like the Falcon Dorf. Featuring a combination of nubuck and mesh layering throughout the upper, the shoe embodies ’90s fashion nostalgia, while also incorporating the brand’s throwback Torsion X-bar system to enhance stability. Its versatile silhouette makes it easy to pair with popular fashion styles, like cargo pants, boxy hoodies and even cropped trousers. Offered in an array of vintage-inspired colorways, this shoe has also seen collaborations with Dragon Ball Z, graffiti artist WANTO and acclaimed sneaker boutiques like Atmos.

You’ll notice that this silhouette isn’t as puffy as the dad shoe trend once was. Hence, its inclusion in the #skinnychunk.

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nike air max 2 light
Sneaker Politics

Nike Air Max 2 Light

The Nike Air Max 2 Light saw original retro releases, as well as new colorways this past spring. Now the shoe is releasing in a slew of colors suited for your summer style. As bold as it is diet chunky, the shoe revives its 1994 nostalgia with nearly the exact specifications as the original model. While many of the original color variations from the ’90s have been unveiled, plenty of new colorways feature a similar retro flavor.

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asics gel kayano 5

Asics Gel-Kayano 5

Asics is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Gel-Kayano running shoe franchise this year, which means it’s the 20th anniversary of the Gel-Kayano 5. The shoe was recently unveiled in its original running fashion with retro and new colorways for the first time since its conception. It has also been remixed with Asics’ more recent technological innovations, like its Quantum 360 midsole tooling. The shoe is on the sleeker side in terms of chunky aesthetics, which makes it easier to wear than options from Versace or Gucci and gives it a much-deserved place on our #skinnychunk list.

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new balance 990 v4

New Balance 990 v4

The New Balance 990 v4 is the definitive Skinny Chunk. Worn by actual dads long before they were seen as a streetwear essential, this shoe has become trendy even though it is minimal (read: #skinnychunk). And if there’s one thing that comes to mind when mentioning a New Balance product, it is obviously comfort. Complete with their ENCAP midsole technology that delivers plush cushioning, this shoe’s pigskin suede and mesh paneling on the upper is complemented with an all-gray colorway, which is typically the most popular for just about any New Balance classic.

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raf simons ozweego
Matches Fashion

Raf Simons x Adidas Ozweego

Raf Simons has a longstanding partnership with Adidas. His collections over the years have revamped archived classics with contemporary designs and colors, but his go-to silhouette for collaborating is the Ozweego. Building off the legacy of an archived runner, this silhouette keeps the Skinny Chunk aesthetic going with layered mesh and leather paneling on the upper. This particular variation strays from the traditional design by adding chrome along the mudguard and midsole for a more fashion-forward finish.

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