Chunky Sneakers Are Having Their Most Fashionable Comeback Yet

The "it" shoe of the late 2010s has returned with even more sartorial appeal.

Cecilie Bahnsen SS24
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What's old is always new again in fashion, and chunky sneakers are no exception. They've reemerged as one of 2024's biggest sneaker trends. But these are not the clumsy, clunky sneakers of yesteryear—they're back with a fresh, sophisticated look for the spring season, with a vote of confidence from both the fashion and celebrity set.

In 2018, chunky sneakers were a hot commodity, and the most-coveted designer sneakers of the time, the Balenciaga Triple S sneakers, were often selling for 30 percent above their retail price, explains Rachel Makar, Senior Director of Merchandising at StockX, a popular marketplace for sneaker fans. Markar notes that by 2020, the resale price of those same Balenciagas had dropped to well below their retail price, signaling the end of chunky sneakers' heyday. Post-2020, voluminous soles and heavy treads were swapped in favor of minimalism. Kaia Gerber and  Bella Hadid put sleek styles like the Adidas Sambas on the map, while Kendall Jenner's Onitsuka Tigers made her an unofficial spokesperson for low-key footwear. 

Fast-forward several years in the trend cycle, and chunky sneakers are popping up again as a top spring 2024 shoe trend. Similar to the trajectory of UGG boots, sneakers are returning to the runway. Copenhagen-based designer Cecilie Bahnsen, in a continued partnership with Asics, designed a version of the notoriously chunky Gel-Quantum sneaker covered in her signature tiny rosettes. London-established Simone Rocha designed bulky pale pink sneakers topped with oversized crystals. At Coach's New York show, thick-tread high-top sneakers were designed in slightly punky patent leather fabrications.

Chunky sneakers are also seeing a revival in popularity among the street-style set. The Adidas Gazelle Bold, designed with a triple-stacked rubber outsole, "is one of the fastest-growing silhouettes on StockX," notes Makar. The narrow exterior balances out the chunky sneaker sole—which is, by and large, the next iteration of the chunky sneaker trend, already seen on Katie Holmes and Suki Waterhouse. Here, Marie Claire's curated 11 new chunky sneakers to try, alongside styling tips on how to wear the trend this time around.

Cecilie Bahnsen; Coach; Simone Rocha Spring Summer 2024

Models wore chunky sneakers on the runway at shows like Cecilie Bahnsen, Coach, and Simone Rocha, proving how versatile the trend has become over the last season.

(Image credit: Cecilie Bahnsen; Coach; Simone Rocha)

Shop the Best Chunky Sneakers

Other Chunky Sneakers We Love

How to Style Chunky Sneakers

Several A-listers have already approved chunky sneakers, but Katie Holmes is the prime example of styling them realistically alongside items you know and love. She wore them with a camel coat and black trousers and accessorized with a relaxed baseball cap and oversized tote in early 2024.

Inherently sporty, teaming your sneakers with elevated basics is a great way to make them work for your style outside of the gym.

Katie Holmes wearing chunky sneakers.

Katie Holmes masterfully styled bright orange chunky sneakers from PONY with her "downtown mom" style while out in New York City in March 2024, proving just how wearable they can be.

(Image credit: Backgrid)

Snapped on the streets of Paris Fashion Week, this showgoer mastered an unexpected style pairing: a flowy, feminine neon-hued dress and neutral chunky sneakers. This is your sign to try out the trend with something other than your basics.

Chunky Sneakers street style, spring/summer 2024

You don't have to rely on your basics when wearing chunky sneakers, as one guest showed on the streets at Paris Fashion Week.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meet the Style Expert

Rachel Makar
Rachel Makar

Rachel Makar is the Senior Director of Merchandising at StockX, where she oversees category growth and expansion. She has over 15 years of experience in buying and merchandising, with an extensive background in both luxury and streetwear, encompassing footwear, apparel, and accessories. Rachel also has a personal passion for street culture and luxury fashion and has been collecting sneakers and handbags for over 20 years

Julia Marzovilla
Fashion E-Commerce Editor

Julia Marzovilla is the Fashion E-Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she reviews the latest launches from fashion and beauty brands, finds the best on-sale items around the internet, and interviews experts to find the best products in any category to share with her readers. She also creates shopping guides that span every vertical on the site as an expert in everything from the best laptop bags to the best laser hair removal devices.

In her near decade of experience, Julia has both written for several top outlets in the E-Commerce space and worked at major fashion labels. Prior to joining the Marie Claire team, she contributed similar shopping stories to sites such as Bustle, InStyle, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear, and worked as the Trending Fashion and News Writer STYLECASTER. You can find her across the internet at @JuliaMarzovilla. In real life, you can find her creating shopping guides for her friends, cooking or baking in her too-small kitchen, or buying tickets for the next time Harry Styles is in town.

Julia has a Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Journalism from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. She lives in New York City, her hometown.