Dust Off Your Square Toe Shoes Because It's Making a Big Comeback

The ugly shoe trend has reached a new stage.

If you read any male-oriented fashion site, chances are, you'll find ugly shoes listed among the worst style mistakes anyone could make. Normally, we'd agree but a quick review of the latest collections suggests that the tide is turning... well, at least for those who love to follow the latest trends. But this isn't really the least bit surprising since fashion tends to break rules as soon as they make them.

As if dad sneakers, embellished Crocs, and chunky sandals weren't enough, now brands and designers are making square toe shoes happen. If you want to take this bizarre trend on, you might as well get the whole thing right. Really, the whole thing is an extension of "new normcore" that Balenciaga's become known for under Demna Gvasalia. It's about everyday wear modified to be an exaggerated version, and coupled with styling, it turns into a high-fashion caricature. Here, a selection of shoes if you're looking to try the square toe trend.

1| Balenciaga Outdoor Rim Derbies


Now, this looks a bit familiar to the ones they sell in local department stores with more Balenciaga-esque details such as lugged outsoles and a matching square heel. When worn well, you'll definitely get the brand's point across.

Price upon request, balenciaga.com

2| Humant Stephen Noble

Photo by HUMANT.

Korean brand Humant has a bunch of styles with these geometric details on the front of the shoe. The 3D round ones are a safe choice, but these square ones are a sure statement.

Price upon request, humant.kr

3| Prada Black Belt Strap Lace-Up Derbys

Photo by SSENSE.
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Prada has long been a fan of square toes, and the brand's selection looks a lot less pilgrim-inspired than most. Plus, you have to appreciate the leather fastening and buckle details along with the antiqued silver-tone hardware.

$950, ssense.com

4| Alexander McQueen Black Leather Chelsea Boots

Photo by SSENSE.

These chelsea boots are a little more subtle on the shape, but they're still a good take on the trend. What really makes these boots are the leather flames which stand out against the suede.

$1,090, ssense.com

5| Gucci Horsebit Leather Loafer

Photo by GUCCI.

Gucci's classic horsebit loafers have always leaned on the square side. Now, the brand is fully embracing the design detail with its latest collection of loafers. This pick is not quite the classic and not quite the modern Princetown either, it's an in-between choice that's a bit retro too.

Price upon request, gucci.com

6| Lemaire Black Crush Back Loafers

Photo by SSENSE.

For some reason, square toe only appears in boots, sneakers, and lace-up shoes. Luckily, Lemaire has a slip-on with the shape that looks particularly comfy too.

Price upon request, ssense.com

7| Calvin Klein 205W39NYC Chris Western Grain-Print Leather Boots


Here's your chance to get something from Raf Simons' last collection for Calvin Klein. It's hard to pick a favorite feature from this pair: the slight cowboy inspiration, eye-catching grain print, square toe with metal detail are all out of this world.

£848 £593, matchesfashion.com

8| Berluti Stellar Calf Leather Sneaker

Photo by BERLUTI.

The Stella sneaker has been teased by Berluti for weeks. It's finally dropping soon, just in time for the square toe trend. Spot the angular design which gives the sneaker a sharp aspect—something you won't find in other white sneakers.

$950, berluti.com

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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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