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29 January 2023

Luxe to Less: The Skater Sneaker

Propelled back into the zeitgeist thanks to the 00’s revival that just won’t quit, here’s how to jump on the skater sneaker trend, no matter your budget.

The likes of Bella Hadid are responsible for the return of the uber chunky skate shoe, alongside Y2K low rise jeans and cargos. Whether you’re a fan or a foe, we’re backing this trend in 2023 and can’t help but let it transport us back to the love we had for our first pair of Etnies back in the early 2000’s.

Words By Brittany Lyons


How do we know that the skater sneaker trend is one that will stick in 2023? Because epitome of style and chic, Chanel, have this season put their ‘Double C’ stamp on it. Yes, Chanel have released chunky skate sneakers, and yes they are fabulous.

If you’re keen to check out the luxury market offering when it comes to the chunky skater shoe trend, then we have some good news, the offering is plentiful!

One iteration that is truly reminiscent of those old pair of Etnies you once adored back in high-school, are realised by another French powerhouse, Lanvin. The ‘Chunky Lace Up Sneakers’ feature all the bells and whistles of the classic skate shoe design. The oversized shoelaces, puffy tongue and chunky silhouette make it the ultimate ode to the shoe made popular in the 2000’s.

Another option that is often re-released in new colour ways is the Valentino Garavani ‘Open Skate Sneakers’. Crafted in a classic white leather with a pop of vibrant colour in the centre of the shoe, these sneakers are also available featuring the iconic rock studs the brand is so famously known for. The perfect and timeless classic that oozes cool and streetwear edge.



Intrigued by the chunky skater shoe trend but not yet sold on forking out over $1000 to join in the fun? We get it. The mid-market, contemporary brand offering when it comes to this style is just as convincing than the above from the luxury alternative. Brands such as Alexander McQueen and Versace offer their own options of the silhouette, while adding their own brand DNA to the style.

If you’re not familiar with the cult-status Chunky White sneaker from Alexander McQueen, then where have you been? First released in his Spring Summer collection of 2015, (a whole 8 years ago) the design has been relevant ever since. You assuredly would have spotted this iteration of the skate shoe on the streets, probably not too long ago either.

For a retro ode to this trend resurrection, Tommy Hilfiger is celebrating skating culture with their ‘Warm Basket Sneakers’. Featuring a fluffy interior to up the warmth, and the signature skater puffy tongue and chunky flat sole, these sneakers really tug on our nostalgic heartstrings for the early 2000’s.

If you prefer designs void of colour, the all black ‘Quilted Chunky Sneakers’ from Versace are the way to go. Featuring an inky black leather exterior, these skate shoes mean business and so will you when you’re wearing them!


Once sported by pop princesses of the early 2000’s, like Avril Lavine and Ashlee Simpson, the actual skate shoes that were created for, you guessed it, skating, all historically came from affordable skate labels. Back then, and still to this day, the brands who monopolise skateboarding footwear are Etnies, Vans and Cariuma. These are the OGs when it comes to the chunky skate shoe, and the best part? They all come in at around and under the $250 mark.

In 2023, you’re still able to buy into the legacy of the true skate wear brands, all with a rich history connected to the sport. Shop Etnies at Surfstitch and Cariuma at Farfetch.

For other affordable brands that are putting their own spin in the style, check out Australian retailer, The Iconic. The home of hundreds of different brands, homegrown and international, The Iconic have a generous offering of skater shoes that won’t set you back hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

The ‘Chunky Cupsole Gel Backtab Sneakers’ by Calvin Klein Jeans are an affordable option, featuring many of the recognisable skate shoe details that observe the Y2k revival. A chunky flat sole, puffy tongue and statement laces make these the perfect introduction to this trend.


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