Redneck Boot Sandals - oh, the monstrosity.

When pictures circulated recently of a monstrous hybrid shoe, the cowboy sandal, I realised footwear has reached the pinnacle of hideous. Yes folks, the age of the ugly shoe is most certainly upon us, but history is littered with horrendously designed footwear. Shall we discuss them in further detail?

1. The cowboy sandal

I didn’t quite know what to say when I saw these beauties. It’s not even a sandal – it’s a thong. A cowboy thong. Dreamed up by Scotty Franklin who owns the rather appropriately named Redneck Boot Sandals in Missouri in the US, he clearly loved his cowboy boots so much he couldn’t bear to part with them for the summer.

Franklin has even posted a shot of a girl in a swimsuit on a beach … wearing cowboy sandals. Because that’s going to catch on. Pick your jaw up folks, this is happening.

2. The Croc

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The other true contender for the most awful shoe in history has to go to the Croc, which had total dominance in this category until the rise of the cowboy sandal. The Croc is an anomaly. It is spectacularly ugly, but popular. So popular, in fact, there are specialist Croc stores popping up in local shopping centres. That means enough people buy Crocs on a regular basis for the Croc store to pay its rent in an expensive Westfield mall.

Really, people? Don’t tell me how comfortable they are – even if I’d been attacked by a flesh-eating zombie and the only way to cure my imminent waking, green-skinned death was to put Crocs on, I’d hesitate.

3. The traveller’s sandal

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You know those sandals with velcro (velcro!) straps that cross over the foot and are wedged into what look like comfortable but seriously ugly soles, that travellers tend to wear with socks? Why? Why would they do that? The sandals are bad enough on their own, but to pair them with socks is really taking it out on society. We didn’t ask to see that. Northern Europe, are you listening?

4. The clog

It’s what inspired the Croc, after all, but this wooden shoe that originated in Holland doesn’t even have comfort on its side. Encased in thick leather and held together with what look like thumb tacks, they are truly the opposite of chic. Of course, fashion has tried countless times to reinvent the clog and they have been “back” at least twice in the last 10 years with the world’s top designers attempting to make them a part of mainstream style.

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But, ugly ducklings that they are, the clogs quietly slink away, out of the zeitgeist, like naughty elves who’ve been banished from the shoemaker’s.

5. The slide

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The past few years have seen the introduction of the grandpa shoe as high fashion. Call me cray cray (or very sensible) but I don’t even think a Victoria’s Secret model looks good in these shoes. And they’re the ones who have the best hope. The thing is, slides keep being reincarnated, made even clunkier season after season. At first I thought it as a fleeting trend but forecasts for this summer are still on the ugly side. They’re chunky, they’re flat, and they’re super unflattering. Just like grandpa likes them.