Imagine you’re a sneaker historian, examining a cross-section of athletic footwear worn around the world in 1996. You’d find everything from my parents’ gym shoes (my dad’s New Balance’s and my mom’s Reeboks) to my idol, Baby Spice’s toppling platforms. Somewhere in the mix, you’d come across the newly released FILA Disruptor 2, a perfect compromise of all three.
As with all things mid-90s, the era’s sneakers have caught our collective attention and are being revived for the Instagram-age. This time around, though, the FILA Disruptor 2 is proving to be more than just a somewhere-in-the-middle shoe — instead, it’s blowing competitors out of the water.
In the last six months, we’ve seen the Disruptor 2 — a chunky, thick rubber-soled platform sneaker with a leather upper — deck the feet of Emily Ratajkowski, Dakota Fanning, and Romee Strijd. Demand has exploded, landing the Disruptor 2 a second place spot on the consumer-tracking Lyst Index, and search volume has increased tenfold since February. To say we’re obsessed is an understatement. If we’re reading the tea leaves right, the FILA Disruptor 2 is poised to be the next Stan Smith.
It’s not the first shoe of its silhouette to tread onto the scene this year, but it is certainly one of the most affordable. Compared to its bulky Balenciaga ($895; saks.com) and Acne Studios ($500; net-a-porter.com) counterparts, the FILA Disruptor 2 ($80; urbanoutfitters.com) offers a low barrier to entry to the trend. Plus, it has the authority of a brand with ugly sneakers in its DNA, something its rivals can’t fake.
While the ugly, chunky, throwback, dad, whatever-you-want-to-call-it sneaker is best known in a stark white shade, part of the fun of reclaiming a trend of yore is getting to imagine it in new, more colorful ways. The Disruptor 2 can be found in metallic silver, gold, and rose gold ($75; footlocker.com), in baby pink ($65; ladyfootlocker.com), and desert beige ($70; urbanoutfitters.com).