In my constant search for comfortable travel shoes, I am amazed by the number of heinously ugly options out there. If these shoes were horses, they would be shot, immediately.

I once thought that I was immune to such ugliness. When searching for comfortable shoes online, there were so many options, I’d simply skip over the unappealing ones and straight to the cute. My brain has its own filter for this sort of thing. And yet, there are times when a shoe is so unsightly, it will not be ignored. It screams to be noticed. “LOOK AT ME!”, it shouts. “I WAS DESIGNED BY DRUNK KINDERGARTNERS!”

Some of these shoes are impractical. Others are baffling.

All of them are very, very ugly.

Here are the top twelve worst pairs I’ve encountered while digging through the bowels of Zappos. Enjoy.

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1. Arcopedico N42

Seriously? N42 is what you are going to call the shoe? Sweet Jesus. Put in a little effort. Give it a name. May I suggest “The Bertha”?

Also, they appear to melting.

Ugh. These look like what the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man would wear when he wants to get laid.

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2. Clarks Wallabee

These look like they’ve been whittled from a chunk of driftwood.

Mmm. Splintery.

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3. Trotters Blast Two

Let’s ignore for a second that this brand is called “Trotters”, a name that instantly brings to mind pigs in footwear. Instead, let’s try to think of a practical application for these:

Shiny.

"Klondike hooker" is the demographic they're targeting here, I think.

They looked like they were ripped from the wardrobe of a holiday-themed adult film (a genre which, if it doesn’t already exist, needs to immediately. May I suggest the title Jingle Balls: Dashing Through the Hos?). But other than the rare occasion when Mrs. Claus gets frisky, I’m at a loss as to who, exactly would wear these.

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4. Hush Puppies Classic Walker

These are the footwear equivalent of a coma. They aren’t that unpleasant, but you deserve more out of life, and everyone around you is saddened by them.

Sorry. Your shoes are making me drowsy.

Sorry. Your shoes are making me drowsy.

Bonus! For some reason, the back of these shoes has a rather cryptic message.

WTF.

WTF.

“The Body Shoe”? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

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5. Softwalk Lago

These shoes are ugly, yes, but more importantly, they defy sense: if they’re open at the back, WHY DO THEY NEED A STRAP ACROSS THE TOP? That’s like getting a cavity filled on your dentures.

MAKE MORE SENSE.

MAKE MORE SENSE.

For reasons that boggle the mind, they’re also available in lavender.

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6. Walking Cradles Alicia

You know how sometimes you’ll see, like, a really old biker? And they try to look badass in their leather jackets, but really, they’re just little and old? And the whole scene is kind of off?

These shoes are kinda like that:

This is how Harley Davidson does orthopedic.

This is how Harley Davidson does orthopedic.

And yet … I KIND OF WANT THEM. I know. I’m scared, too.

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7. Easy Spirit TravelTime 15

Ever wonder why McDonald’s Grimace is the only one of his kind? Supposedly he had a family, but we’ve never seen them before.  WHY? BECAUSE THEY WERE SKINNED TO MAKE THESE:

Made from 100% pure whatever-the-hell-Grimace-is.

Made from 100% pure whatever-the-hell-Grimace-is.

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8. Crocs Malindi

Are Crocs heinous? Absolutely. They might be the worse thing to happen to fashion since Rachel Zoe and her expressionless face convinced us all that anorexia is the new normal. Looking at this pair of Crocs, you may initially think  they aren’t that bad, since by comparison they are soooo much cuter than the original.

Pretending to be something they arent.

Pretending to be something they aren't.

BUT THEY AREN’T. Why? Because they’re Crocs attempting to NOT BE UGLY, and that’s even more pathetic somehow. It’s like, “I tried, and still, this is the best I could do.”

Also, they’re still made of plastic. Attention Zappos reviewers: want to know why your feet are sweaty? Because wearing these is the hygienic equivalent of swaddling your feet in Saran Wrap.

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9. Salomon XT Wings 2

What colorblind moron conceived these?

GAH! My eyes!

GAH! My eyes!

Seriously. Somewhere there’s an 80s make-over montage that’s missing its shoes.

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10. Mephisto Sano Excess

I find the name of this shoe hilarious, because it seems to imply that people who but it have an excess of sanity, when clearly the opposite is true. These look like they belong on a cross-dressing Frankenstein.

Fire, bad! Shoes, also bad!

Also, $280?! Are you serious? For that price, I’ll just go barefoot and hire a cabana boy to rub my feet.

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11. Jambu Capri

Remember those times when you were a kid, and you realized that you had a HUGE school project the next day that you’d totally forgotten about? So in the brief, rushed minutes before bed, you grabbed whatever you could find and glued it together, as a testament to your procrastination and shame?

This is the shoe equivalent of that.

Also, whats up with all the red?

Also, what's up with all the red?

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12. Onex Venus

Apparently Zappos thinks 3-inch acrylic heels belong in the “comfort” category.

I dont know how many times I have to say it: plastic is BAD for feet.

"Pack up your plastic heels, Betty! We're going to Disneyland!"

Lesson for the day, kids: When you’re purchasing a pair of shoes, “clear” should never be a color option. That is all.

Class dismissed.

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Full list of categories:  Products » Rants and Raves » Top Ten » WTF
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Comments (15)

  1. 30. Aug, 2010 / Amber DeGrace:

    Oh man, I’m loving this post. Hideous, indeed! Although I am admitting to thinking the Crocs are cute and I would wear them. It’s true. ‘Klondike hooker’ had me literally laughing out loud.

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  2. 30. Aug, 2010 / Everywhereist:

    Amber – Be strong. Resist the Crocs. They are made of PLASTIC. PLASTIC. That is not a good shoe lining.

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  3. 30. Aug, 2010 / Mary:

    If someone could make a croc pretty, wouldn’t that ruin the point? Aren’t they supposed to be ugly? That is their purpose, right?

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  4. 30. Aug, 2010 / Everywhereist:

    Mary, if so, then they are succeeding with aplomb.

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  5. 30. Aug, 2010 / Deanna:

    Okay. So. I have these: http://bit.ly/dm82FD. Except they were the slip-on slide version. And I wore them FOR YEARS, including during study abroad in Europe, where my footwear should have been adorable and slutty.

    I still have them. At least they’re plain black.

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  6. 30. Aug, 2010 / Carbzilla:

    If I were forced a gunpoint to wear one pair it would be the Klondike hooker boots. But then I’d notice that Palin was wearing them too, and I’d just prefer the shot to the head.

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  7. 30. Aug, 2010 / philip:

    In re: the “Trotters”: I swear I thought of a certain former vice-presidential candidate who is female and not Geraldine Ferraro, then I got to “Klondike hooker” and a blood vessel burst in my head.

    Awesome.

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  8. 31. Aug, 2010 / Christine:

    All I can think of when I see pair #12 is Chris Rock’s standup routine when he talks about clear heels being part of the official stripper uniform.

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  9. 31. Aug, 2010 / skye:

    crap! i totally have #8, the crocs. FAIL.

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    Everywhereist Reply:

    Oh, Skye, there’s an exception to all of these shoes: if they are worn by tall, beautiful artists who flit around, their feet barely touching the ground, then it’s totally and entirely okay.

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  10. 02. Sep, 2010 / Camels & Chocolate:

    I’m guessing you’ve delved into the wonderful world of TOMS, right? After buying my first pair earlier this summer and wearing them for a week in Australia, I immediately returned to buy two more pairs. I am forever in search of finding non-flip-flop comfy shoes to wear during the six months or so a year I spend on the road, so now that I’ve finally found them, I will buy them in bulk if they’ll let me!

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  11. 03. Sep, 2010 / jamie:

    I hope you put your Zappos afflilate codes on this post. Fugly is the new black.

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  12. 28. Jul, 2011 / Samantha:

    I found your blog today and have been looking through it. I’m fascinated at it because I’m American and living in the Netherlands now and getting to travel more often! I just came back from Italy last week and your posts on Italian hotels are hilarious. It makes me want to blog about my own experiences (toilet/shower “sit while showering” combo in Florence )! I have been laughing at random posts I’m reading, but this hideous shoe post was the final straw. I just had to comment. I think you’re brilliant! Cheers from Holland :)

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    Everywhereist Reply:

    Thank you so much, and welcome to the site! :)

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  13. 10. Sep, 2013 / Shelle:

    I was reading with trepidation — afraid that Danskos would make the list. They are mostly ugly but I’ve walked all over Europe in them and wear them nearly every day. Hilarious post and terrific site.

    PS – Crocs give the soles of my feet the creeps. So do some flip flops.

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