Fans of the orthopaedic and clumpy rejoice: shoes with character

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From catwalk to high street, footwear is showing its ugly side this season, says Gemma Hayward

Shoes are rebelling against the girlie kitten heel, the pointed court and the stripper-esque platform this spring and are becoming clumpy, chunky and androgynous. The best way to sum them up is simply: ugly.

The uglier the better, in fact, but then beauty is in the eye of the beholder. After all, the world would be a boring place if everyone had the same ideal of what was deemed beautiful.

Those who like to go against the grain should look towards Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, Kenzo and Mrs Prada for inspiration. The latter put flatforms, complete with flip-flop thong and worn with metallic leather socks, on the catwalk – surely the weirdest shoes that the designer has ever dreamt up.

More eastern-inspired clunk came from Kenzo design duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, while Stella McCartney gave orthopaedic old-lady sandals the leopard-print treatment, and Rick Owens cut in half his much-loved ankle boot to produce a slip on wedge in butter soft leather in the shade of hearing-aid beige.

But it's not just designers who are opting for weird and wonderful, the high street is taking a step in the same direction, too. Cos is more individual in style than most and loves a clumpy shoe, and fittingly this season is no different.

High on the ugly agenda are platform sandals which grip the heel and ankle and cross over on the front of the foot. Newly-launched brand from the same stable & Other Stories boasts footwear which is also that little bit different – here cream wedges which give the impression that they have no heel are making the statement.

If this is all a bit too much of a departure, Zara has some tamer sandals which, with a thick sole and a metallic silver upper, are sitting on the ugly fence.

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