Whether you feel excited, disgusted or downright perplexed by the fashion crowd’s recent obsession with ugly shoes, it’s not stopping any time soon. Street style blogs are filling up with pictures of European editors wearing socks and Tevas, Birkenstocks are selling out everywhere—heck, even Chanel sent its models down the runway this morning in the kind of puffy, colorful sneakers your mom wears while power walking. And when Karl Lagerfeld endorses a trend, it tends to stick around for awhile.
All you naysayers, of course, can always wait on the sidelines until this whole clunky and chunky footwear thing peters out; classic styles like single-sole pumps and ballet flats will dutifully see you through. But I say, why fight it? Done right, ugly shoes can look incredibly cool, and magically turn ordinary ensembles into a front row-worthy ones. There’s no better proof than the 13 ladies in the slideshow above, all of whom have managed to work sandals, platforms and booties most people would balk at wearing into some seriously killer looks. You can get it right, too—click through through to see how.