Backless Sneakers Are Back And Better Than Ever

Move over, dad sneakers. Mule sneakers are an early aughts throwback that's here to stay.

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Mule sneakers are what we deserve after the ugly dad sneaker trend. 
Mule sneakers are what we deserve after the ugly dad sneaker trend. 

By some miracle (or mistake) back in 2018, the once much-mocked dad sneaker became a must-have — which really was all about the rise of normcore, or dressing like your dad did in the ’90s.

Fortunately, dad sneakers are on their way out in favor of more classic sneaker styles like Converse high-tops.

And one of the sneaker trends we’ve seen a lot of lately is slip-on sneakers. But these aren’t at all like the checkered Vans that you might remember back from the golden era of Tumblr, when so many tweens and teens had them.

The modern backless sneakers don’t need a sock (goodbye and good riddance, sock sneakers) since they have an open back and are called mule sneakers now — piggybacking off how mules and clogs have become so popular.

Brands like Superga and Keds have gone all in on mule sneakers, with ones that look a lot like classic sneakers but give your ankles some breathing room.

These open-backed sneakers are especially perfect for now, too. You can wear them while working from home if you feel weird being barefoot while talking to your boss and when you don’t want to deal with laces while going on a quick neighborhood walk.

So you might want to slip into mule sneakers when you’re just not feeling like walking around in your old slippers or slides.

Of course, we had to find the best mule sneakers out there. Here are our favorites below:

1
Superga Mule Sneakers
Shopbop
2
FILA Disruptor 2 Mule Sneaker
Urban Outfitters
3
Rocket Dog Athena Pinstripe Slip-On Sneaker
Nordstrom Rack
4
Puma Carina Slim Mules
Puma
5
Keds x kate spade new york Double Decker Mule Glitter
Keds
6
Staheekum Cascade Suede Faux Fur Slip-On Mule Sneaker
Nordstrom Rack
7
ECCO Flexure Runner Slide
Zappos
8
Report Rina Sneaker-Mule
Nordstrom Rack
9
New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE Mule
Zappos
10
Keds x kate spade new york Moxie Stripe Sneaker Mule
Nordstrom Rack
11
DV by Dolce Vita Russel
Zappos
12
Sole Society Belynda Genuine Calf Hair Mule Sneaker
Nordstrom
13
Caslon Alysha Slip-On Sneaker
Nordstrom
14
Ilse Jacobsen Hornbaek Tulip Laser Cut Mule
Nordstrom Rack
15
Chuck Taylor All Star Dainty Mule Slip
Converse
16
Kenneth Cole New York Mule Sneaker
Nordstrom
17
Keds Kickstart Slip-On Sneaker
DSW
18
Tretorn Cam Slip-On Sneaker
Nordstrom
19
Steve Madden Bertie-Z
Zappos
20
Superga 2402 Lea Nappa Sneaker
Revolve