Nike’s Air Monarch IV has become one of the most polarizing silhouettes within the sneaker world. The affordable model consistently tops the brand’s best-sellers list, thanks in large part to its popularity among dads and the ongoing streetwear trend of bulky sneakers. Though the Monarch obviously has a fan base, there’s an equally loud group of critics who have dismissed the design as ugly and “basic.”

So why exactly does the Monarch receive so many mixed reviews? The crew at Highsnobiety recently addressed this topic in a piece called How Nike’s Dadcore Air Monarch Became a Streetwear Phenomenon. As the title suggests, writer Drew Hammell explores the evolution of the Monarch, going from your father’s “sensible shoe” option to one of the most popular sneakers among streetwear enthusiasts and influencers such as Drake and Russel Westbrook.


THE BRODIE STRIKES AGAIN @russwest44 #TeamMonarch 📷: @slamonline

A post shared by Team Monarch (@teammonarch) on Dec 16, 2017 at 3:27pm PST

Hammell touches on a lot of factors that played into the Monarch’s rise; chief among there are social media, attainability, and the ironic “dad swag” trend. You can read the full piece here