21 Shoe Styles We Were Obsessed With in the '80s & '90s

21 Shoe Styles We Were Obsessed With in the '80s & '90s

Shoes. Nothing can make or break an outfit quite like them. Over the years, we've seen some of the best and worst pairs take the spotlight. From jelly shoes to Doc Martens, we're taking our readers on a nostalgic tour down the footwear aisle. And some of it could make a girl cringe, they were so bad. Here's a look at the hottest shoe styles of the '80s and '90s. Is it terrible if we're scared that some of these shoes will make a comeback?

More from CafeMom: 18 Cringeworthy Fashion Accessories From the '80s

We'll fess up: We wore some of the wackest, weirdest stuff in the '80s and '90s. Think all of the neon, scrunchies, and JNCO jeans that were being strutted down the hallways of high schools and then multiply that by the amount of tassels and beading we could put on our jeans jackets, and one will get the perfect '80s/'90s look. But what about what was on our feet? We took a walk down memory lane and couldn't help but notice that the shoes of this time period were also ... well, not always so great. The trends were over-the-top or downright utilitarian. From jelly sandals, to Mary Janes, to platform everything -- these were the trends that thousands of teens would lay out their hard-earned babysitting money for!

More from CafeMore: 21 Things '80s Kids' Did That Would Horrify Us Now

Image via 2008 Phil Ramey /X

  • Jelly Shoes


    Image via Source/Corbis

    Leave it to the '80s to make popular a shoe made from PVC plastic. They were available in a bevy of colors, and if you were super fancy, you owned the glitter ones.

  • Moccasin Shoes


    Image via JCFL/Splash News/Corbis

    Are moccasin shoes making a comeback? Seems you can catch some celebs sporting these even today. If you owned a pair with tassels or beads, move ahead three spaces.

  • Doc Martens


    Image via dr.martens.com

    Nothing screamed F you like a pair of Doc Martens. A staple of the punk kids of the late '80s, Doc Martens actually became a trend thanks to the skinheads of '50s. Paired with a baby doll dress or baggy jeans and flannels, they even made their way into the '90s, along with Depeche Mode.

  • Reebok Pumps


    Image via Reebok.com

    Released in 1989, you could pump up your high tops for a custom fit — what more could one ask for? Fast forward to 2015, and Reebok is ressurecting the classic sneaker. Cool colors and crazy patterns? Even better.

    More from CafeMom17 Hair Products & Accessories From the '80s You Couldn't Live Without

  • Keds


    Image via keds.com

    Not sure if you could peg these classics to just two decades, but they certainly gained notoriety in the '80s and '90s — and not just among cheerleaders. Keds were sported with jeans and frilly skirts alike. Bonus points if you had friendship pins hanging from your laces.

  • LA Gear Light Up Sneakers


    Image via Ebay.com

    Thank you, Paula Abdul. What would our scrunch socks and leggings have been without these light up bad boys? Complete with those little license plate tags hanging from them, they were like a rave under your feet. 

  • Converse "Chuck Taylors"


    Image via converse.com

    From Guns N Roses to Pearl Jam, Chuck Taylors were sported by rockers and kids alike. Still popular today, these sneakers were ultra popular with the grunge crowd of the '80s and' 90s — and the dirtier, the better. There's a reason these are one of the bestselling shoes of all time.

  • Mary Janes


    Image via Etsy.com

    Thanks to Cher (in Clueless) and Courtney Love, Mary Janes made a comeback in the '90s. The actual term for the look was dubbed "kinderwhore," and to achieve the look one wore low-cut baby doll dresses, barrettes, heavy makeup, and Mary Janes. A suggestive style which conjured fear in parents everywhere.

    More from CafeMom20 Beauty Products From the '80s Every Girl Was Obsessed With

  • Platforms


    Image via Etsy.com

    Ahhhhh, The Spice Girls and platform shoes. Geri Halliwell, AKA Ginger Spice, brought her signature look to the US. Admit it. You wanted a pair to wear with a plastic miniskirt. Especially the vinyl platform boots.

  • Adidas Shower Shoes


    Image via Adidas.com

    Pretttteeeeeey sure they were only meant to be sported in the locker room shower. Yet, the unisex black sandal with the three white stripes, usually made their way out of the locker room and to the halls of the dorm, with socks.

  • Huaraches


    Image via Esty.com

    The staple of the mid 80s. They paired perfectly in the summer with jams, Wayfarers and Culture Club.

  • Dyable Formal Shoes


    Image via Shoes.com

    Why settle for a classic nude or black shoe when you could go with a "pump" that perfectly matched your pastel pink or blue Jessica McClintock frock? What '80s girl didn't get giddy when asked to a winter formal or prom? The perfect dress was just the beginning. The dyable shoes to match? Now that was the granddaddy of all accessories!

    More from CafeMom: Fashion Flashback: 20 Styles From 'Clueless' We Want To Bring Back

  • Penny Loafers


    Image via LastCall.com

    Turned up collar? Check? Sweater casually slug across shoulders? Check. Khaki pants? Check. Penny loafers (pennies in the slot optional, of course)? Double check. These shoes epitomized the Alex P. Keaton prepster look of the 80's.

  • Bucks


    Image via Nordstrom.com

    The casual dressed up shoe of the 90's, it screamed Ivy League.

  • Birkenstocks


    Image via Onlineshoes.com

    Way before reusable grocery bags, there were Birkenstocks. Not just for tree huggers, these popular sandals were often sported with cut off jeans and flannel shirts. And, yes, they are making a comeback.

  • Creepers


    Image via Nastygirl.com

    These platform shoes, known as “brothel creepers” because soldiers after WWII would wear these crepe-soled shoes to haunt London nightspots, soared to popularity in the 90s along with indie, goth, and ska music. Today, creepers can be seen on the likes of Miley Cyrus and Rihanna.

    More from CafeMom: 17 Hair Products & Accessories From the '80s You Couldn't Live Without

  • Skechers


    Image via Wanelo.com

    Maybe it was their genius marketing campaign that made Skechers THE sneaker of the 90's. If a sneaker could be sexy (is there such a thing?) then Skechers were. Remember Christina Aguilera in her half buttoned school girl shirt sporting her Skechers and sultry pose?

  • Granny Boots


    Image via Etsy.com

    Vintage. Victorian. Whatever you dub them thanks to Claire (Molly Ringwald) in the Breakfast Club, granny boots were hot. Lace up boots, a long skirt and pink lip gloss, it was the ultimate popular girl attire.

  • Capezio Jazz Shoes


    Image via Amazon.com

    No, you didn't have to leave a jazz class in the 80's to own a pair of Capezios. If they were cool enough for Duran Duran, then, well they were cool enough for the kids of the 80's.

  • Manolo Blahnik


    Image via Barneys.com

    Thank you, Carrie Bradshsaw for making these "lovers," as she so endearingly referred to a pair of Manolo Blahniks on one particular Sex And The City episode, a household name.  

    More from CafeMom: 17 Embarrassing '80s Fashion Trends That Probably Shouldn't Come Back

  • Fluevogs


    Image via Fluevog.com

    Hybrid platform, Mary Janes, and Victorian — this is the one-stop shoe for all your style needs. And lucky for you, they are still around.

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