13 Iconic Shoe Styles That Were Popular In The 80’s & 90’s

13 Iconic Shoe Styles That Were Popular In The 80’s & 90’s

And the iconic shoe brands may have something to do with that. 

The 80’s and 90’s were a time of reinvention of style, attitude, and life overall.

With the development of the internet and cell phone, it was important for the fashion industry to be on top of their game.

Allowing shoe brands to flourish. 

From a more stylish sneaker to a saddle shoe, there were some crazy, wild, shoe styles.

Below we will explore 13 shoe styles that everyone wore in the 80’s and 90s’.

Some of which you might even see in today's fashion trends! 

What styles do you still have in your closet?

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In today's fashion circles you will be lucky to hear the words ‘LA Gear’ spoken.

But in 1980’s, LA Gear were at the forefront of the sneaker evolution. 

Teenagers would be begging their parents for the latest pair of LA Gear sneakers.

With their cool, bright color combinations and their bulky style, they went perfectly with the clothing trends at the time. 

These High-top sneakers have a premium genuine leather upper with cushioned heels for a secure fit.

You can run, dance, and skate in your LA Gear high top sneakers without having to sacrifice comfort. 

Nike introduced these game changing sneakers to the shoe market in 1985 and have been reaping the rewards ever since.

Today you can find homages to the LA Gear high top sneaker in various brands and styles. 

You can run and purchase your very own pair of LA Gear high top sneakers today!

All you need to decide is which color combo will make you really pop?

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Penny Loafers were often considered a more smart shoe for men going into the office and became hugely popular in the 1980’s.

First created in the late 1940’s, Penny Loafers are a more structured shoe over the everyday sneaker. 

In the 1980s the Penny Loafer became a more casual, every day type shoe over smart, office wear.

However, the stereotype still stood. Penny Loafers were a sign of wealth and class. 

They were loved by many celebrities and those in the public eye due to their sleek, professional appearance while still remaining comfortable.

Made of real leather on both the upper and the sock lining, Penny Loafers could be worn anywhere from a walk down the park to meeting the President. 

Today, Penny Loafers can be seen worn on anyone at any occasion.

With brands such as Gucci producing their own versions, the Penny Loafer is still a staple in anyone's wardrobe.

However, they definitely still come with a rather expensive price tag. 

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Originally introduced in 1904, the Mary Janes were extremely popular in the 1910’s and 1920s before dropping off.

They were worn by women everywhere from school children to ballroom dancing, the Mary Janes are one of the most versatile styles of shoes. 

In the 90’s Mary Janes made an extreme comeback.

Although, with a slightly different twist.

Rather than a pointed toe and a thinner heel, the 90s version were bulkier with a squared two and a block heel. 

Worn in all of the classic 90 rom coms from Clueless! to 200 Cigarettes.

Often paired with a low-cut babydoll dress, heavy makeup, and stockings.

These were a must have to be considered even remotely fashionable in the 90’s. 

Today you can see Mary Janes on the feet of those sporting a more gothic fashion style.

However, these extremely adaptable shoes are sure to make a comeback in the 2020’s so don’t go throwing them away!

RUNNER UP

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If you have ever seen anything to do with the Spice Girls then you will know just how much these GoGo Platform boots had a hold on the youth of the 1990s.

When Geri Halliwell, AKA Ginger Spice, graced the American stages with her GoGo Platform boots, the nation was hooked. 

Originally being popular in the 1960’s in the 1970’s, these boots were not out of fashion for long. Ginger Spice and her girl group had a hold on young women everywhere in the late 1990’s. 

Vinyl knee high boots with a large platform and heel were almost exclusively paired with a short mini skirt or mini dress.

They would be worn in a range of colors from red to black making them fun and exciting.

Although, it does take some skill not to break an ankle on the high platform. 

Now, GoGo Platforms are more so saved for halloween costumes and playing dress up.

However, a shorter version of the boots are slowly making their way into modern trends. 

Do you dare bust out your GoGo boots and strut your stuff like Geri Halliwell?

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Creepers or ‘Brothel Creepers’ were popular in the 1950s as WWII soldiers would wear them to scope out London nightspots.

However, in the 90’s these shoes became popular along with indie, goth, and ska music. 

These suede shoes feature a large platform and are all black in color.

They often have silver lace holes giving a dark, gothic, vampire vibe. And they were all the range in the 90’s.

They would often be styled with dark, plain clothing and a pair of cool, funky socks to really offset the blackness of the shoe. 

Similar to Doc Martins, the Creepers were branded intense and for those with darker tastes than your brightly colored sneakers.

However, they were extremely comfortable and durable as the large platform often protected the upper from being damaged by scuffs and water. 

In the market for a pair of 90’s Creepers?

You may not find the exact ones you are looking for but there are styles made of leather or cool patterns to give them more life.

There are even Creepers in a high top style! 

We love the classic 90’s style paired with dark jeans and bright, funky socks to really grab people's attention. 

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Creepers or ‘Brothel Creepers’ were popular in the 1950s as WWII soldiers would wear them to scope out London nightspots.

However, in the 90’s these shoes became popular along with indie, goth, and ska music. 

These suede shoes feature a large platform and are all black in color.

They often have silver lace holes giving a dark, gothic, vampire vibe. And they were all the range in the 90’s.

They would often be styled with dark, plain clothing and a pair of cool, funky socks to really offset the blackness of the shoe. 

Similar to Doc Martins, the Creepers were branded intense and for those with darker tastes than your brightly colored sneakers.

However, they were extremely comfortable and durable as the large platform often protected the upper from being damaged by scuffs and water. 

In the market for a pair of 90’s Creepers?

You may not find the exact ones you are looking for but there are styles made of leather or cool patterns to give them more life.

There are even Creepers in a high top style! 

We love the classic 90’s style paired with dark jeans and bright, funky socks to really grab people's attention. 

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In 1949, these shoes were introduced.

Keds were a great brand of footwear to wear. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, they gained in popularity. 

Keds began in 1916 by three brothers looking to make shoes specifically for kids.

This was after seeing their younger sister come home after school with cold, sore feet.

The Ked was created with the intention of being easy to take on and off, comfortable and of course, secure. 

In the 80’s and 90’s kids wanting to show off their running skills would be wearing a pair of Keds.

With the most popular design being white with the red and blue stripe.

Although, we all know how hard white is to keep clean. 

If you are going to purchase a pair of Keds for your little ones today we highly recommend opting for a colored pair to save the hassle of constantly cleaning them. 

These lesser known shoes were great for those with a smaller income in the 80’s and 90’s but still wanted their kids to have durable, cool looking shoes.

Wear with a simple pair of jeans and tshirt for a casual look or with a skirt and top for a fun, fresh outfit. 

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If you are looking for a shoe that screams iconic in the 1980’s , then the Nike Air Force 1 are the shoes for you. 

Making their debut in the early 1980’s these sneakers grew in popularity that lasted right through to the early 90’s.

Originally they were designed for basketball players to match the work of the Air Jordans, however, they quickly became loved by skateboarders and dancers. 

Much like today, wearing a dirty pair of Nike Air Force 1 but wasn’t allowed.

This meant that you would have to own more than 1 pair.

But let's face it, they are definitely worth the money.

These crisp white shoes are timeless and were made to last. 

You can find these sneakers worn by anyone from a hip suburban mom completing the school run to the cool kids that you find intimidating.

The white on white color scheme is sure to last the test of time and they are just so comfortable that Nike should never change them. 

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That's right! It was totally acceptable to wear Jelly shoes in the 90’s.

And of course they were sparkled like the sun.

The Jellies Sandals were released onto the feet of men and women everywhere in the late 1960’s.

However, they weren’t popular in the states until the early 80’s.

We have singer Paula Abdul to thank for that as Jellies Sandal became a popular accessory for women across the nation.

Jellies Sandals came in a range of colors from bubblegum pink to a dark, misty gray/black.

Made from foamed rubber that is often flexible and moldable like Jelly.

These trending sandals were worn by women and young girls everywhere.

Combine cropped slim-line cigarette pants, a knit turtleneck sleeveless shirt, and a cropped leather jacket with your glitter jelly buckle-ups.

Professional style with a retro, young twist.

For Summer garden parties, dress in jellies, an off-the-shoulder top, and a high-waisted denim mini.

You respond with a proud "yes, ma'am" to anyone who inquires if you are wearing an 80s costume.

We can definitely see Jellies making a comeback into today's fashion trends.

Only we hope that this time the buckle is placed so it doesn’t cut up our delicate ankles with every step.

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Air Jordans, invented by basketball star Michael Jordan.

As they were created in partnership with a basketball legend you can imagine just how popular these sneakers were at the time.

Every kid who wanted to be part of the cool kid club had to have their hands on a pair of Nike Air Jordans. 

Nike Air Jordans were worn by everyone and still are.

From Rihanna to your next door neighbor, Nike Air Jordans are classics. 

Nowadays, the Nike Air Jordans have become somewhat of a collectors item.

From the original black, white and red color scheme to different palettes being created to match different basketball teams.

The high top sneakers have become an icon for the sport and anyone looking to be stylish and comfortable.

However, be prepared to experience some backlash if you are found to be wearing Nike Air Jordans with a creased toe.

Now it is all about keeping your sneakers as fresh as possible.

Back in the day, however, your Air Jordans were often the shoes you wore everyday meaning that a little dirt wasn’t going to cause the world to stop spinning. 

Throughout the 80’s you would often see Nike Air Jordans paired with a pair of baggy jeans, a loose fitting top or hooded sweatshirt, and of course some form of snapback hat. 

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Since the very beginning of the 20th century, there have been Doc Martens, the recognizable British work boot.

Punk musicians wore the hard, durable "Docs" in the 1980s with mohawks, leather vests, and tartan pants.

Docs were considered a more daring choice of footwear in the 80’s and 90’s.

With their hard sole and leather material Doc Martens were edgy, bulky, and completely different from other forms of footwear on  the market. 

However, every Doc Marten lover knows that these boots will last you a lifetime.

And with Doc Martens lifetime guarantee, you can easily have them fixed for free if they magically break. 

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In the 1980s, Pixie Boots, often referred to as Peter Pan boots, were a replacement for other boot designs like Doc Martens.

These boots typically featured flat soles and a slouchy appearance.

The typical pixie boot was ankle-length, composed of leather or suede.

Some variants might even fold down, enhancing the slouchy appearance.

To really capture the essence of the 80’s these boots should be paired with leg warmers and a mini skirt.

However, to take up a notch and to bring it into the 90’s a denim mini skirt and singlet top was the ultimate outfit. 

From a day shopping in the city to a night out clubbing, the Pixie boots were perfect.

They would even be paired with slim leg jeans, low rise of course, and a top to really show off your slim legs and tummy. 

Unfortunately, Pixie boots are still to make their way back into today's fashion but that doesn’t mean you should throw yours away!

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SImilar to Penny Loafers, the Moccasins became a staple for everyone's closet in the 80s.

Through being worn in loads of different 80’s moves, Moccasins became the comfortable version of the Penny Loafers. 

The Native American moccasin, which was originally constructed by Native Americans in North America out of hide or leather, served as the inspiration for the design of the shoe.

Moccasins are a type of shoe that are available in numerous designs and hues.

You can buy moccasin-style shoes in a variety of materials, such as leather, suede, or wool, if you're seeking them.

Originally, they were made of animal skin or fur and worn to keep your toes warm. 

To keep them waterproof and simpler to clean, these shoes were frequently cleaned with a sealer like wax.

However, whereas traditional moccasin-style footwear is often made of animal skin, several businesses now use synthetic materials in its place.

Final Thoughts 

Whether you are looking to relive your youth or are looking for some funky fashion choices, 80’s and 90’s footwear is a great place to look. 

From the exciting look of the GoGo Platform boot to the comfort of the Converse Chuck Taylors, the 80’s and 90’s has a shoe style for everyone. 

These 13 styles of shoes from the 80s and 90s were worn by everyone and most are even a large part of our fashion trends today!

Willa Price
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