As If! 10 Hideous Retro Shoes From The 90s We Would Totally Wear Again
From light-up, pump up and platform sneakers to jelly shoes, Skechers and beyond, here’s the best of the worst vintage shoes from the decade — 90s fashion at its best.
This one time, at band camp, all the kids wore Dr. Martens and Fluevogs.
Okay, that didn’t really happen. But it could have, considering everyone from New York to Idaho owned at least one pair of the above staple shoes of the 90s. After all, what else would match the inexplicable yet wonderful wardrobes we all donned when Nirvana, Britney Spears and Clueless references ruled the world? Oh yeah, a host of other classic, retro shoes -- many of which weighed at least 30 pounds.
Here’s a look back at some of the funkiest footwear we all sported from 1990 to 1999. It’s like TRL, but for shoes.
10. Dr. Martens
These British boots (that are actually German) were popular prior to 1990 and have made a resurgence in recent years, but Dr. Martens reigned supreme throughout the 90s and were seen on everyone from Brittany Murphy’s Clueless character, Tai, to Clarissa as she explained it all. They were grunge to the max and then some.
9. Reebok Pumps
Airheads were cool in the 90s, and so were air shoes -- Reebok Pumps, to be specific. The sneakers were the first to have an internal inflation mechanism for a perfect, custom fit. The trend was so impressive, even major athletes sported the shoes. And then a million other brands jumped in on the pump up sneaker action.
8. Jelly Shoes (Especially The Glitter Variety)
How totally cool was it that you could walk through water without having to take off your sandals?! Obviously the raddest thing ever, because even though jelly shoes were painful blister makers, girls rocked them harder than Metallica. Like, really!
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7. Skechers 4 Wheelers
If Britney did it, we all did it. At least, that’s the only explanation we can think of for breezing to the mall in schoolgirl skirts and Skechers 4 Wheelers. The roller skating shoes were outrageously dangerous, but hey -- anything in the name of fashion.
6. Adidas Shower Shoes
These suckers were seen in every school hallway, bonus points when worn in winter with white socks. And honestly, Adidas shower shoes were probably the only comfortable shoe of the 90s -- outside of the platform jersey Steve Madden sandals we also sported.
Traditional wooden shoes are meant to help a person’s posture, but the clogs of the 90s just helped our social status. Oddly enough, the same thing can be said about clogs today.
4. The Spice Girls Platform Sneaker
If you wanted to be her lover, you had to get with her friends. But if you simply wanted to be cool, all you had to do was don a pair of platform sneakers so high, you didn’t have to jump to make slam dunks on a basketball court. The ridiculously insane look was made popular by the British girl band, The Spice Girls. Anyone else who wore ‘em was just a Wannabe.
3. LA Gear Light Up Sneakers
Nike Air Jordans were cool, but did they really have anything on rad light-up sneakers? Like, no way! LA Gear took the sneaker world (and the rest of us) by storm when they released the first light-up sneakers called LA Lights in the early 90s. It was a dance party for the sole -- all day, every day.
Oh, while we’re at it, does anyone remember LA Gear’s Sun Blossoms, the pink and white sneakers designed by Paula Abdul? Flowers appeared on them when they were exposed to sunlight!
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2. Moon Shoes
Billed as “mini-trampolines for your feet,” moon shoes topped every kids’ Christmas list in the 90s. The fact that the bungee-spring-filled footwear was a merchandising effort by Nickelodeon didn’t hurt; seeing the ads while watching Salute Your Shorts and The Adventures of Pete and Pete pretty much sealed the deal on their popularity.
1. Fluevog Munsters
“From mosh pits to dance floors, 90’s Fluevogs befriended feet from every angle,” states the official website of the part-platform-part-Victorian-throwback footwear made famous by celebrities like Deee-lite’s Lady Miss Keir (who wore them on the cover of the group’s album World Clique) and Madonna (who wore them in the film Truth or Dare). Most of the world probably wants to forget these shoes ever existed, and apparently so did the footwear’s designer, who forewent the shoe industry in 1997 to become a well-known phone psychic, instead. Like, yes way.
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