It is a well-known fact that fashion trends tend to return every 20 to 30 years. Trendmakers and influencers often look to the past for shoe trends and other fashion trends to revive. The cycle of trends recurring every 20 to 30 years means we are in the middle of a revival of 1990s fashion.
So what were folks’ favorite shoes during the decade defined by the show Friends and alt-rock music? Read on to learn about what passed as fashionable and popular shoes in the 90s more than 20 years ago.
1. Chunky Sneakers
The 1990s were big on chunky items, and sneakers were no exception. What many shoes from the ’90s shared was the idea of looking oversized. The shoes didn’t necessarily fit differently.
Classic examples include the dad sneaker, platform sneaker, and Jordans from the period. Bold colors were also a thing with chunky sneakers.
2. Jelly Sandals
Jelly sandals were popular with girls, teens, and young women throughout the 1990s. There are many adult versions of the shoes that have a fun jelly-like texture to them. Jelly sandals add a youthful look to any outfit.
The classic look is considered transparent. There were styles that used colorful plastics as well.
Pick whatever style best fits the look you are going for. Remember, the whole idea behind jelly sandals is to have fun!
3. Running Shoes
Many of us remember that the 1990s were the decade that gym culture took off. Outdoor running and biking were popular, and many folks carried water bottles.
This trend has seen a comeback with the popularity of athleisure. Common trends between athleisure and the 1990s include the use of running shoes for daily outings. If you want to go more 1990s, think Asics and New Balance. In fact, these running shoes and sneakers can also function as the best shoes for walking all day, as they are not only comfortable to wear, but come with adequate heel protection. And, when you’re buying it from a brand like “Loom Footwear”, you can rest assured about their quality, as they’re made from waterproofing material and can traverse any terrain.
You can match your running shoes with cashmere knitwear, long coats, and even leggings.
4. Faux-Diamond Strap Heels
Nothing turns heads like diamond-strapped heels. You can dress up your outfit, whether you are going to a Bat Mitzvah, Quinceañera, or another formal event.
Faux diamond heels can even be worn out for non-formal events. Whatever attire you chose, these bejeweled sandals will help you glitz up your attire.
5. Lug-Sole Boots
The classic 1990s boot will forever be Dr. Martens. The thick, military-like boots that came from Britain in the 1960s became an important part of many outfits in the ’90s. Traditional pairings include faded jeans and a leather blazer.
The tall leather boots fit well with trousers. The thick sole could take on any type of terrain or weather. Though pricey, the boots could easily last 10 years or longer.
6. Wooden Sole Shoes
These shoes were a big deal in the 1990s. Wooden-sole shoes sport the traditional clog style. These shoes come in high heels and peep toes for evenings out. Or closed-toe options can be a great option for daily wear.
7. Cowboy Boots
The 1990s were a big decade for country music. Garth Brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus were just a few big names from that decade. Throughout the 1990s and today, cowboy boots have always been a great form of shoewear that matches many outfits.
8. Air Jordans
Michael Jordan was in his career prime in the 1990s, and many people looked to Nike Jordans to express themselves. For many middle school students, having a pair was something of a right of passage. When pairing socks with Air Jordans, consider the length and color. For low-tops, go for ankle or no-show socks, and for mid/high-tops, choose crew or long sports socks. Coordinate sock colors with your Air Jordans for a stylish combination.
9. Thong Mules
This list would not be complete without a mention of the thong mule. Many influencers have started wearing these sleek shoes. You can match them to an anklet for some extra 1990s fashion points.
Clogs never truly went away. The height of popularity of these clunky and chic shoes lasted from the 1990s to the early 2000s. And they are making a comeback.
Grab a classic black pair or go for something more colorful. It’s a great way to complete your Y2K look.
Tips for Completing Your 1990s-themed Wardrobe
You can round out your “new” 1990s look with some stylish clothing options. First, decide which ’90s style matches your desired look. Want to go grunge?
Grunge was super popular in the 1990s. It was defined as grabbing whatever you have on the floor and not overthinking it.
You can top off the look with checkered Vans. Checkered flannel was another popular pattern from the grunge era.
Another popular mashup from this era was oversized baggy sweaters and shorts. Princess Diana made this look popular in the 1990s when she stepped out in public with this lowkey and comfy look. Consider throwing in some scrunched-up socks and sneakers for a sporty look like you’re going to spend the day on the tennis court. You must try a pair of high-top sneakers in a sleek and modern design. Pair them with solid-colored football socks that match or contrast with the color of the sneakers. This combination offers a trendy and sporty look.
The 1990s were also a time when big pants and little tops were in. Cargo pants in particular were the go-to pants at the time while a crop top was the perfect match for this seemingly lopsided choice.
For fun, throw in a chunky sweater and fanny pack to complete the nostalgic look.
Learn More About Popular Shoes in the 90s
The 1990s were a decade when many styles mixed and matched. No matter what type of look you are going for, there is something to fit your style, especially when you consider popular shoes in the 90s.
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