Nostalgia Alert: These 90s Shoes Trends Were So Cool Beans

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90s Shoe Trends

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Last Updated on September 1, 2021

Shoes in the 90s were interesting, to say the least. We had sleek little strappy sandals, but we also had inexplicably high platform sneakers. We had chunky Docs alongside glittery, translucent jellies. Honestly, you can study an entire decade by focusing on the ankle down!

Here are the most popular shoes from the 90s. Time for nostalgia! 

1. Jelly shoes 

Transparent, often glittery, gummy-textured sandals with buckles and basket-weaves. If you were lucky, you had the heeled jelly shoes. Everyone from babies to full-grown students wore these whimsical foot confections. 

How to style:

  • Pair jellies with cropped Ponte pants and a crisp white shirt for sophisticated-meets-playful 
  • Pair heeled jellies with denim overalls over a tank 
  • Throw heeled jellies on with a satin bias cut slip dress for going out 

Shop the look

Jack Rogers Women's Georgica Jelly Sandal,Black/Black,5 M US
  • Thong jelly sandal featuring perforated medallion at center vamp trimmed with three pyramid studs

2. Steve Madden slides (‘slinky’)

These were a staple for teens, tweens, and on-trend grown-ups in the 90s. A platform sole with a stretchy black upper and open toe. Simple. Clunky. 90s. 

How to style: 

  • Wear with cropped jeans and a bodysuit or tucked-in tee
  • Wear with a bias-cut midi skirt and cotton ribbed tank 
  • Wear with a satin slip dress and cropped wrap cardigan (like Lorelai Gilmore)

Shop the look

Steve Madden Women's Kimmie Espadrille Wedge Sandal, Beige Multi, 6
  • Steve Madden
  • Flat Platform Sandal
  • Elastic Stretchy Upper
  • Multi Toe Strap with Ankle Strap
  • 1.5 Inch Platform, 2 Inch Total Heel Height

3. Chunky Fila sneakers

Chunky sneakers like The Disrupter 2 sneakers by Fila were peak cool in the 90s. Dads would wear them with jeans and fanny packs. Cool kids would wear them with denim midi-skirts, overalls, or tearaway track pants and crop tops.

How to style:

  • Wear with opaque tights and a cord mini dress for winter
  • Wear out with a white shirt and embellished skirt 

Shop the look

Read: 11 Lesser Known Celebrity Fashion Moments of the 90s

4. Adidas slides

Who didn’t own a pair of Adidas slides? Take a look around next time you’re out and you’ll surely see a few as they’re back. Classic white and navy stripes, sometimes with a velcro crossover. 

  • Go quirky with slides over socks 
  • Pair with cropped jeans and a loose linen shirt 

Shop the look

Sale
adidas Women's Adilette Comfort Slide Sandal, Black/White/Black, 5
  • Lightweight slides with a pillow-soft footbed for cruising comfort
  • Single-bandage synthetic upper for a soft feel
  • EVA outsole for lightweight comfort
  • Cloudfoam Plus footbed helps recharge your energy with pillow-soft cushioning

Read: Family Roots Run Deep: Adidas vs. Puma

5. Embellished mesh slides

These were huge in the early 00s as well the 90s and were found everywhere from high-end clothing shops to dollar stores. A round-toe, mesh slide with little flowers made from clusters of sequins. 

How to style: 

  • Wear a bright shade with a simple wrap mini dress in summer
  • Wear with high-waisted blue jeans and a tucked-in white tank in spring 

Shop the look

FitFlop Women's Slides Flip-Flop, Silver, 5
  • on FitFlop's supercushioned, pressure-diffusing standard Microwobbleboard midsoles
  • average (width) fit
  • APMA Seal of Acceptance, for footwear found to promote good foot health
  • microfiber upper covered in metal micro-bead 'chainmail'
  • slip-resistant rubber outsole

6. Doc Marten combat boots 

Rockers, grungers, and angsty teens wore Doc Marten (or off-brand) combat boots throughout the 90s and beyond, often with plaid and ripped denim. They even made their way into a poem in ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ (“I hate your big dumb combat boots!”). 

How to style: 

  • Juxtapose rough with sweet by pairing with a bias-cut midi dress in floral satin
  • Pair with flared jeans and a tucked-in fitted band tee (70s/90s mash-up!)

Shop the look

Sale
Dr. Martens Women's 1460 W Nappa Combat Boot, Black, 5
  • Original Dr. Martens boot, built for a woman
  • Made with all the classic Doc's DNA, including grooved sides, heel-loop and yellow stitching
  • Built on the iconic Dr. Martens air-cushioned, with good abrasion and slip resistance
  • Airwairs original signature leather: a firm, finished leather with a smooth, semi bright appearance.

7. Spice Girl-style Buffalo Platform Sneakers

The Spice Girls dancing around in tiny mini dresses and sneakers with excessively large platform soles. An image synonymous with 1990s pop culture. How were more ankles not broken?!

How to style:

  • Try a creeper style or slightly smaller platform for safety and wearability
  • Pair platform sneakers with a sports-style mini skirt and tee 
  • Pair with straight-leg jeans and a long-sleeved bodysuit 

Shop the look

8. Kitten-heel strappy sandals

Heading to prom or a date in the 90s? You’d better get a pair of strappy kitten heels to go with your double-layer slip dress. The heels must be short, the straps must be plenty. 

How to style:

  • Go full 90s sweetheart with a chiffon midi dress and sequin bolero
  • Pair with skinny jeans and an embellished off-shoulder top for drinks out 

DREAM PAIRS Women's Fiona Fuchsia Satin Fashion Stilettos Open Toe Pump Heeled Sandals Size 5 B(M) US
  • Specially designed in USA--the one choice for all purposes.
  • Adjustable ankle strap and quality zipper provide better fitness and heel support.
  • Padded faux leather insole adds cushioned comfort to your feet.
  • 2” kitten heel and 0.25” platform make them comfortable for all-time wearing.
  • Anti-slippery TPR rubber out-sole ensures a steady walking.

9. Chunky leather sandals by MIA 

Picture basket-woven leather, an open toe, a blocky heel, and a raised sole. Secured with a buckle at the ankle, and usually in deep brown or black. 

How to style:

  • Wear with a floral sundress and denim jacket for weekend gallivanting
  • Pair with a sleek midi skirt and crisp shirt and jacket for work 

Shop the look

Sale
Herstyle Belma Women's Open Toe Ankle Strap Platform Wedge Sandals Rose Gold 5.0
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND LIFTED: We love platforms to give us a boost in height and these are wearable all day long
  • EFFORTLESS COMFORT & SLIP RESISTANT: Cushioned insole for comfort and support.
  • COMFORT IS KEY: Comfort is no problem with these sandals!
  • A SUMMER ESSENTIAL: These sandals are bound to go with all of your spring and summer outfits.
  • MEASUREMENTS: Platform 2"

10. Nike Air Force V

The chunky sneakers were the fifth version of the iconic baller shoes first released in the early 80s. AF V’s had high tops and plenty of street cred. 

How to style:

  • Wear with opaque tights and a denim wrap dress in winter
  • For summer, throw on with denim culottes and a white tank 

Shop the look

11. Clunky heeled loafers

Rachel Green from ‘Friends’ was known to wear heeled loafers with chunky heels, often with mini skirts and fitted tees. They certainly weren’t dainty, but they were cute and a little scholastic. 

How to style: 

  • Copy Rach and wear with tights, a black mini, and turtleneck sweater
  • Wear with a structured jumpsuit and blazer for work 

Shop the look

DADAWEN Women's Leather Classic Lace Up Platform Chunky Mid-Heel Square Toe Oxfords Dress Pump Shoes
  • Heel measures approximately 2.75", Platform measures approximately 1.15"
  • A CLASSIC DESIGN: The incredible brogue pumps are bound to be timeless, as they feature a simple design of a round toe,convenient lace up and a chunky heel
  • COMFORT FOR ALL-DAY WALK: These pumps perfectly designed with ultra-soft and comfortable lining, cushioned footbed, slip-resistant outsole,chunky heel for steady and elongate your legs for elegance with every step
  • TIMELESS AND CHIC APPEARANCE: Various classic solid colors available,and can be dressed up or down! Wear them casually with jeans, or dress them up with your skirts and dresses for looks that will turn heads! They're the ultimate wardrobe essential
  • PERFECT FOR EVERY OUTFITS: With the shoes, you can put a perfect finish on any outfit for casual, party, work, date, wedding, shopping, nightclub, homecoming or other special occasions

Read: We Binge Watched all 10 Seasons of Friends, Here’s Our Favourite Styles for Each Character

12. Platform flip-flops

Check out the ‘10 things I hate about you’ poster, 90s Gwen Stefani, and Rachel in early ‘Friends’ episodes and promo shoots. You’ll see flip-flops with platform soles worn often with Mom jeans or boot-cut trousers. Hmm or mmm?

How to style: 

  • Wear with a one-piece swimsuit, resort tee, and sarong to a 90s pool party
  • Pair with straight-leg cords and a worn-in band tee and denim jacket 

Shop the look

Sale
Rocket Dog Women's Diver Flip-Flop, Black, 6 M US
  • Platform wedge foam sandal featuring wide textured thong strap
  • Nylon toe post

13. Birkenstocks

Supermodels wore Birkenstock sandals in the Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis grunge show in 1993. The comfy leather sandals were (and still are) earthy, comfy, grunge-meets-European-traveller, and timeless. 

How to style: 

  • Wear with a slip dress and cropped bolero cardigan
  • Be authentically 90s cute-girl with Birks and ruffle-top socks
  • Pair with worn-in blue jeans, a fitted racer-back tank, and khaki jacket 

Shop the look

Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Taupe Suede Soft Foot Bed Sandals - 35 N EU / 4-4.5 2A(N) US
  • Original BIRKENSTOCK soft footbed; anatomically shaped
  • Surface material: suede
  • Lining: suede
  • Soft Footbed - Contoured cork footbed conforms to the shape of your foot and features pronounced arch support with an extra layer of super soft foam cushioning; a deep heel cup and roomy toe box; lined with suede
  • Details: strap with two individually adjustable metal pin buckles

14. Adidas Superstar sneakers

Run DMC made Adidas Superstars iconic, with the round toe, low top, and triple stripe. They’re still just as favored today, seen on Rihanna, Zendaya, Jay-Z, and countless other glitterati. 

How to style:

  • Wear with button-side track pants and a simple tank for weekend pottering
  • Wear with cigarette trousers and a cowl-neck satin top for Saturday drinks 

Shop the look

15. Heeled Mary-Janes

The girls on ‘Clueless’ totaled around wearing knee-high socks, mini skirts and heeled Mary-Janes. Round toes, shiny finish, blocky heels, and straps across the ankles. Demure yet sassy. 

How to style: 

  • Wear with opaque tights, an a-line mini skirt, and a turtleneck sweater for cute weekend brunching 
  • Pair with raw-hem cropped jeans and a worn-out graphic tee for sweet-vs-edgy

Shop the look

Womens Closed Toe Pumps Bowknot Office Mary Jane Elastic Strap Platform Sandal
  • Retro black mary jane pumps shoes for women red spring closed toe bow tie high heeled wedding shoes
  • Office ladies comfort platform block heel office work shoes fall grey adjustable buckle ankle strap mary janes
  • Classic summer vegan suede heels and pumps casual summer mid heel sandals for your casual or formal dress outfits
  • Sexy wine red bowknot pumps for women fashion blue open upper cute winter office walking shoes
  • Syktkmx: Many new arrival pumps shoes, pls enter into Syktkmx store and if you have any issues about this item, pls write your questions in Customer Questions & Answers, we will reply you sincerely.

16. High-top lace-up boots with padded tops

Angela on ‘My so-called life’ and many real-life angsty teens wore lace-up boots with high tops up to the lower calf. They were ultra worn-in, kinda sloppy, and adored day after day, no matter the outfit. 

How to style: 

  • Pair with tights and a dark denim midi-dress and a cropped leather jacket for casual workdays
  • Pair with a long-sleeved floral wrap mini and ribbed tights for weekends 

Inspo Corner: Jacket Throwback Ideas

17. Knee-High Boots 

Knee-high boots, often with a square toe, were popular in the 90s. Hilary Banks (from ‘Fresh Prince’) and the Spice Girls famously wore the style, often with mini skirts or babydoll dresses. 

How to style: 

  • Pair with sheer stockings, a sleeveless shift dress, and a bolero cardigan
  • Wear with an a-line mini skirt and roll-neck bodysuit with an oversized blazer 

Shop the look

Shoe'N Tale Women Stretch Suede Chunky Heel Thigh High Over The Knee Boots
  • 100% Man-made
  • Heel measures approximately 3.5 inches"
  • Shaft Length (without heel): 26"
  • Top Opening Circumference: 14"
  • Stretchy Materila,Made with a full elasticated leg for most shape calf fitting as possible.

18. Reebok Classic sneakers

Reebok classics sneakers were a favorite sneaker in the 90s, in various shades and versions. Favored by Dads, teens, students, and hip-hoppers.  

How to style: 

  • Wear with classic blue Levi’s 501s and a grey marle tank
  • Wear with a ribbed cotton midi dress and denim jacket

Shop the look

Reebok Women Classic Renaissance Sneaker, Black/Dark Heather Grey/Solid Grey, 5
  • DURABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIAL: Synthetic leather upper for soft support and stitched overlays for a classic style
  • Low-cut construction for better freedom of motion at the ankles
  • Memory Tech foam sockliner for premier comfort and feel
  • HIGH-PERFORMANCE RUNNING SHOES: Ideal for long walks, running and hiking
  • Reebok windowbox quarter branding with the iconic Union Jack for style

Read: Reebok vs Nike: Battle of the Footwear Brands

19. Converse All-Stars and One-Stars

Converse lace-ups were a key ingredient in 90s outfits for everyone from grunge bands to skate kids. Skip forward to today and black-and-white Converse are on the toes of ultra fashion stars like Kate Moss and Kaia Gerber. 

How to style:

  • Wear with pleated suit trousers and a tucked-in white tank for “weekend smart”
  • Wear with a denim mini dress and a white tee for weekend casual
  • Be a rebel at work with a black pencil dress, blazer, tights, and Converse 

Shop the look

Converse Clothing & Apparel Chuck Taylor All Star Canvas High Top Sneaker, Black/White, 12 Women/10 Men
  • Shoes availavble are in UK sizes. Refer size chart for US size conversion
  • Lace-up, high-top sneaker
  • OrthoLite insole for cushioning
  • Medial eyelets for airflow
  • Canvas upper

Read: The Clash of All-Stars: Converse High Tops vs Low Tops

20. Satin point-toe pumps

90s Oscar night red carpets were a-flutter with satin pump heels with pointy toes. Now considered slightly out-dated, they were often worn with satin gowns with corseted waists and princess skirts. 

How to style: 

  • Embrace the satin heel for daily wear with raw-edge jeans and a linen shirt
  • Pair with a black wrap mini and loose-fit shirt (French tucked) for nights out 

Shop the look

FSJ Women Retro Pointed Toe Slip on Comfort High Thin Heel Satin Pumps Stiletto Dress Office Shoes Size 4 Black
  • DAINTY HEIGHT: High-heel measures approx. 12 cm/4.7" (varied slightly by size), the best height to show your perfect figure with leg lengthening magic.
  • VERSATILE STYLE: These stylish pumps are characterized by Pointed toe, High heels and Slip on design. They go well with any outfit and will definitely add polish to your chic look at evening parties, proms, weddings or daily life.
  • MAN-MADE MATERIAL: FSJ women shoes are made from premium quality synthetic materials, which means no animal are hurt during the production.
  • COMFY AND DURABLE: Built with comfort in mind, they follow the natural curves of the foot and adopt wear-resistant rubber outsole to keep you comfortable and trendy from day to night.
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE: FSJ offers private customization service/has professional customer service team to answer your inquiry and return request timely. Order handling: 2-5 business days; Order shipping: 3-6 business days.

21. Black open-toe strappy heels 

Take a look at the promotional photos from the first ‘Sex and the City’ seasons (‘98 and ‘99) and you’ll see a plethora of black strappy sandals. Open-toe, often kitten-heeled, totally 90s. 

How to style:

  • Pair with a midi wrap skirt and Bardot top for weekend dates 
  • Pair with a slim-leg jumpsuit and cropped leather jacket for work-to-drinks

Shop the look

Allegra K Women's Strappy Straps Lace Up Chunky Heel Sandals 6 Beige
  • Vamp: PU; Outsole: Rubber; Heel: ABS
  • Strappy Straps; Lace Up; Open Toe
  • Chunky Heel; Padded Insole
  • Please note that color may vary slightly according to monitor settings
  • Heel Height: 3 inches

22. Skechers Roadies

Skechers Roadies were a very tame version of the platform sneaker, with enough chunk to elevate you, while remaining safe. Often in deep red, black, or navy with contrast white stitching. 

How to style: 

  • Wear with white tube socks, baggy cargo pants, and a crop tank 
  • Pair with a midi skirt, white tank, and cropped indigo denim jacket 

Shop the look

Sale
Skechers womens Skechers Street Women's Roadies Berkeley Blocks Sneaker, Multicolor, 5 US
  • Memory Foam cushioned comfort insole
  • Tie dye design with multi color spiral unique look
  • Upper treated with 3M Scotchgard to resist water and stains
  • Soft fabric shoe lining
  • Vintage style platform midsole

23. Fluffy slip-on heels 

Who had a pair of these when they were about 5? Little plastic slides with gaudy glitter, age-inappropriate heels, and fuzzy fluff? You would also find them with satin chemises in ‘Victoria’s Secret’. 

How to style: 

  • Instead of fluffy heels, try fluff-trimmed socks with pumps instead 
  • Look for heeled booties with fur lining for a more robust approach 

Shop the look

Fur Story Fur Slides Slippers Furry Fuzzy Slides Open Toe Fluffy Slides Fox Fur Feather Sandals Fur Slip On Shoes for Women
  • 【Fluffy FUR】:The fur slides use high-end fox fur as decoration. It has bright and uniform color, beautiful and natural appearance,soft touch. The real fur is lighter, more durable than faux fur.(TIPS:Our fur materials come from farms, and no wild animals are harmed.)
  • 【Original Sole】:Our ladies sandals use original star soles. The anti-slip performance is stronger and more cute. The entire sole is made of solid rubber, which is more shockproof and more wear-resistant. The soft and supportive midsole makes walking more comfortable.
  • 【Soft Upper】:Our upper has a multilayer structure. The top leather keeps the upper upright, making the fluffy slides more three-dimensional and beautiful. Sponge is added to the lower layer to make the upper softer and protect our insteps.
  • 【Free Gift & Take Care】:Because of long-distance transportation, when you receive this fluffy slides, its fur may be a little messy. So we gave away a small brush in the package for free. Just brush along the fur a few times, it will easily become fluffy.
  • 【Occasions & After-Sales Service】:Our fuzzy slides can be beautiful and comfortable whether used as home slippers or outdoor sandals.If you have any questions about the orders, welcome to discuss with us or return or exchange the goods.