I was busy researching the hottest styles for summer shoes, and despite what my husband might think, it actually WAS research for a reason other than shopping. I have more than enough shoes, really. In fact, I probably have too many shoes, but since I’m not (yet) rivaling Imelda Marcos, I think I am fine.
It got me thinking about shoe styles from the Eighties. I didn’t have that many shoes, probably because I was a kid and it’s expensive to keep up with all that growth. My own children, I should note, have two pairs of running shoes each (indoor and outdoor), one pair of sandals, and winter boots. That said, I did have some of these hot styles, and I coveted the rest.
Pros: They came in many colours, so they could match any outfit. I had pale pink jellies to match a pastel striped dress. The dress itself was pale pink, mint green, yellow, and light blue, so I could have chosen jelly shoes in any of those shades, really, and would have still come out a pastel winner.
Cons: Jelly shoes were infamous for being uncomfortable. Wearing them for more than a few hours, especially on a hot, sweaty day, meant your feet would be a mess of blisters and redness.
Pros: Everyone loved these boots and as I recall, they were pretty comfortable. And so versatile! You could wear them with jeans, skirts, stirrup pants…the sky was the limit.
Cons: They were actually pretty unattractive.
Those Little Flat Shoes With Bows On The Toe
Pros: These were actually pretty cute! Slippery, but cute. Again, very versatile, except that they didn’t go that well with stirrup pants. Skirts and rolled up jeans, though, were a perfect match.
Cons: Their cuteness was diminished with the propensity of our generation to wear them with giant slouch socks. That’s not really the SHOE’s fault, though.
Pros: If my grade seven yearbook is any indication, 75% of the population was wearing Keds or a knockoff at any given time in the late 80s. They were comfortable! Slip-on! You could wear them with slouch socks and bubble skirts!
Cons: They were mostly worn with NO socks which resulted in terrible foot odour. Not for the first time, I feel sympathy towards junior high teachers.
Pros: These were the go-to winter boots in my neck of the woods. There were many knockoff brands as well, but the general look stayed the same. They were comfortable, warm, and waterproof.
Cons: I can’t actually think of any. I find them unattractive, but no more unattractive than the average winter boot.
Pros: These ankle boots were relatively practical on wet, rainy days.
Cons: They were ugly AF, as the kids say these days.
China Doll Shoes
Pros: Of all Eighties footwear, this is my favourite. I loved the look of these shoes, and I still do. I love Mary Jane style, I like that they are black, flat, and relatively comfortable. I had always thought they were called “Chinese Shoes” which seemed vaguely racially insensitive and weird. Yesterday, however, I found out that they are actually CHINA DOLL SHOES which makes so much more sense. All of my many china dolls had shoes like this.
Cons: The buckle was always breaking. They were cheap, in all senses of the word.
Did I miss anything? What did you wear on your feet in the 80s?