It may just be nostalgia, but to our minds the ‘90s was a golden age for footwear. It was a time before the internet, of Tamagotchis and Beanie Babies, but crucially it was also the decade that gave us the sky high flatforms, the Asics Gel Lyte III, and Birkenstocks modified for the modern world. Here we raise a toast to this golden era with seven of the coolest kicks all ‘90s kids will remember from their heyday.
L.A. Gear dreamt up its L.A. Lights line of shoes in 1992 and delivered them to a euphoric generation of neon light enthusiasts in 1992. With a new lighting technology that saw the heel flash up with light upon impact, L.A. Lights sold over five million pairs of trainers throughout the ‘90s and the shoe would go down in ‘90s folklore as one of the definitive trainers of the decade.
Image property of Defy New York.
Whether glittering gold, neon yellow or classic black, jelly sandals were every little girl’s dream shoe in the ‘90s. Once infamously uncomfortable and prone to the odd awry odour, jelly shoes have been reinvented for the 21st century by brands such as Melissa who have created a softer, more plastic variant of plastic instilled with a sweet smelling odour.
Image property of statigr.am.
We all remember the first mind-boggling moment we saw someone somehow skating on a pair of low-top trainers. With Transformer-like powers, Heelys and Street Gliders featured a retractable wheel in heel that allowed you to move from walking to skating by simply shifting your weight to your heel.
Image property of Heelys
The quintessential school shoe of the decade, Kickers were the go-to brand for parents seeking out sturdy kicks for the playground. Every ‘90s child remembers those little green and red tabs as well as the floral-shaped leather tab that came with your new school shoes at the start of the year.
Like many ’90s must-haves, Kickers are re-emerging as one of the most popular shoe brands for 2016. See why with AllSole’s Kickers collection for kids > >
Image property of Kickers
Perhaps not the most practical pair in your wardrobe, but Moon shoes stand alongside Heelys as one of the coolest—and probably the most dangerous—mode of transport for hip kids of the ‘90s. Essentially small trampolines attached to your feet, Moon shoes were originally released in the 1950s at which point they were constructed from metal (just when you thought they couldn’t be any more dangerous…).
Image property of Big Time Toys.
Dunlop Green Flash
A retro style that has undergone a resurgence in recent years, Dunlop’s Green Flash trainers were a popular—although perhaps not the coolest—shoe on the playground throughout the ‘90s. Available in laced or Velcro-fastened versions, it is a little known fact that the Green Flash trainers were first made famous by Fred Perry who wore the trainers in 1935 and ’36. Dunlop would later go on to sell over 25 million pairs of the shoe.
Image property of Dunlop.