Some of the most popular shoes of the 1980s would still look cool today. Although a lot of these brands have now gone out of business or just don’t make the style anymore, it’s worth a look to see if you could find something similar to these classics.
Bo Jackson Cross Trainers
One of the biggest sport studs at the time, Bo Jackson played two sports! That was extremely rare at the time, and would be even rarer today considering the levels of performance required by professional athletes.
Originally launched in 1983 as a casual shoe brand, British Knights became seemingly an overnight sensation when it released its first sneakers in 1985. They were also the first to really recognize that sneakers could make a fashion statement rather than just be shoes you bought for gym class. They were also the first shoe brand to enlist hip hop artists and entertainers to endorse their brand.
Luckily, these shoes are still around! They aren’t all that popular, but it’s pretty easy to get a pair if you really want.
These shoes are extremely simple. Not many colors, typically just white on the bottom and something like pink or blue on top.
Still, wearing them made you feel cool.
If you played sports – or even if you just wanted to look like you played sports- Air Jordans were it.
One of the most expensive shoes of the time, Air Jordans were supposed to make you better at everything. Basketball. Tennis. School. Life.
Though huge in the 1990s, it should be noted that the original Reebok Pump was launched in 1989, thus we want to recognize it here as an honorable mention. The Reebok Pump revolutionized the sneaker world because it had a built in inflation system that allowed users to custom fit their shoe. All you had to do was stick your foot in the shoe, pump it up, and you were locked in and ready to ball.
Jelly shoes were a fad that became hot in the 1980s. What are jelly shoes? Well they are basically shoes made of PVC plastic. The shoe gets its name from the semi-transparent look of the shoe that makes it look like you made a shoe out of jelly. The material used in jelly shoes came in a wide variety of color and often had various patterns and even glitter in them.
Think nice, dressy casual brown shoes.
…with squiggly spiral laces.
Probably the most boring, basic shoe ever made. Seriously.
Plus, Keds were pretty much the official shoes of cheerleaders everywhere. So even if you weren’t a cheerleader, you wore em to make it look like you were part of that elite group.