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In the Time of High-Tops: Kicks When We Were Kids

When I was a kid, fashion was of prime importance. Scrunched socks, pegged pants, and neon colors all ruled my wardrobe. However, more important than stirrups and bodysuits were my kicks. How I miss the days when Keds were considered haute couture.  Related Stories: Eighties Flashback: The Best Toys of the Decade
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  • Converse High-Tops

    In the fourth grade, in 1992, I paired my brand-new pair of red Converse high-tops with a floral dress and a matching red turtleneck underneath for picture day. I’m not at all certain why my mother let me leave the house like that.

  • Dr. Martens

    I could never afford the real Doc Martens. My parents just got me the cheapo Payless knock-offs. I still haven’t forgiven them.

  • Jellies

    This is a trend I never understood—plastic shoes often infused with glitter. I was fuming (and consequently boycotted) when they enjoyed their brief comeback in the mid-nineties.

  • Reeboks

    Classic, comfortable, and cool—every kid born during the eighties owned a pair of Reeboks. Mine were pastel-pink with two pairs of laces in each.

  • L.A. Gear High-Tops

    These shoes scream 1985. I can almost hear Duran Duran in the background …

  • Neon Pumas

    Although Puma’s brand power has remained strong into the new millennium, the company luckily left its flair for all things neon back in the old one.

  • Pumps

    For her eighth-grade graduation dance, my sister wore pumps she dyed herself to match the exact plum shade of her puffy-sleeved gown.

  • British Knights

    All the cute boys wore British Knights shoes in fifth grade. I’m pretty sure they thought it would make them run faster.

  • Huaraches

    These Mexican sandals were a huge hit in the eighties. I’m not sure how or why, but every girl I knew (at least the cool ones) rocked a killer pair of huarache sandals.

  • Keds

    There’s nothing more classic 1988 than a clean, brand-spanking-new pair of white Keds. They were as indisputably essential for every woman as a weekly Jazzercise class.

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