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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. 
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Converse High-Tops

1 / 10

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

2 / 10

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


3 / 10

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.


4 / 10

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

5 / 10

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

Neon Pumas

6 / 10

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.


7 / 10

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

8 / 10

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


9 / 10

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.


10 / 10

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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