Ugly Shoes: How the '90s are Alive and Well

The '90s called, they want their shoes back.

Balenciaga shoes
(Image credit: Getty Images ¦ Jeremy Moeller)

Recently, while I was looking back through old photos of myself for this story another editor was pulling together about outfits from the 2000s, I made an important discovery: The shoes I was wearing in the late '90s were actually... cute? Not for their classic timelessness, but for the simple fact that I'm old enough now to have these styles come back into fashion after taking a 20 year break. Yikes. But, before this generation of tastemakers stake claim in these styles, let's take a moment to recognize these ugly shoe icons. Street footwear in the '90s was not all "Gwyneth Paltrow simplicity," it was loud and disruptive with chunky silhouettes or shoes so flat they did just about nothing for your legs. However, I will forever stand by my adolescent shoe choices and celebrate their return back into the spotlight. Scroll down to see the shoes that popularized the genre and fashion's new interpretation of these wacky but wonderful shapes.

Julia Gall
Julia Gall

Julia Gall is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering all things fashion, as well as styling tips, wardrobe upkeep and sustainability. Check her out at @juliasgall.