12 Early '00s Shoes You Forgot You Were Obsessed With

by Rosie Narasaki

It was a tough decade, fashion-wise — but it's still fun to reminisce about all the shoes you were obsessed with in the early 2000s. It was a strange time, filled with shoe anomalies of all shapes and sizes, from the briefly popular (and wildly impractical) stiletto sneakers, to those oversized width-enhancing skater shoes that used to be everywhere. Tastes were admittedly strange back there, but I guess we'll all just have to embrace that as part of the odd '00s culture (it is the same time period that gave us Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in coordinating denim and the whole Avril Lavigne skater girl aesthetic, after all).

Some of the forgotten shoe trends from the early aughts are ones that have actually come back already — take the recent mules resurgence, for example — but others stay firmly in the past (as they probably should). Heck, some trends never even truly left, like Converse high-tops. Some will make you feel warmly nostalgic, while others will fill you with a little bit of shame that you ever believed they were cool — but either way, it's still fun to take a little walk down memory lane. So, with that in mind, let's revisit some of the most popular shoe styles from the early 2000s!

1. Slinky Platform Mules

Steve Madden Slinky, $70, Steve Madden

These might be known more for their '90s appeal, but trust: they were still going strong in the early '00s too.

2. Floral Mules

Rampage Rockabilly Black Floral Mules, $35, Ebay

Mules of the, shall we say, less minimalistic variety also happened to be quite popular at the time.

3. Canvas Slip-Ons

Vans Checkered Slip-On Sneaker, $50, Urban Outfitters

Back when these Vans first hit the scenes in the early 2000s, they were huge. Suddenly, everyone had a pair.

4. High Tops

Converse High Top Sneaker, $55, Urban Outfitters

Now granted, high tops will probably always be popular — but they had a pretty big resurgence circa 2003 or so.

5. Metallic Sandals

Vintage Soda Holographic Platform Clear Heels, $20, Etsy

Metallic sandals also had a major moment in the early aughts — and bonus points if they happened to be holographic.

6. Stiletto Sneakers

Dada Supreme Sneaker Boots, $90, Etsy

Anyone else remember when sneakers with stiletto heels were inexplicably ultra popular for about a hot second?

7. Mesh Slippers

Chinese Mesh Slippers, $20, Amazon

You could either buy them at Urban Outfitters for $20, or head down to Chinatown and nab them for less than $5. This is one of the trends that's currently staging a comeback, which is perplexing to me.

8. Oversized Skate Shoes

Now, why people wanted to look like they had cartoon Hobbit feet, we'll never know.

9. Heelys

Heelys Motion Blue Graphic Print, $49, Heelys

As long as we're talking skater shoes, we can't leave out their strange brethren, the wheeled Heelys.

10. Kitten Heels

Vintage Steve Madden Kitten Heels, $28, Etsy

Kitten heels were also a big deal back in the day. Bonus points if they had sequins, and/or were neon.

11. Platform Flip Flops

Coach Retro Platform Flops, $13, Ebay

These really were the best of both worlds, weren't they? Comfortable and beachy-breezy cool.

If you came of age in the 2000s, chances are you participated in at least one of these trends.