284+ retro women’s shoes from the ’80s

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Vintage women's shoes from the 80s

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

For all vintage footwear lovers out there, we present to you this curated image gallery of women’s shoes from the 1980s.

Now you can take a look back at dozens of feminine heels, practical flats, elegant wedges, awesome boots, and other trendy old-school foot fashions from the eighties — worn by everyone from school kids to movie stars.

So many shoe choices today: How to put your best foot forward (1983)

Article from The Muncie Evening Press (Muncie, Indiana) – September 10, 1983

Shoes used to be so boring. No one worried about style. Thank goodness footwear has evolved from those drab, black lace-up shoes our great-grandmothers wore to the fashionable accessories they are today.

Colorful retro Unisa espadrilles (1984)

In fact, the selection is so large, we could easily wear out the shoes we have on trying to go through each shoe store in a large mall.

We can select from spike heels, wedge heels, “flats,” pumps, penny loafers, moccasins and boat shoes, just to name a few.

Vintage 80s women's shoes by Danelle (1984)

Having such a wide range of styles and colors is what makes shoe shopping fun. And although husbands complain about the closet overflowing with shoes, wives always seem to think they need just one more pair.

With fall nearly here, now would be a good time to go through your closet and pitch the shoes that are worn or are out of style — like your clogs and platform sandals.

What you should have in that closet — if you want to be fashionable — is a pair of pumps. Local shoe retailers say this simple, classic design is definitely in.

Simple fashionable colored tights and light-colored pumps for women from 1983

(Article continues below)


Retro women’s shoes from the ’80s

Browse this whole section of heels, pumps, sneakers, boots, flats and other women’s shoes from the 1983 JC Penney catalog, plus many, many more from other women’s fashion magazines from the eighties!

Ballet flats from the eighties and low heels

Plus jazz shoes, tassel slip-ons and other simple shoes for ladies

Ballet flats from the eighties and low heels - plus jazz shoes, tassel slip-ons and other simple shoes for ladies


Low-heel shoes from the ’80s

Pumps with sueded leather, wingtips with laces, straps, classic medium-height pump

Low-heel shoes from the '80s - pump with sueded leather, wingtips with laces, straps, classic medium-height pumps for ladies


Retro business casual shoes for womens

Brazilian leather low-heeled and kitten-heel vintage ladies’ shoes in brown and beige colors

Brazilian leather low-heeled and kitten-heel vintage ladies' shoes in brown and beige colors


Low-heeled vintage shoes for women – Silver Steps footwear with buckles and slip-ons

Low-heeled vintage shoes for women - Silver Steps footwear with buckles and slip-ons


Retro slippers for women

Warm and comfortable lounge styles – velour, faux fur and more

Retro slippers for women - warm and comfortable styles - velour, faux fur and more


Retro spring shoes from the ’80s (1982)

The prettiest, the brightest, the newest looks at the lowest prices — starting at just $20!

ALSO SEE: Retro 1980s leg warmers: Look back at the iconic fashion fad

Retro spring shoes from the 80s - 1982 (1)

Retro spring shoes from the 80s - 1982 (2)


25 more super shoes for spring

The glittery metallics, plus the new pastels, shimmering with a pearlized luster in snake skin and straw, detailed with piping and cool cutout styling.

Retro spring shoes from the 80s - 1982 (3)

Retro spring shoes from the 80s - 1982 (4)


Chunky wooden-soled vintage heels for women

High heels and stylish brown clogs with leather uppers

Chunky wooden-soled vintage heels for women - high heels and stylish brown clogs with leather uppers



Strappy eighties shoes for ladies

Square heels, pumps with straps, penny loafers, flats and other stylish soles

Strappy eighties shoes for ladies - square heels, strappy pumps, penny loafers, flats and other stylish soles


Strappy and sassy vintage high-heels for her from the ’80s

Sandals, pumps with buckle straps and other styles

ALSO SEE: Vintage jelly shoes were THE footwear for summer in the ’80s & ’90s

Strappy and sassy vintage high-heels for her from the '80s - sandals, pumps with buckle straps and other styles for ladies


Fashionable ballet flats, ankle-strap flats, kitten heels and bow flat shoes from the ’80s

Fashionable ballet flats, ankle-strap flats, kitten heels and bow flat shoes from the '80s


Vintage suede sneakers, athletic shoes, wedges and oxfords for women (1983)

Vintage suede sneakers, athletic shoes, wedges and oxfords for women


Retro preppy shoes in dark brown – with tassels and bows and rubber soles (1983)

ALSO SEE: Vintage Famolare shoes: The wavy-sole platform wedges that were hot in the ’70s

Retro preppy shoes in dark brown - with tassels and bows and rubber soles


Vintage 1980s Cherokee shoes for women (1984)

Vintage 1980s Cherokee shoes for women (1984)


Vintage moc-toe Oxfords with laces, urethane slip on shoes, pumps and other comfortable shoes

Vintage moc-toe Oxfords with laces, urethane slip on shoes, pumps and other comfortable shoes for women


1980s Naturalizer shoes for women

Trendy retro heels and flats from 1985

Vintage 80s Naturalizer shoes for women - heels and flats from 1985


Vintage strappy shoes for ladies

Slingback pumps with 2-1/2 inch heels – feminine and romantic styles

Vintage strappy slingback pumps with 2-1/2 inch heels - feminine and romantic styles


Brown preppy shoes with wooden heels with leather uppers

Brown preppy shoes with wooden heels with leather uppers


Vintage ’80s boots for women

Strike up a beautiful balance: Our boots go high or low to complement any outfit. In soft, colorful leather. Accordion crush, $52. Hand-tooled riding boot, $68. Foldover style with removable buckle accent, $68.

Vintage 80s boots for women (2)


For every occasion, leathers to boot.

Want a change of pace? Add a little lustre to your life! Our Sugar Babies boots in glistening colors. Tall pull-on or mid calf, $39. Short low-heel boot, $32.

Vintage 80s boots for women (1)


Tall and short ankle-length boots with and without heels
Tall and short ankle-length boots with and without heels - Vintage classics for women


Brown boots for women – wedge, high and short heels in leather-look neutrals

MORE GOOD STUFF: 50 most popular vintage perfumes from the ’80s
Brown boots for women - wedge, high and short heels in leather-look neutrals


Vintage riding boots, fan-stitched urethane boots & more

Also see feminine full-length zipper boots and sports boots
Vintage riding boots, fan-stitched urethane boots, feminine full-length zipper boots and sports boots


Outdoor women’s shoes

Hiking boots, all-weather boots, duck rain shoes, and fleece-lined Oxford shoes
Hiking boots, all-weather boots, duck rain shoes, and fleece-lined oxford shoes


Western boots, steel-toe shoes for work, and other high-heel vintage boots for women

Western boots, steel-toe shoes for work, and other high-heel vintage boots for women


Wintery cold-weather boots

Toggle boots, puff, ripple soles, mid-calf and quilted-look boots

MORE: These retro 1980s socks, knee-highs & other sassy sock styles went beyond black & white

Wintery cold-weather boots - toggle boots, puff, ripple sols, mid-calf and quilted-look boots


Vintage ’80s boots and leather casual shoes for women

Vintage '80s boots and leather casual shoes for women


Vintage ’80s boots for her

Dimpled boots, full-length, half-length and up or down butter boots

Vintage '80s boots - dimpled boots, full-length, half-length and up or down butter boots


Vintage T-strap shoes, bow-toe heels and strappy low-heel pumps for ladies

ALSO SEE: Vintage Dr Scholl’s Exercise Sandals & Toe Hugger shoes for women

Vintage T-strap shoes, bow-toe heels and strappy low-heel pumps for ladies


Women’s retro Airstep high heels from the 80s

Women's retro Airstep high heels from the 80s


’80s-style delicate T-strap

Vintage T-strap shoes with refined heel, styled pump and sueded nylon shoes with strap

'80s-style delicate T-strap with refined heel, styled pump and sueded nylon shoes with strap


Vintage ’80s Hush Puppies heels for women 1982

Vintage 80s Hush Puppies heels for women 1982


Vintage women’s shoes from Naturalizer 1982

Vintage women's shoes from Naturalizer 1982


Retro 1980s Oxford-style nursing shoes

White leather upper with flexible crepe rubber sole with wedge

Retro Oxford-style nursing shoes - white leather-upper with flexible crepe rubber sole with wedge


Reebok workout shoes – Instructor 5000 aerobic sneakers (1987)

ALSO SEE: Vintage 1980s shoes for men: What stylish guys were wearing

Reebok workout shoes - sneakers from 1987


Vintage tennis shoes, joggers and court athletic shoes – oxfords, running shoes and more

ALSO SEE: Keds vintage sneakers & shoes from the ’20s to the ’80s

Vintage tennis shoes, joggers and court athletic shoes - oxfords, running shoes and more


Vintage ’80s pumps for women

Low to mid-heels with bows, straps, smooth urethane uppers and rubber soles

Vintage '80s pumps for women - heels with bows, straps, smooth urethane uppers and rubber soles


Vintage Sugar Babies shoes

What they called “modern” leather upper shoes in the 1980s, with rubber soles, heels, cut-outs and suede

Vintage Sugar Babies shoes and leather - modern shoes with rubber soles, heels, cut-outs and suede


Retro ’80s party shoes for ladies

Strappy heels and slinkbacks in cinnamon, navy, black, white and camel

Retro '80s party shoes for ladies - strappy heels and slinkbacks in cinnamon, navy, black, white and camel


Work shoes and heels from the eighties

Classic pumps, open-toe pumps and medium-height heelsWork shoes and heels from the eighties: classic pumps, open-toe pumps and medium-height heels


Closed-toe bare back pumps for women

Also see vintage 1980s peek-a-boo slings and sandals with knotted vampClosed-toe bare back pumps for women, peek-a-boo slings and sandals with knotted vamp


Vintage leather footwear for ladies

Moccasins with tassels, ballet flats, walking shoes, Mary-Jane pumps and Birkenstock-style slippers

Vintage leather footwear for ladies - moccasins with tassels, ballet flats, walking shoes, Mary-Jane pumps and Birkenstock-style slippers


Conservative vintage moccasins & low-heeled slip-on shoes in neutral colorsConservative vintage moccasins and low-heeled slip-on shoes in neutral colors - Retro footwear for ladies

(Article continued from above)

1980s retro women’s shoes: The power of the pumps

“Pumps have completely taken over this year,” says Ralph Nixon, supervisor for Weiss and Neuman Shoe Co., of which Barker’s Shoe Stores is a division. “They’re selling very well, especially among businesswomen.”

Steve Hayes, manager of the local Barker’s Shoes, says women are frequently asking for pumps.

“The biggest trend this fall is the tailored pumps. They’ll be the number one seller this year,” predicts Tom Mathew, owner of Dobbs and Mathew Bootery.

Retro '80s T-strap sandals, high and low heels, and pumps with bow fronts

One reason the pump is making a comeback is because of its versatility, he explains. They can be worn with suits, skirts, dresses and slacks.

“They (women) like the tailoring and styling,” he adds. “Shoes reflect our clothes, and our clothes are tailored.”

Just as stylish this year are shoes sporting heels of medium height. Of course, high heels and flats will always sell, but there definitely is a demand for a two to two and one half inch heel, say local retailers.

ALSO SEE: How X-ray shoe fittings used to really be a thing years ago

'80s info on how to measure your feet for shoes - men and women

Women’s retro shoes: Working women didn’t want high heels

Nixon believes the main reason his stores are selling more medium heels than high heels is because they’re the first choice of working women.

“There are more women in the business world now, and they don’t want to wear three-inch heels all day,” he says.

Adds Jerry Fulk, manager of Kinney Shoes, “Women are paying more attention to comfort now. A lot of people don’t want the real high heels.”

Gary Myers, manager of the Village Bootery, points out, however, that shoe designers are pushing the high heels once again. And although this trend may not show up in the Midwest right away, Myers believes it is the style for women wanting to be trendsetters.

Preppy shoes for junior high girls - brown, tan and beige leather shoes

High heels are nice to look at. But women who are on their feet much in a day will agree they are not very comfortable.

So when we switch to our casual slacks and jeans, we look for comfort. And it’s just this reason that topsiders (also called boat shoes) are selling so well.

Along with mocassins — a style rapidly gaining momentum — topsiders are the money-makers in casual shoes.

Topsiders would be a wise investment for someone looking for a shoe that will still be in style next year, notes Mathew. Even though the style has already been around for about four years, retailers don’t believe it’s a fad that will soon disappear.

“It’s been strong in every part of the country. It’s a basic, a classic shoe, like penny loafers,” he adds.

“I don’t think they’ve peaked yet,” says Mike Cline, manager of Nobil Shoes. This year his store is selling the style in the traditional brown, white suede and navy blue.

Classic saddle shoes, suede casual moccasins, penny loafers

Fulk says people of all ages are buying topsiders. “It kind of grows on you. Someone may not like it one year, and the next year come in and buy a pair.”

For a fashionable, casual shoe a little more dressy than the topsider, there’s the penny loafer. These shoes were revived with the “preppy” look and sports slots for a shiny ’83 penny or leather tassels. Both styles are selling well, notes Fulk.

The colors to look for in shoes this season include gray, plum, taupe, black, teal, salmon and mauve. In topsiders, white suede is hot.

Women's vintage high heeled shoes - pumps from the eighties

“Plum and teal are supposed to be the two outstanding colors this fall,” notes Nixon, adding, “But gray is still outselling plum and teal. Light gray for spring, and dark gray for fall.”

Whatever your taste in shoes, there is sure to be a shoe for you. The range of styles and colors is better than ever this season.

One New York fashion writer says the reason for this large selection is that shoes have become “the most important” fashion accessory. She adds, “Shoes are to the present generation what hats were to their mothers in the ’50s.”

DON’T MISS THIS: Vintage shoe stores: See what shoe shopping really used to be like

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