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9 Nostalgic Y2K Shoe Styles That Are Still Trendy Today

Out with the new, in with the old.

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As a girl born in the nineties, few things bring me as much joy as my teen years' resurgence of Y2K-era fashion. The early aughts were a playful time in fashion and, at times, a bit on the chaotic side. From long crochet skinny scarves to spaghetti strap dresses over jeans (yes- really!), the late '90s to early 2000s (aka Y2K) gave us some truly iconic pop culture and fashion gems we still talk about to this day. Although Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's hit show The Simple Life was still airing on cable television, there was nothing simple about the fashion trends.

Much of the fashion of the Y2K time involved lots of layering and truly unexpected pairings like below-the-knee boots with pageboy hats, rhinestones and platforms, and even tees under baby doll dresses with patterned kitten heels. In the early 2000s, Beyoncé was still a part of Destiny's Child, and Brittney and Justin wore a matching all-denim look to the American Music Awards. However, fashion fun didn't end at ready-to-wear; the footwear of the era felt so specific to the year. The 2000s were all about making a statement, optimism, and being a little funky.

One thing remains the same decades later: fashion remains cyclical. The return of Y2K fashion means reviving some enjoyable shoe styles like low open-toe mules, sky-high boots, chunky thong platforms, and more. The best thing about leaning into Y2K-style shoes is that they add a subtle bit of nostalgia for the early aughts to your ensemble without feeling like a relic of the past.

Read on to discover the nostalgic Y2K style shoes that have become new footwear classics.

Chunky Loafers

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The sky’s the limit in a chunky platform loafer. The unexpected hero shoe of many a celeb starlet street style look back in 2000, chunky heeled loafers have made their triumphant return into our hearts and closets. Swap out your regular all-black loafers for a heeled pair that feels classic and just the right amount of daring.



Tips

Try going full-blown Bratz doll vibes with a micro mini skirt for the ultimate 2000s homage.



Thong Platform Sandals

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No trip to the mall or pool would have been complete without a pair of platform wedges in the early 2000s. Bonus points if they were a thong style like this pink pair. The only thing better than being at the beach in a micro mini is throwing on a pair of these bad boys.

Jelly Shoes

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While jelly shoes didn’t come about in the early 2000’s they did have a huge moment. Think about Lizzy McGuire’s animated character’s orange slides that look just like those from Melissa! Jellies took on more of a Polly pocket aesthetic rather than a simple flat.

Calf-Hugging Platform Boots

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Looking back, Baby Spice of the Spice Girls regularly donned sky-high platform boots similar to these but in white. The defining characteristic of the Y2K platform boot was that it was super snug on the calf. Besides being extremely cool, they take the pressure off the balls of your feet, meaning you won’t want to rip these off after a few hours.

Pointy Heels

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One shoe that reigned supreme for any gong outlook? The pointy toe low heel. There are countless celeb red carpet images with this shoe peeking out from jeans, gowns, and more. This heel was almost always suede or a faux suede material and wouldn’t be complete without lace-up detailing or a miniature bow. This one with metal embellishments feels like a major throwback in all the right ways.

Ballet Flats

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Ballet flats have been a staple in American fashion for decades, but in the early 2000s, the most popular pair featured an almost ruched appearance or mini bow. Not only do they add a bit of ladylike flare to any outfit, but they also keep things more on the simple side, in case you decide you do want to rock a teal slinky dress and tons of rhinestones á la Paris Hilton all at once.

Ugg Boots

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The Y2K way to wear a pair of Ugg boots was with a slouchy pair of low-rise dark wash denim, but now UGG is essentially worn with everything from athleisure cord sets to wide-leg pants. Funny enough, Ugg boots never had an “off-season” and have remained popular since their major pop culture appearances in the early 2000s. Not to mention, the plush, shearling interior makes this a go-to for comfort and style.

Chunky Sneakers

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If these chunky sneaks look familiar, it’s because they are! This style of sneaker has gone up and down in popularity but has always remained a steady presence in the shoe world. Its lasting power has to do with the fact that it offers subtle chicness to any look, and the extra inches of height certainly don't hurt either.

Rhinestone Kitten Heels

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There’s nothing more Y2K than a pair of rhinestone-encrusted kitten heel sandals, except for maybe any Mariah Carey image with a butterfly crop top involved. Wear them today with everything from a camo cargo pant to a slinky silk slip dress for a touch of glam that feels understated.

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