These 2000s Shoe Trends Have Officially Infiltrated 2021

Shoe trends change every season, but as is usually the case with fashion's cyclical nature, certain styles tend to return—with quite a vengeance, too. You're probably well aware of the fact that the platform flip-flops of the late '90s and early '00s and the cool, boho-inspired platforms of the '70s are back and better than ever in 2021. But what you may have missed is that, in addition to these bygone decades, there are several 2000s shoe trends that have infiltrated every fashion girl's closet this season as well.

Yep, if you just so happened to keep any of the shoes you used to wear in high school (hoarders, this may actually work in your favor), now may finally be the time to dust them off and take them out for another spin because the biggest styles of the early aughts are here to stay for the summer. We're talking clear shoes, platform mules, and platform flip-flops as well as a handful of cool sneakers that are bound to conjure up thoughts of the 2000s skater scene.

Ready to learn all about the 2000s shoe trends that are still so relevant today? Then read on to see how fashion girls are wearing them now and to shop the most popular styles.


(Image credit: @alyssainthecity)

Yep, those platform slides that you wore all throughout middle school have slowly been reemerging in the street style scene. Enter Steve Madden's latest shoe release (lots of platforms slides and flip-flops)—the style is officially back and better than ever.


(Image credit: @devapollon)

High-tops from the likes of Nike and Converse have been favorites for years, but the classic 2000s sneakers have officially cemented themselves as It shoes in 2021, with celebs like Bella Hadid keeping them on rotation.


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If you ask us, there's no single shoe trend that's more iconic from the Y2K era than heeled thongs, and right now, the elevated flip-flops are quite possibly the biggest sandal trend of the moment.


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Just about everyone owned a pair of kitten heels in the 2000s. Black was a classic, but neon-colored or embellished ones were also very popular. Today, they're so ubiquitous that they're basically staples in our shoe wardrobes.


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Metallic, holographic, and clear heels were a major shoe trend in the early aughts. Now, the style has been favored by the likes of the Kardashians and Kate Bosworth, to name a few, and just about every designer has released their take on the 2000s classic. 


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Platform loafers are an unlikely 2000s shoe trend that has returned with a vengeance two decades later. Wear them with white socks if you really wanna channel the early aughts.


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The cousin to classic slip-on mules, platform flip-flops are officially back thanks to the S/S 21 runways and plenty of options, from designer brands to affordable labels.


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Take a look at any red carpet event from the aughts, and you'll see clingy mid-calf boots were a favorite footwear pick among the era's stars. Think Gwyneth Paltrow, Mariah Carey, and Paris Hilton.


(Image credit: @chrissyford)

The '90s trend was still very popular in the 2000s, too. To no surprise, the barely-there style has cemented itself as one of the top shoe styles of the summer.

Speaking of all things Y2K, check out all the denim trends that are being revived from the era.

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.