Imagine we could magically transport back to 1993 using the Wayne’s World time warp. Excellent! What’s that you see across the mall? A young lady wearing a floral, babydoll dress? A guy wearing cut off jean shorts? Could they both be wearing the same shoes? Absolutely. It’s the 90s! The obvious shoe choice for both these looks: hiking boots.
Clunky shoes abounded in the 90s, and hiking boots were just one iteration of that larger trend (see also: Doc Martens and Chunky-Heels). Thick soles, thick heels, and serious shoe heft completed a wide range of outfits in the 90s. Ankle-high hiking boots designed to go everywhere did indeed go everywhere as hiking boots lost their woodsy functionality and became a fashion statement. Paired with jeans and a long-sleeved flannel shirt, hiking boots completed the grunge look for both girls and guys. Girls also wore them with floral-printed dresses, skirts, and shorts. Check out these 90s TV stars (too many all that 90s trends to count in this one photo), with Jenna von Oy of Blossom fame sporting the dress-with-hiking-boots combo.
One particularly popular look at my school involved combining hiking boots with leggings and an oversized sweatshirt.
Members of the hip-hop community were often spotted wearing tan Timberlands. Athletic brands like Nike and Reebok had hiking boot options, often featuring suede exteriors and a pop of teal or purple, the essential colors of the 90s.
Not to be left out, brands like Candies and Sketchers, typically known for fashion over function, even came out with their own take on the hiking boot trend. Eventually, shoe manufacturers said, "Guys. Nobody is going to be walking the Grand Canyon in our shoes. Let’s drop the charade and make something super impractical that looks great." And they came up with "hiking" boots with platforms and heels.
And just in case you were going to be hiking on the moon, you could always wear these.