Happy Birthday, Michael Jackson! A Look Back At His Shoe Style Through The Years

Not only was Michael Jackson the self-proclaimed King of Pop, he was also the king of loafers and heeled booties — all staples in his wardrobe.

To honor the late entertainer, who would have celebrated his 58th birthday on Monday, the shoes and costume he wore in the music video for his hit “Smooth Criminal” went on display on Saturday in the lobby of the Michael Jackson ONE theater at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

michael jackson smooth criminal
Michael Jackson’s shoes in “Smooth Criminal.”
CREDIT: Courtesy of Mandalay Bay.
michael jackson smooth criminal costume
Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” costume on display.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Mandalay Bay.

When he performed a seemingly gravity-defying, forward-leaning dance move in the 1987 video, he did it in simple black loafers — a shoe style he rocked on stages, red carpets and in his downtime over the years. Jackson patented a shoe with slots in its heels that would lock his feet to pegs protruding out of a stage allowing him to lean forward at a 45-degree angle.

Jackson wore a pair of Florsheim loafers with a white elastic strip applied to the shoe during his 15-minute long MTV Video Music Awards performance in 1995, featuring Slash. He famously performed “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Billie Jean,” “Dangerous” and “You’re Not Alone.” Jackson wore the same shoes again in 1999 at the Michael Jackson and Friends charity show for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Red Cross in Seoul, South Korea and then in Munich, Germany.

Michael Jackson signed leather shoes
Michael Jackson’s black leather loafers with signed sole, first worn by the pop icon during his 1995 MTV VMAs performance.
CREDIT: REX/Shutterstock.

To see more of Michael Jackson’s greatest shoe moments, click through the gallery.

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