In recent years, there has been a growing interest in gender-neutral collections. Not only are designers exploring more unisex designs, but presenting them with runway shows that feature a non-binary group of models.
And earlier this month, the California Market Center announced its new trade show event will focus on genderless products.
But androgynous dressing is nothing new. Throughout the years, style icons including David Bowie, Mick Jaggar, Katherine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich have popularized the look. And a number of shoe brands have been crossing gender lines for decades.
Below are 13 classic footwear styles that are gender-free (even if they didn’t necessarily start that way).
1. Dr. Martens 1460 boot
Originally embraced by Britain’s punks and mods, the brand continues to resonate with a new generation of rule-averse consumers.
2. Adidas Superstar sneaker
The nearly 50-year-old shell-toe sneaker is a favorite of everyone from Pharrell to Gigi Hadid and Rita Ora.
3. Birkenstock Arizona sandal
The Arizona has been a wardrobe staple for 1970s flower children and 1990s grunge kids. Today, the Brand of the Year enjoys widespread appeal.
4. Nike Air Huarache sneaker
Hard to believe that Tinker Hatfield designed the Huarache for running, as it’s now one of Nike’s most popular lifestyle sneakers.
5. Timberland 6-inch Premium boot
Season after season, Timberland shows the versatility of its 6-inch boot with special design collabs, but it’s hard to deny the power of the classic wheat look.
6. Tod’s Gommino driving moc
The driving moccasin was originally made for speeding through the Italian countryside in fast, expensive cars. And today it is still associated with luxury and style.
7. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star high-top
Born on the basketball court, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star has become an emblem of youth culture for every generation.
8. Sperry Authentic Original 2-Eye boat shoe
Want that preppy boating look without ever stepping on deck? Sperry’s classic boat shoe has been delivering since the 1930s.
9. Bass Logan Weejuns penny loafer
Now viewed as a dressy men’s and women’s flat, the original Weejuns design was based on a moccasin worn for “loafing in the field.”
10. Vans Slip-On sneaker
While Sean Penn’s appearance in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” made the Vans Checkerboard Slip-on a hit, today the silhouette is sported by men and women alike.
11. L.L. Bean duck boot
Rainy weather is a truly universal problem, which L.L. Bean’s duck boot has been addressing since 1911.
12. Puma Suede sneaker
Introduced at the 1968 Olympics, the Suede underwent a few tweaks in the 1970s to suit basketball icon Walt “Clyde” Frazier, and its place in popular culture was thus cemented.
13. Clarks Desert Boot
Since Nathan Clark launched the Desert Boot in the 1950s, the shoe has become the definition of casually stylish.