Stylish, comfortable and seemingly eternally trendy, Kickers shoes enjoyed their heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, when almost every schoolkid and young person was either wearing them or trying to get their hands on a pair.
The allure of Kickers shoes lies in the fact that they are so distinctive and, for the majority of styles, so wonderfully chunky. The trademark feature – in the women’s range at least – is the thick, black, rubber heel, which can either be low (three-quarters of an inch or so) or rather high (up to two and a half or three inches). Kickers tend to be moccasins or slip-ons, with the front of the upper rising up almost to ankle-height. The most popular styles also have some sort of ornamental bar across the top of the upper, often with the Kickers brand name written on it, or alternatively just a ‘K’ or other logo. That said, there are a great many lace-up designs in the Kickers range, in both ankle-high and cut-down styles.
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There are also hundreds of other ranges to choose from, including outdoor walking boots, of which the most classic is the Kick Jack with its white rubber soles and nubuck upper. This shoe has all the qualities you would expect from a walking boot: durable laces, a cushioned leather collar to support the ankle, and a grooved sole for traction and grip. Two similar designs based on this highly popular boot are the Kick Hi boot and the Kick Severest women’s boot. The Kick Hi boot has a brown leather rather than sable nubuck upper, but retains the pale rubber sole and ankle support of the Kick Jack, and is a great unisex boot for casual occasions. The Kick Severest has the nubuck upper, strong laces and rubber sole of the Kick Jack, but has a raised, chunky heel with a wooden layering effect and is the ideal women’s shoe for shopping and walks on flat terrain.
The last word you would use to describe the majority of Kicker shoes is ‘dainty’, but they are certainly very appealing for certain purposes: school shoes, casual weekend shoes, casual office shoes, outdoor activities and so on. However, Kicker does also manufacture more elegant styles, which bear absolutely no resemblance to the chunky trademark designs. These include the Kick Yoshi Bar, a very flat-soled slip-on shoe with a white upper, beautiful stitched designs and a thin elasticated bar across the foot, and the Kick Ogoshi, a silk-effect pink slip-on with a star pattern and very thin, black, rubber sole.
Kicker shoes are widely available in stores the world over, as well as through a number of reputable online shoe retailers.