For business, styles were conservative and classic. The oxford, brogue, and loafer were all popular, and usually appeared in standard colours such as black and browns and two tones. Slip on styles based on the Norwegian moccasins and desert boots were popular for leisurewear.
Brand names were the all important style feature in this decade. Tennis shoes had to be the right brand at the right time, and young people often had more than a dozen pairs in the closet to meet the trend. In urban centres such as Detroit, teenagers were killing each other for the running shoes they wore. Young rappers wore tennis shoes not only for street wear, but for dance as well. Though athletic shoes were extremely popular, when Pierre Cardin or other non-sports names attempted to market the style, they failed. It was not the shoe, but the name on it that made it a hot item.
The Doc Martens that were the anti-fashion uniform of the punk scene in the seventies were, in 1986, acceptable as streetwear for a wider more respectable, yet fashion conscious youth. The Doc Marten remains a part of many young peoples wardrobe today.