TrendingErmal Hajrizi

History of the Boot

TrendingErmal Hajrizi
History of the Boot

By Erika Lopez

Now that summer is officially over in New Haven, it’s time to put away your sandals and to break out more fall-appropriate footwear. My favorite shoes this season are black heeled booties. I bought my first pair my senior year of high school. Since, I’ve shamelessly bought three new pairs because I wear them so often that they don’t last very long! Today boots of all kinds are staples in many Yale students’ wardrobes and, looking back at the history of boots, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, it became more acceptable for women to leave the home and join the workforce. Skirt and dress hemlines shortened in response so that women could perform tasks more easily. However, because bearing “too much leg” was still considered taboo, women began wearing calf-length boots to cover up. These boots came to be known as “Russian boots” and were often embellished with unique stitching patterns.

The appeal of “Russian boots” came from the fact that they were sturdy shoes. As more and more roads were paved in the 1930s, women began to buy boots to make fashion statements rather than to protect their feet. In the mid-twentieth century, designers began to debut new types of stylish boots that were thigh-high or that had kitten heels.

 1962 Vogue spread on boots

1962 Vogue spread on boots

 London fashion models wearing go-go boots in the 1970s

London fashion models wearing go-go boots in the 1970s

 Brightly colored vinyl go-go boots

Brightly colored vinyl go-go boots

I love that fashion involves the appreciation of past trends and often the resurgence of such trends. Dance clubbing culture was at its peak in the 1990s and was accompanied by a resurgence of all kinds of boots, but in particular heeled black boots.

 1990s grunge-inspired, chunky-heeled boots

1990s grunge-inspired, chunky-heeled boots

 1997 Autumn/Winter Versace Collection - Kristen McMenamy

1997 Autumn/Winter Versace Collection - Kristen McMenamy

Today, low-heeled ankle boots are popular and can be worn year-round. They are even alternatives to sandals in the summer. If you don’t already have a pair, I would strongly advise picking up a pair (or several)! They can add a hint of chicness to any look.

 Add a pair of heeled black booties for an “on-the-go” city look.

Add a pair of heeled black booties for an “on-the-go” city look.

 You can even pair ankle boots with dresses.

You can even pair ankle boots with dresses.