Boots have been a part of women’s fashion for generations. They have also gone through different transformations and have come in different styles throughout the decades. Ankle boots, thigh-high, mid-calf, platform, wedge, stilettos, laced up, with zipper, furs, studs, pastel colors, and more. No doubt that this footwear represents anything and everything that a woman can be.
Native American women were believed to be wearing boots many generations back. They created boots from skins of the animals that men hunted for food. They decorated them with quills, beads, and paintings depending on their style and stature. In cooler months, they even added sheepskin or rabbit fur to their boots for extra warmth.
1960s to 1970s
Although they have been widely worn in different cultures, boots debuted on the runway by the 1960s, prompting the use of different materials and varying lengths. Boots stopped being just for the rainy or winter season, for riding horses or for gardening, but became a symbol of woman’s strength and emancipation. Brightly colored PVC made an appeal to younger women. Rising hemlines also allowed women to wear longer boots, thus allowing them to show off their long legs without baring too much skin.
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In the 1970s, platform-soled boots were widely popular and started to become a mainstream fashion staple for women. The earlier part of this decade was a time for tight fitting, black, vinyl boots. but by the late ‘70s women found it more comfortable to wear mid-calf boots often layered with socks or tights. Biker boots, combat boots, and cowboy boots became a trend in place of towering thigh-high boots.
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1980s to 1990s
The decline of the popularity of the high legged boots in the 1980s gave way to a more laid back counterpart. Ankle boots became a hit for women and were often worn in different styles and for different occasions. As the fashion scene become more vibrant and women were beginning to be more experimental with what they wore and how they looked, so went the shoes and accessories they wore.
Julia Roberts, in her movie Pretty Woman, donned a black over the knee vinyl boot which earned her great fame during the ‘90s. Popular fashion designers such as Versace and other popular labels released their fall/winter collection of fashion boots, and soon Vogue declared 1993 as “the year of the boot”. The explosion of dance clubs also affected the popularity of thigh-high, wedge-heeled boots that until then were closely related to hookers and strippers.
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The new millennium prompted a lot of changes in style and fashion when it comes to footwear in general. The technology as well as the availability of more lightweight, cheaper materials created a way to create more fashionable and wider variations of boots. Buckles, zippers, and chains also became common accessories to different boots, appealing to fashion-forward ladies. Celebrities and performers are often seen wearing high-legged boots at their concerts, or chic and cute ankle boots on the red carpet.
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With all the things and transformations that fashion boots went through, it only proves that boots in all lengths and styles are here to stay. We can think of dozens of possibilities for the future of this popular footwear, but we are definitely sure that it can only get better. The quality, style, character, and variety of boots, may it be ankle boots, mid-calf, or even over the knee high, shows everything men love about women.
Scarlett Lee Rios, from Fullerton, California, is a fashion writer and blogger for Makemechic.com, where you can buy a wide variety of women's fashion clothing, shoes, boots like ankle boots, and accessories at affordable prices. She is also doing part-time modeling for almost four years now. Follow her @scarlettleerios.