My wife has a pair of boots she calls her "gig boots" that got that name because they have managed to be comfortable and reliable for over a decade, no matter how many crappy concerts she has stood around at. Recently the zipper broke on one of them and I took it in to get it repaired. The cobbler was of the opinion that I was wasting $40 by getting them fixed, and I told him that he didn't understand goths and a great pair of boots.
Every goth has that one pair -- the one that is not only fashionable enough to complement almost any outfit, but also allow you to fight, run, walk, and dance should any of those actions be required. Finding that perfect pair of boots is part of the gothic spirit quest... along with learning that whiteface needs prudence and vodka is wonderful. So this week I thought I'd check in on mein Gothic Council about the importance of boots.
Joining us this week is Hex of the band Culture Decayed, author of the Encyclopedia Gothica Liisa Ladouceur, DJs Martin Oldgoth and Regen Robinson, Niki Marshal of the Braggart Family Side Circus, and founder of the Age of Decay Festival Alethea Carr.
Hex: They're durable and in general look great with most wardrobe pieces, I own a pair of black winklepickers (three buckle) that are great for just about anything, I assume they're a mod throwback.
Liisa Ladouceur: Boots are more fierce than high heels, and every goth girl should have a a favorite pair for dancing. I still remember saving to buy my first pair of skull-buckle boots from the shop on Queen Street West run by skinheads (which is now a Starbucks I think), how slippery the smooth soles were on the dance floor, how the buckles jingled when you walked, how the oh so pointy toe required careful climbing of stairs.
I've had my 18-hole Doc phase and my army-surplus police-boot phase and my suede granny boot phase but am now firmly in my John Fluevog phase. The Canadian shoemaker usually has at least one gorgeously gothic design each season. Not cheap, but they are so beautiful, and so beautifully made that they will last for years and years. It's a luxury I'm treating myself to in my ElderGoth years. I feel fierce when I wear them and I get a lot of "nice boots".....and not just the goth pick-up line.
Jef With One F: Note to non-goth readers. "Nice boots! Wanna fuck?" is a traditional gothic greeting and invitation for coitus.
Martin Oldgoth: I own a pair of pointy-buckle boots I bought in the late '80s for about £30 and I can't throw them away, I've had brand-new soles and heels on them a few times, they leak, they hurt my feet as the insides gave way years ago, but they have history, they've been places that no longer exist, with people that sadly also no longer exist. They are like leather jackets -- they are part of who you are.
Alethea Carr: Oh, I love boots so much. They go with everything, they're quintessentially goth, and nothing says 'tough girl' like a skirt and combat boots. Come to think of it, men in skirts and combat boots are pretty sexy as well! I have danced through too many pairs of boots -- and made repairs again and again -- to count them all.
At one point, my favorite pair had the heels held on with super glue and a safety pin in place of the zipper's tab. Age and achy pains limit the kinds of boots I can wear nowadays, so I'm just doing combat boots. But nothing beats them for durability, water-resistance, and style!
Niki Marshall: I've had a couple of pairs that have come and sadly gone. My very first pair was a pair of 14-hole Doc Martens purchased for me by my parents at Timeless Taffeta when I was 15. They were a size too big, but I didn't care. I wore them with pride until I had to part with them in my late twenties.
My second pair was a gorgeous pair of platform ankle boots with buckles and black satin ribbons. They went with everything. They bit the dust after eight years of loyal service. I have yet to find my next pair, but they have a lot to live up to.
True facts. Big boots keep the beer germies at bay. They also serve as weapons when the mood strikes.
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Regen Robinson: I think goths love their boots because it becomes such an integral part of the wardrobe. I mean, I think wore mine 90 percent of the times I went out they just became part of me. I also loved my boots because the club I went to (Detroit's City Club) was pretty dark and dirty, so with my platform boots on as long as what I was stepping in wasn't over six inches deep all was good.