But yes, here I am again posting about boots. Those of you who do not share my enthusiasm for completely exhausting a boot genre do not have to suffer through these posts--I have so much fun critically evaluating heel style and toe shape and material of buckles in determining which of the boots out there in the great wide world of fashion might be valuable assets to my idealized Real World Steampunk wardrobe. There are so many great boots out there, it is taking me way longer than I expected to sort through them all! I am really noticing in particular how many more Steampunky boots there are this season than last--a fashion trend I can really get into. (ba dum bum!
And the searching is not just academic either; I need a pair of black boots for this winter. But I am having a very hard time choosing a pair, partly because I don't yet know what I want.
For example, I do not know whether or not I care about them being waterproof. But if I decide to go that route, I believe I have well exhausted the steampunky waterproof winter boot category for now, so at least know what my options will be.
I am also undecided about how dressy I want them to be; I have some skirts that would look best with a slightly dressier, Victorian-esque, low-heeled boot, but really need a comfortable boot I can pull on for just running out and about on any given day of the week. So heel, no heel, tread, no tread?
I also don't know if I should go with a tall boot or a short boot. If I only end up with one black boot in my closet, it should go with my dressier church outfits, and tall is fine for that--but tall might not be as practical for every day. . . .
I do know I want real leather. I do know I want them to be comfortable, practical, and cute. And I do know I would rather have several pairs of boots taking up the valuable real-estate in my tiny closet than try to make one boot accomplish too many things and end up not really succeeding at any of them. As an example, I was trying so hard to have one pair of boots that was leather, waterproof, was great for errands around town but also dressy enough to wear to church, that went with everything in my wardrobe from jeans to skirts to leggings. . . and that would be even a little steampunk too. I tried a great pair of boots, but they ended up a disappointment. They were practical, but frankly weren't steamy enough, and I knew if I would regret not getting a pair of boots that made me smile.
I'm facing it--I want my boots as steampunky as possible. As I discussed in my last "Sunday Pseudo Steam" post, I have learned that when making a subtly steampunk "Real World" look, you must make every element count, if you can. You need an overall thematic cohesion, or the end result is just not Steamy enough to call itself by that name.
So! (rubbing hands together gleefully) Let's look at more boots!
Lovely little pair of booties--now something like these would be an option for my dressy needs. And they would not take up as much room in the closet, so that would be a big bonus.
Clarks Media Blitz
I really like this boot, which I have posted about before in the brown, but have a feeling the heel is just too high for me. I also think this boot--and many of the others in this post--prove that the tone of the metal buckles is a subtle but important element to consider in a potentially steampunk boot. Most boot makers put warm-toned metals with their brown leather boots, and cool-toned metals with their black. But the warm-toned metals--copper, bronze, and esp. brass--are so much more quintessentially Steampunk. The exact same boot can have a very different feel in its warm and cool versions, and I have found is it really hard to find a black leather boot that looks more steampunk than it does biker, pirate or S&M.
I found quite a few Kickers brand boots that were great fodder for steampunk. These have a great military feel, if a little too much Revolutionary-era Redcoat.
Again, nice "button" detail, and some nice stitching detail. If you are going to have a silver-toned metal detail, it is best not to be super shiny modern--at least if it is antiqued in finish, it will be so much more steampunk. These are probably my favorite if you are going for a more Western themed steampunk look.
Kickers Georges 2
So uncommon to find coppery hues with black leather!
Ted Baker Idrra
Basic vintage look--but again with a hint of the warm metal and attractive stitching detail. I also like how the leather appears to be slightly aged, and this is a deep grey not a true black.
Eric Michael Valerie
These are unusual, and I almost did not post them because in themselves they are not at all Victorian-esque or typically steampunk (no buckles, no straps, etc.); but I liked the folded cuff, and the button stitching has a lovely playful yet slightly Goth feel--and reminds me of Coraline.
Nine West Cornflower
Again, I have featured this same boot in brown, and the black just has such a different feel to it. Still, those three buckles/straps are attractive, and they don't quite fall into the biker/pirate/s&m quandry, so they are an option.
Another aged charcoal boot, with some nice shaping along the toe and heel.
This one is way more on the punk end of the steampunk spectrum--these are combat skin-kickers for sure. But again, very much like the warm metal grommets and buckles! And they manage to have a historical sensibility that I like. A steampunk girl playing with the tough and girlie mash-up could really put these to good (hopefully non-violent) use.
Another pair I previously featured in brown. These I somehow like almost better in the black than the brown. I think the contrasting textures of shiny and matte leathers is appealing, and it looks as if the buckles are slightly matte too, which is good.
Lisa for Donald Pliner Adait
These are clearly leaning more into the biker category--but look at how the antique brass buckles so drastically change their potential. Their height and the interesting cut along the top of the boot also lend a slightly military feel, which is good for steampunk.
The buckle detail on these is so cute. But the foot of the boot is just too boring for me.
Vintage Shoe Company Bastrop
These boots I absolutely love in the brown--so so steamy! They are even more beautiful in person. But I do like the black too, and am seriously considering these for my black boots. I like how the company avoided the whole metal-tone-instantly-classifying-the-boot problem by making the metal parts black. Very subtle, and would go with everything. Beautiful workmanship, and made in the US. My only hesitation is that I look better with a very slightly taller heel. . . .
Bordering more towards the s&m. . . but a steampunk boot can never have too many buckles, and I like the distressed tones at the toe and heel.
Diba Mall Patrol
I can't stand the name of this boot--way to degrade your product by association with clueless teenage herd-mentality fashion. But I really like these boots--such an original shape, almost a little Star Wars flair going on, and as always I find the dark charcoal lends to a steampunk feel often better than a true black would.
Creative Recreation Reina
These are very cute at the top, esp. with the little storage purse reminiscent of the bags many steampunks wear on their belts; but there is something about the bottom angle of the leather meeting the suede that I don't like--I think it reminds me of the line of a duck boot. The zipper at the back is aesthetically pleasing, but I have also heard that it can be uncomfortable.
Annie Button Up
This pair is definitely dressy, but the black buttons are so subtle and sophisticated. The heel is not my favorite for steampunk, but the overall military elegance of this boot makes up for it. Likely not as versatile as what I would need, but a potentially nice addition to some steampunk wardrobe out there.
Many more black boots to share with you later this week. As always, I welcome comments, and would so appreciate hearing your great boot finds!