Rough boots take an interesting place in the history of fashion: perhaps nothing appears on the catwalks as often as simple black shoes with massive soles and often lace-ups. Talking about its relevance is somewhat strange: fashion magazines annually proclaim them the "main purchase of the season", although it seems that there is no doubt for a long time that the situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. We decided to figure out how rough shoes got into our wardrobe and why they are likely to stay with us for a long time.
Text: Anna Eliseeva
How it all started
It is not hard to guess that massive boots came to our everyday wardrobe from the uniform of the military. Until now, we can see police officers, special forces and representatives of other similar professions in leather lace-up ankle boots. Variations of these have been worn over the centuries by the armies of different countries, improving the design as far as possible (they added buckles, spikes on the sole, etc.). At the beginning of the 20th century, for example, the American military needed waterproof shoes, and therefore the boots acquired thick soles, which made them heavier - the soldiers even called them "small tanks". By the way, it was only in the 50s that army boots (at least in the USA) began to be made black - that is, the way they are most often produced today.
It is also worth mentioning how Dr. Martens is the darling of everyone who has ever belonged to musical subcultures. In 1945, German military doctor Klaus Mertens was skiing in the Bavarian Alps and injured his ankle. It turned out that army shoes are completely uncomfortable for an injured leg, and therefore he created a prototype of boots made of soft leather and with a light sole made of tires that would be comfortable in. Later, the development of Mertens was appreciated by his university friend Herbert Funk, and together they opened a business - lightweight and durable shoes gained great popularity, oddly enough, among housewives (women accounted for most of the sales in the early years). In the 50s, Mertens and Funk sold a patent for production in Great Britain, and there their shoes were held in high esteem by a large circle of people - they were worn by workers, police officers, postmen and others.
In the 60s, army boots began to penetrate into everyday wardrobe - we are talking mainly about representatives of the low-income strata of the population who wore their work shoes in everyday life. There is also a "dark side" of history for rough boots. For example, boots with lacing and thick soles became especially loved by skinheads, whose movement originated in those years in Great Britain, and then adherents of other subcultures (including not the most peaceful ones) drew attention to them. Later, more and more people, music lovers, began to wear rough boots - in the 80s, boots were also loved by US residents who attended concerts or heard about musicians of the alternative scene like The Clash and The Smiths. Goths and representatives of the "new wave" over time began to prefer even more massive shoes - on a platform, with a weighty round toe, often supplemented with all sorts of details. Such weighty boots visually have much more intimidation and dark spirit than anything else.
Nevertheless, in the 90s, army or just rough boots have become a completely familiar part of the wardrobe of many people. Although those who did not recognize "mass fashion" remained faithful to this shoe: remember the cartoon "Daria", in which the main characters wear high lace-up shoes (not a real, but illustrative example); or the movie "Shop" Empire ", which tells about a chamber music store - one of its workers, played by Liv Tyler, wears classic army boots. Among the stars of the 90s who grew up on alternative or simply rebellious music, it is easy to find those who also wore such shoes: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Winona Ryder, Kate Winslet and many others.
Rough boots today
Did rough boots go out of fashion? Hardly. In the 2000s, they were not the most popular footwear, but they were definitely not forgotten. Then, throughout the 2010s, designers regularly returned combat boots to the catwalks, inventing new sock shapes, soles, details and colors. And glossy publications from season to season call them "the most relevant" or "the most desired purchase."
So, in 2016, Valentino showed almost classic army shoes, supplementing them with buckles and laces with contrasting threads, in 2017 Altuzarra presented a variation of high boots with lace-ups in the spirit of the ready, and in 2018 Michael Kors flirted with an army theme, painting one of couples in autumn collection in camouflage pattern. There are several examples in each season.
But perhaps the biggest influence on the renewed interest in chunky shoes came from Bottega Veneta and Prada. The bottega show in the winter of 2019 made a splash, among other things, because of the incredibly powerful shoes, the design of which was later taken as a basis by many, many brands (the designer Daniel Lee, who debuted at the time in the fashion house, seemed to be loved by everyone). In the same marathon of fashion weeks, Prada showed another variation of massive boots (the brand is generally known for its love for such boots), which were complemented by a large tractor sole and patch pockets. The model killed many birds with one stone: it paid tribute to the military, who once lacked all-terrain shoes, and embodied the gothic spirit, and showed how the classics can be made ultramodern. Spectacular chunky boots were then in the Alexander McQueen collection - another model that is easy to present at today's and future shows.
Influencers also contributed to the popularity of this shoe: models like Bella and Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Haley Bieber, Kendall Jenner and many others have appeared in public in massive boots for several years. If it seems to you that after such a splash of images, interest in massive boots will quickly disappear, then we dare to assure you that these shoes are an exception to the rule: in 2021, American Vogue will release a selection of street style shots in which people of different genders are wearing the same " bottegs "," martins "and their variations.
Is it any wonder: coarse boots really fit into the wardrobe of any season, and finding them an equally indestructible and versatile alternative is not easy. And if popular hiking shoes are often not the most convenient option for the city, and clarks are not the most practical in inclement weather, then rough boots can cover almost any need. And it is not difficult to warm up interest in them: the designers take the same styles as a basis, but experiment with details, the shape of the sole and the sizes, at the end they get something unusual and fresh. At the same time, the value of any rough boots increases again.
Where can I buy
Vagabond, €160 Bershka, with a discount of 3499 rubles. Dr. Martens, 20 642 rub. Ganni, €395 Zara, 4999 rub.
PHOTOS: Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, bershka, wikimedia (CC0)