Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Goth footwear

Today, I am wearing my new hat, which makes me full of teh happy. =D Also, an acquaintance of mine was on TV! Check out this clip from Whitby Gothic Weekend on The One Show - the rainbow faerie lady at 0:45 and 2:17 is named Izzy, and I met her at DV8 Fest. ^^

My topic for today is Goth footwear, which really I should have talked about long ago when I first started waffling on about Goth fashion basics and how to begin creating your own Goth look. As you've probably noticed from a) the pics on this site, b) pics on the rest of the internets and c) your friendly neighbourhood Gothlings, it's rare to see a Goth without a ridiculously cool pair of boots.

Source: We Heart It
However, whilst boots are the standard footwear for Gothy types, there is a huge variety of styles available to suit the discerning darkling. Platforms; stilettos; chunky heels; thigh-high; ankle boots; pointy toes; skull buckles; bat buckles; lace-up; velvet; leather; PVC... the options are endless. But boots are not the only footwear that can be used for your darkly decadent ensembles - Mary-Janes, courts, creepers, ballet flats, shoe boots, Converse-style sneakers and even *gasp* sandals (Adora Batbrat seems fond of sandals) can be teamed with many of the outfits in a Goth's wardrobe to finish off the look.

Gothy boots don't have to be black; but if you're just starting out in the world of dark fashion it may be wise to invest in a black pair so you know you will have something to go with everything.

There are dozens of brands providing ubercool stompy footwear to the black-clad masses. Some of the most famous and most commonly seen include Demonia (and its sister brand Pleaser), who produce the sexiest footwear around in a variety of colours, ranging from black to white to hot pink. Demonia's platform boots are infamous; certain styles have detachable parts and accessories that can be swapped and mix-and-matched to change the appearance of the boots from day to day. Demonia and Pleaser also create a wide variety of fetish-inspired styles - if you want it in PVC, with spikes, or just a wickedly high heel, this is the brand for you.

New Rocks are currently enjoying great popularity amongst alternative subcultures - the prices are high but the footwear is very hard-wearing as well as being utterly gorgeous. They are definitely an investment. New Rocks are have some of the most 'macho' styles available, with flames, chains, skulls and spikes. They are also famous for producing some of the most RIDICULOUSLY high platforms you will ever see.

Underground England produce a fabulous range of baseball boots and creepers - ideal for casual wear. Their canvas boots are very comfortable and could be described as 'Converse for non-conformists'. Patterns such as spiderwebs, skulls and tartan are incorporated into many of their designs.

Mad Fish supply vegan Goth and punk footwear and are one of the most affordable ranges. A lot of their boots are similar in style and appearance to New Rocks, perhaps a cheaper alternative for the Goth on a budget.

Websites stocking the above brands and many more can always be found with a quick Google search.

One of the common fears of a newbie Goth is shelling out hundreds of pounds to get a decent pair of boots; but look, we can't all afford spiffy New Rocks or the latest Demonia Transmuters, and it's not too difficult to put together a perfectly nice Goth look with footwear from the high street. A pair of basic (or not so basic) black boots can be found in shops like ShoeZone, Peacocks (I have two or three pairs from Peacocks and at least one from ShoeZone), or your local army surplus. For courts, heels, and other varieties of shoe New Look is often a fairly safe bet, and reasonably cheap.

Charity shops can often be very helpful - I have two pairs of second-hand New Rocks, and a pair of velvet pointy-toed pixie boots that I found in a charity shop. Just make sure to try them on and inspect them thoroughly first - they may need re-heeling, re-soling or a thorough clean to make them look as good as new.

If you're a picky darkling who doesn't fancy high street OR brand name footwear, try eBay and Etsy to track down little-known alternative brands and independent sellers - just be sure to check sizes carefully and make sure you buy from reputable traders.

Remember, pumps, flats and plain boots can always be jazzed up to suit your personal aesthetic with a little DIY. Change the shoelaces; add spikes; paint designs onto them; even spray with glitter (I have a pair of steel-toed combats that I am going to cover with rainbow glitter and give pink shoelaces ^^). You don't have to spend a fortune to have a perfect pair of Gothtastic footwear... ;-)
Me today - Veil of Vision shades and latest charity shop find (my hat)
Listening to: Spectra Murder Show (embryo version) - Spectra*Paris (click here for free download!)


Chloris said...

Hello from Canada! Amy, I adore your site - it has been a godsend to a curious Goth-wannabe like me :)

I'm just starting down the Gothy fashion path (I'm a latecomer to the scene, adult-onset Goth) and finding shoes that are age-appropriate and won't kill me (I have funny-shaped feet, so many Goth-beloved styles are out for me) is turning out to be quite the challenge! I'm struggling to find a source of acceptably elegant darkling footwear. Thanks for listing some sites - I'm going to check those out posthaste!

Magnolia said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing!

ultimategothguide said...

@ Chloris - hello, welcome, and thank you very much! ^^

When I read your comment I immediately thought of Fluevog - the brand produces many Goth-friendly styles and is beloved by Jillian Venters of Gothic Charm School. By all accounts Fluevogs are also very comfortable. The downside is that they can be a little pricey...

Emily Lynn G. said...

I live on sea level and I *just* bought my self flip flops- black sparkly straps with Hello Kitty charms<3 But yeah, i have some real shoe issues because very nice authentic ones are so freaking expensive :(

DuskRose_Dreaming said...

Some day I fully expect to have a dazzling array of gothy boots...but alas, today is not that day. I shall check out the sites you mentioned, and regardless of however soon (or not) I may acquire more boots, I certainly enjoyed reading your post about one of my favorite pieces of a goth wardrobe. ^-^

Shiken said...

If you're a picky darkling who doesn't fancy high street OR brand name footwear, try eBay and Etsy to track down little-known alternative brands and independent sellers -

If it wasn't for second hand sites such as Ebay my CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, Video Game, New Rocks, Goth Attire collection would be pocket size.

On the subject of alternative foot wear, why has everyone started wearing Doc's? I feel sorry for the Punks but not as sorry as when my Mum and Nan start to wear New Rocks instead.

Amunicia said...

Don't forget Pennangalan! I've bought a pair of platform heels and a pair of platform boots from them and while they can be abit pricey, their stuff's really well made and lasts for ages.

Also, they usually have vegetarian options for their shoes and boots. :)

Lightning Strikes said...

I think, you forgot some things to mention:

NewRocks were handmade in Spain - this explains the comfort and the durability and ... the price.

If one wants to go for a festival like WGT, it is very helpful to rely on very comfy boots. If not, one will take part at the ugly-footwear-monday, when those with achy feet will change to Flip-Flops, ugly Trainers or Birkenstocks *rollingeyes*. I recommend to wear NewRocks, Shelly Rangers (or Combats) or Doc Martens (which will go great with rivet-head style). Don't forget, you will be on your feet, walking, changing locations, dancing, jumping, standing; from breakfast up to five or six in the morning, Friday to Monday.

Anonymous said...

Im canadian aswell and finding gothic footwear is very very hard to find in the area i live in. Conisdering where I live they don`t really sell anything that is not in the mainstreams veiw

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you haven't mentioned Doc Martens anywhere in your article Amy! They were a staple loved by punks and other alternatives. Sadly you don't see them as often these days. I'm enjoying following your blog and look forward to more interesting posts and articles. ^_^

Anonymous said...

Amy, have you ever pulled off the flip-flop or sandal look with your wardrobe? I'm curious because the only thing that I have ever seen is the bog standard black boot look, or sometimes the black converse shoe look. Most of my gothy friends only do flip-flops or sandals around the home or while taking a break, so to speak. Adora Batbrat's photos are very interesting and very good looking. The look can be done, but I don't see it very often. Just wondering if you have personally ever did it, and if you did, it would make for a nice picspam to help shatter the myth that goths can only do boots or converse shoes.

Anonymous said...

I need gothy shoes that are good looking, affordable, and good to run in, any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Shoe Dept. has some pretty good shoes. My sister got me a pair of boots from there. They're pretty comfortable and have some cool-looking buckles and laces. They were about 30 bucks.

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