<i>Boots and Footnotes for My Sole Sisters </i>


BOOTING UP: Amber Hoke, a Macy’s Sales Associate and student at Tulsa Community College, predicts these cranberry Steve Madden “slouch??? boots will be a big seller this holiday season.

The one hit song that I have tremendous gratitude for is “Boots,” because it has a life of its own. It’s like being identified with a brand name.
– Nancy Sinatra, Pop Singer “These Boots Are Made for Walkin”

Change may be on its way next year with the inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama, but as for now, on the fashion scene, we can pretty much be content to “reboot.” If you own a pair of boots or two, as all of us surely do, you are pretty much set to hit the ground running this fall. Everything “soled” is new again.

Style statements from the 1960’s are back. Fashion footwear from “flower power” and go-go dancers in gilded cages rule. Vinyl and patent leather boots were born of fashion necessity when hemlines got shorter. Stiletto heels from the film noir era faded to black as teenagers danced the night away in flat and short-heeled boots.

In 1966 Nancy Sinatra shot up the American and British music charts with her Number One hit, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin.” She may have filmed the first music video as well. Papa Frank was very proud.

In 2005 Jessica Simpson presented a hip and “hippier” version of “Boots” in her remake of “Dukes of Hazard” in a pair of red cowboy boots. She also capitalized on the boot craze with her own moderately priced line of footwear. (You can check out both versions of the “Boots” video on the Internet.)

Jane Fonda put her long legs in thigh-high black stiletto-heeled boots (which were only calf-high on her) for the 1968 space fantasy, “Barbarella.” True to form, a remake is in the works, starring Rose McGowan, which is scheduled for release in 2009. McGowan appears to be rather petite; however, she could possibly recycle Jane’s boots with a bit of “slouching,” which brings us, dear sole sisters, full circle.

In a recent effort to stimulate the economy I stumbled upon the women’s shoe department at Macy’s in the Promenade. Sales Associate Amber Hoke pointed out a variety of slouch boots and predicted they would be top sellers this fall. Another shoe-in is Croc’s Nadia boot. In a beauty contest she would win Ms. Congeniality. What you will find most attractive is the light weight on your feet and in your wallet.

At the other end of the mall at Dillard’s I found a wonderful selection of sheep-skin Ugg boots that, rest assured, will not be there a month from now. I love the classic short boot, which can be worn comfortably under or over jeans and sweats. The insoles can be washed or replaced.

A pair of Italian leather boots from L.A.M.B., D & C, Calvin Klein, etc., will run about $500 to $1,000. If the price is too steep, examine what you really like about them and find a “knock-off” from Nine West or Josef Pliner. As I researched this column I discovered that “peep-toe” boots will be trendy this year. I couldn’t find anyone selling them yet. I asked Ms. Hoke at Macy’s when they would be getting them in stock. “Probably never,” she answered. “Why not?” I asked. “The weather,” she smiled. “Duh,” I replied, like the Valley Girl I was back in the 20th century-when I was a girl. I guess that’s why they only appear to be catching on in California with sun-drenched Gen Y-ers like “High School Musical’s” Ashley Tisdale and “Gossip Girl’s” Taylor Momsen. Steve Madden’s “Bombb” is the bomb. Check it out at www.zappos.com. I can’t image a true fashionista letting a little frostbite come between her toes.

Card-carrying members of PETA might want to get in touch with the folks at Vegetarian Shoes (www.vegetarian-shoes.co.uk). Founded in 1990, the cruelty-free footwear is manufactured in one of the oldest shoe-making factories in England, established in 1881. If I were Mary-Kate Olsen’s personal stylist, I would pick the “mod” Airseal Engineer’s Boot described by shopgirl Laura as giving “a funky steam-punk vibe.” Stella McCartney, designer daughter of Beatles’ Paul McCartney, offers the Salju boot by Adidas, which is also animal-free and more couture for sure with an incredibly stylish look and lots of details at $244. I picture Jennifer Aniston in these. I picture me in them, too.

One way or another our feet will be warmed and adorned this winter, but the children at the Laura Dester Shelter could use our help. They have been separated from their parents for reasons of abuse and neglect and are in emergency foster care. Older children are usually there for longer periods. New athletic shoes in women’s sizes for pre-teens and teenage girls are especially needed. For more information call Ashley Peth at 560-4803. It’s a step in the right direction.

Ciao for now.

Updated 12-08-2008

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