Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Most Expensive Boots In The World

I was about to take a trek through the history of boots when I stumbled upon an article in Forbes Magazine that stopped me in my tracks. The article is entitled “The Most Expensive Cowboy Boots” (see link below).The paragraph that really jumped out at me was this one: “Tres Outlaws in El Paso, Texas, once clocked a customer for $75,000 for a pair whose mind-boggling design traced the history of Mexico, including $18,000 worth of gold and silver coins from various historical eras. The design alone took 100 hours, the hand-carving another 300 hours and the color and dye work an additional 200 hours. As pricey as those boots were, Tres Outlaws has another pair on order that will run even higher.” Even higher? I don’t know about you, readers, but I doubt I’d cash in my life savings to be that well shod, though there’s obviously a market for thoroughbred boots.

The Forbes article put me on a whole new track, which led to a story about football fans doling out tens of thousands of pounds for three pairs of match-worn boots belonging to soccer stars Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and John Terry. According to footy-boots.com, Ferdinand planned to auction them to raise funds for his charity the Live Dream Foundation. For the occasion, John Terry’s Umbro Speciali’s were embellished with 2,374 jewels, including 27 carat of white diamonds, 11 carat of sapphires and 84 black diamonds. Not to be outshone, Wayne Rooney’s Nike Total 90 Laser II’s sported 2,576 gems with more than 10 carat of white diamonds and 31 carat of black diamonds. Ferdinand’s boots were in the same league – 2,494 stones, gold-tipped laces and spray paint graffiti by no less than film producer and former musician, Goldie. As it turned out, the boots didn’t fetch the estimated price. Rooney’s sold for £18,000, Terry’s for £20,000 and Ferdinand’s for £22,000.

Wayne Rooney’s Nike Total 90 Laser II’s
Manolo Blahnik Alligator Boot
The sky seems to be the limit when it comes to men's boots. What about women’s boots then? The priciest pair I found are by Manolo Blahnik (who else?) and made of alligator skin, finest alligator skin, I should point out. This fashion discovery shattered any remaining hope of historical research for this post as off I went in search of other designer boots to see how much they cost. I confess I got sidetracked when I came upon a pair of Gucci woven leather boots on Net A Porte - and a sensational ocelot bootie by Alexander McQueen. As you can see from the pictures below, I took a detour from price and eventually ended up focusing on style.

Gucci's woven leather boot  $3,750

Alexander McQueen's ocelot bootie $1,695

No Price Tag
No Price Tag

No Price Tag
No Price Tag


I'll be back mid-February with
the next post. See you then.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

These boots were made for...

I love boots. I’ve always loved boots. I have memories associated with boots. A pair of black, knee-high boots played a starring role in of one of the most memorable evenings of my life. Don’t ask, because I’m not about to tell, not at this time anyway. Perhaps I’ll write a short story about that event one day.

My favorite pair of boots ever was a pair of bejeweled Gianni Versace evening boots that were way too rich for my pocket. Try as I did, I couldn’t locate a photo of them for this post. Having given up on finding the Versace boots, I set out to gather as much information as I could to share with you. What I unearthed is endless… hip boots, knee-high boots, thigh-length boots, wedge boots, chap boots, moccasins, desert boots, dress boots, cowboy boots, go-go boots and granny boots, not to mention fashion boots of every sort. Then there are Wellingtons, Russian boots, Chelsea boots, engineer boots (what are those exactly?) harness boots, hiking boots, motocross boots, mountain boots and motorcycle cop boots. The list continues with mountaineering boots, racing boots, ski boots, snowboard boots, snow boots, touring boots and wetsuit boots, in addition to combat boots, hobnail boots, jungle boots, logger boots, Galoshes, logger boots, steel-toe boots, hip-length wading boots for fishermen, and riding boots, which are not to be confused with jodhpur boots. For brevity’s sake, or at least some attempt at brevity, I haven’t named them all here.

Needless to say, boots have been around for centuries. How many centuries is the question. An article in The Daily Mail about a boot that’s 5,500 years old may provide an answer. "Created more than 5,500 years ago at the dawn of civilization, this perfectly preserved brown leather lace-up is the oldest shoe in the world."
Shown below is the runner-up on my list of ancient wonders of the world of footwear - a pair of Oxhide boots from Loulan, Xinjiang, China dating back to the Former Han dynasty, 220 BCE. If you ever visit China, you’ll find them on display at the National Museum in Beijing. I think they’re worth a visit to the museum, don’t you? Second runner-up are the terracotta boots (below right) from the early geometric period, which were used for the cremation burial of a woman in 900 BCE. At Ancient Agora Museum in Athens.
Source: Wikipedia  
 Source: Wikipedia  

I've just barely scratched the surface of the subject, so I’ll be back with more about boots at the end of the month. Until then, how about a short quiz? If you know the answers, please post them in comments.

Who said the following?
a)     I didn't just want to be Frank's daughter who sang Boots.
b)      A lie travels around the world while truth is putting on her boots.

What is the origin of the term bootlegger?

Boots appear in a lot of idioms. Here are some. If you know others, please share. The more, the merrier.
To give someone the boot
The boot is on the other foot now
To put the boot in

And for the fun of it, a trip back in time to 1966