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


  1. WARNING: To reboot the computer is not to kick it again.

    The German WW2 TV series "Das Boot" is about a U-boat, not a jackboot.

  2. Hello.
    Fascinating! But I don't know the answers to your questions

  3. Hi J.P. I love boots as well. I enjoyed reading your blog! I would someday like to have a blog looking as professional as yours. Thanks for the invite.

    This is awesome!


  4. Hi Joan:

    You are a wealth of information & I love trivia.
    I believe you are referring to Nancy Sinatra and Mark Twain for the quotes.

    Janice Lane Palko

  5. Hi Janice, you're right on one score, but I better not give the answers away just yet. Thanks!!

  6. Splendid topic for a cold, wet January. My own memories of boots are not as pleasant as yours: combat boots (nothing pleasant there); galoshes that my mother made me wear for a footrace in gradeschool. There are no boots appropriate for any sort of field sport. To answer your question about engineer boots, they are black pull-ups with a strap in the back for that purpose and another strap with a small buckle over the top of the arch, square toes and are probably what you refer to as 'motorcycle cop boots'.
    What,do you suppose, is the origin of the term, 'booty', as in buried treasure or "Shake your booty."?

  7. Boots are so much fun. They are quite versatile, from the catwalk to the farm yard...lol.
    I love my GoGo boots - fabulous colours !

  8. My favourite boots were a pair of white, lace-up fashion boots in the 70s that I bought from a catalogue when I was a teenager. Those boots drew so many admiring stares i was always proud to wear them but the best part was lacing them up over the hooks - the faster the better!
    I have passed on the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award to you JP, Hope you can accept it! :-)