In this article from shahpar, we have a continuation of the history of fashion boots.
1970s and 1980s
Although fashion boots and particularly ‘go-go boots’ are often described as ‘typical’ of 1960s fashion, it wasn’t until the 1970s that boots became a mainstream fashion staple for women; for many women in the 1960s, boots were seen as “a superfluous accessory” more suitable for teenagers and college girls than a grown woman while, in 1968, 75% of office managers surveyed by The New York Times disapproved of their female staff wearing boots to work. By contrast, in 1977, boots made up 20 percent of all women’s shoe sales in the United States and the end of the decade saw fashion boots occupying multiple pages of mainstream mail-order catalogs by companies such as Sears, Wards, and Kays.
The early 70s were typified by tight-fitting, vinyl boots rising to the knee or higher. These sometimes had mock lacing on the front and zipped up at the rear; they could be worn under the new maxi dresses, which had slits in them to show the leg. An even higher combination was the Pan-T-Boot, a single garment combining stretch tights with boots. In summer, pale, high-legged boots in printed or open weave fabric were teamed with summery dresses; these often had extensive cut-outs, so that they were more like high-legged sandals than conventional boots. Platform-soled styles were also popular. The multi-colored suede and canvas over-the-knee boots produced by the London store Biba were so sought-after that queues would form outside the store when a delivery was due.By the late 1970s, form-fitting, shaped-leg boots were being replaced with straight-legged designs, frequently worn over jeans or other pants, which were often pulled-on rather than zip-fastened. As well as high-heeled dress boots, more rugged designs, by companies such as Frye, were widely worn. The end of the decade saw a growth in popularity of shorter, calf-length boots, often worn layered with socks and tights, and a revival of interest in over-the-knee and thigh-length boots, which were popularized by punk and new wave performers such as Blondie’s Debbie Harry.
In contrast to the preceding decade, the 1980s saw a sharp decline in the popularity of high-legged boots. Instead, ankle boots in a variety of styles were particularly popular, as were low-heeled, calf-length, pull-on styles.Knee length boots, if worn at all, tended to be low-heeled, pull-on styles, sometimes referred to as “riding boots,” that were combined with long skirts. In the late 1980s, over-the-knee boots made a reappearance; these were loose-fitting, low-heeled styles in suede, often brightly colored or decorated with brocade. In 1990, Karl Lagerfeld included thigh-length satin boots in his Fall/Winter Couture collection for Chanel, using the boots as an alternative to leggings, but it was not until the following decade that the inherent elegance of classic dress boot styles was rediscovered.
The early 1990s saw an explosion in dance club culture and its associated fashions, many of which looked back to the 1960s for inspiration, as well as drawing on fetish-themed elements. Knee-length go-go boots, platform-soled boots, and even thigh-length PVC boots were worn by clubbers, but although some designers flirted with these styles of footwear (e.g. Gianni Versace) mainstream take-up was limited. Nonetheless, by 1993 boots were popular enough for Vogue to declare that it was “The Year of the Boot”, with a wide range of styles from ankle-length to over-the-knee, designed to be worn at any time and with any hem length. Knee-length boots became commonplace again, initially as lace-up styles which were subsequently replaced by zip-fastened boots in the second half of the decade. In 1995, Versace’s Fall/Winter collection featured slim-fitting, spike heeled boots, rising to just below the knee, which were a precursor of the commonest style of dress boot for the next 10 years. Just as boots in the 1960s were seen as an antidote to the femininity of the ‘New Look’, this early nineties resurgence was linked to the development of lighter, more feminine clothing styles that were contrasted and complemented by wearing boots.
By the turn of the 21st century (2000–2007 and 2017-2018) and fashion boots in a variety of styles were back to the same level of ubiquity that they had enjoyed in the 1970s. A pair of knee-length boots, often with metal accents, was widely regarded as a must-have wardrobe item for the clothes-conscious woman, paired with knee length skirts and dresses for business and casual wear. Ankle boots also remained very popular and in the latter part of the first decade knee-length styles worn over pants, especially jeans, were common. In 2009 thigh-length boots were a subject of major attention by the fashion press, receiving guarded approval and a level of mainstream acceptance that they had never previously achieved; this trend continued in 2010 and by the following year over-the-knee styles had become commonplace. Also in 2011, ankle boots were being promoted as a popular summer alternative to sandals.