Tall boots — especially the styles that went over the calves — had long been a weather-related necessity, but mid-century mod styles somehow brought the look into the fashion mainstream.
In the decades since, we can safely say the tall boot has never really ever gone out of style. In one way or another, boots are a classic fashion staple.
Here’s a look back to when the go-go boot was fresh on the fashion scene for the first time ever.
Go-go boots & other high boots for women going mainstream (1970)
Article from The Columbia Record (Columbia, South Carolina) November 30, 1970
Boots have moved out of the mud puddle into the mainstream of fashion.
They’re seen as often these days in sunshine as in bad weather, and they go from parties to the office to football games to the grocery store.
“We’ve sold boots as long as I can remember,” said Henry Webb, buyer for the women’s shoe department of a local store. “That’s about 15 years. But sales have gotten progressively better as the manufacturers have come up with better styles and fit.
“Now most people have gotten the idea that it doesn’t have to be freezing for them to wear boots. Boots accessorize and give a look that can’t be achieved with other footwear.”
In spite of the theory that boots make the midi, Webb doesn’t feel that the advent of longer-length skirts has made much difference to boot buyers.
“We haven’t figured out yet how the ready-to-wear styles can affect our sales,” he said. “The first boots that were really big, the ‘go-go boots,’ were worn with very short skirts, and people seem to want to wear boots with just about everything now.”
Boots come in all colors, heights, materials and designs, but some are definitely more popular than others.
“Far and away the best selling boot is vinyl stretch with 12-8ths to 14-8ths inch heel,” Webb said. “The reason vinyl is so good is that most women, although they don’t buy their boots for bad weather, will want to wear them in bad weather. So they want something that will take spots well.
They may like suede, but when it comes right down to buying, they’ll think about clean-ability.”
The most popular heights for boots range from mid-calf to just below the knee, and colors in order of popularity include brown, black, white, navy and red.
Two boot styles that have been popular nationally, but have not done well in South Carolina, according to Webb, are the cobra skin design and the lace-up or “granny” boot.
“It seems as if the plainer the boot, the more acceptable it is,” he said.
One reason for this may be that in spite of the fact that many boot styles are no more expensive than shoes, most women seem to feel that two pair are enough for one wardrobe. Therefore they can get more use out of a basic style that will go with many different outfits.
“There’re some styles that we didn’t get much of a reaction on earlier that are picking up now, though,” said Webb. “And all indications are that next year will be even better than this one, bootwise.”
Vintage Bootino short & go-go boots from the sixties (1963)
Nancy Sinatra: These Boots are Made for Walkin’ (1966 song)
Zippered retro go-go boots in 4 colors from 1967
Retro two-sided Hush Puppies women’s tall boots with laces (1971)
Looks on the outside. Comfort on the inside. When Hush Puppies make a boot, they really make a boot.
Look them over. Picture yourself in any one of them. You can wear them for hours and hardly know you’ve got them on. We think you’ll love ’em.
The great put-on: Shiny black Gold Seal fashion go-go boots (1968)
Step one: Step into The Great Boots by Gold Seal. The fashion boots for the here and now. Tall and tight and slim. So they become you — like taut young skin. Boots to swagger in. Strut in. Boots to take a stand in. Stand out in.
The Great Boots come in all the right styles and colors. For you to come on strong in. Step two: Put on some other clothes. Step three: Step out. You’re in.
Stretch vinyl boots: Slinky fashion drama in three heights (1968)
Waterproof Bootinos go-go boots in black (1969)
Vintage 70s Bootinos waterproof go-go boots (1971)
Waterproof Bootinos let you plunge into puddles. Walk in the rain or slush or snow — and still look tremendously fashiony.
Which only goes to show you don’t have to put up with cold wet feet to be fashionable or be forced to wear those clunky old uglies to keep dry.
Waterproof Bootinos are waterproof up to the zipper and come in all the new year’s styles and colors. “Corinne” in soft, supple deep brown Vynarich is just one of the slinky slim, leg-hugging boots from the sensational Waterproof Bootinos’ collection for 1971.
So put on your Waterproof Bootinos (look for the word waterproof on the box) and don’t let the weather stop you from doing your own thing.
Women wearing thigh-high black boots in 1970
Vintage white go-go boots from 1972
Vintage stretch vinyl boots from 1969
Three steps to shapely leg beauty: Stretch vinyl boots to wear over the foot
1 and 2: Leather-look vinyl uppers. The look and fed of luxurious leather .. with the smooth fit of stretch vinyl. Full inside zippers. Ribbed composition soles for slip-resistance. 1-1/2-inch simulated stacked heels add a special zing. 15 inches high.
3: Shiny-look patent vinyl upper. Slick and slinky… long and leggy. Easy to slip on and off .. clings like a glove. Composition sole, 1-in. heel. 16 in. high.
4 and 5: Over-the-foot boots, styled with sleek simplicity to take you everywhere. Full inside zippers. Acrilan acrylic pile linings. Ribbed composition soles and 1-inch heels. 12 inches high. Rich leather upper or Smooth vinyl upper.
6: Italian import with leather upper A Crafted with famed Italian bootmanship .. to wear over the foot. Soft, supple upper lined with cushioned nylon tricot lining. Full inside zipper. Composition sole, 1-1/4 inch heel, 14 inches high.