Larger-than-life slouchy boots remind me of horror films, in a way. I can’t look away when I see them. I respect them because of my fear. However, it doesn’t follow that I have to like them. Naturally, I feel conflicted about seeing these outrageous footwear back in style.
The first to acknowledge their comeback was Rihanna. The beauty mogul recently went out with partner A$AP Rocky and wore a pair of enormous denim heeled thigh-high boots from Y/spring-summer Project’s 23 collection. Some others mistook her shoes, which were large and wide and touched the bottom of her miniskirt, for pants. The lawsuit for mismatched footwear was renewed at that point.
Just this week, Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, and Kim Kardashian all appeared in a variation of the slouchy sky-high boot. Furthermore, the autumn 2022 runways were covered in excessive footwear months ago. The completely enormous shoe was first popularised by designers like Isabel Marant, Alaa, and Balenciaga. I am concerned for everyone’s feet as these boots get higher and higher.
They look like my dad’s waterproof waders, but I can look over that. The logistics are what have me perplexed. They appear to defy gravity because of the material’s top-widening furrows. I wonder whether they’ll come to life because of their hazy resemblance to the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter. They rub against each other as you walk, giving you a feeling that I can only think is similar to walking through quicksand. The truth is that these boots aren’t designed to be worn when walking.
Don’t get me wrong; I can see how they may be appealing. The marketing of conventional thigh-high boots as “sexy” dates back to the 1960s, when they first became popular in womenswear. Slouchy boots challenge the gendered connotations of their basic form by enlarging them excessively and giving them an unruly edge.
Yes, there is a benefit to wearing shoes that make you feel like they could eat you whole. I wish there were more shoes that could be used in an emergency as a covert bunker. Despite their impracticality, I can understand how they may fit with a celebrity’s lifestyle. Rihanna has long defended them, so perhaps that is the reason.
In 2018, Y/Project and Ugg worked together on a presentation that made headlines for having models walk down the runway in boots that reached their crotches and had extra material pouring over them. The show became instant meme material, and the collection split the internet. However, not long after, the CEO of Fenty Beauty rocked the risky look and thought it was actually cool.
But whether they are trendy or not, they aren’t very wearable. They look really hot. Like, it’s too warm. They are challenging to manoeuvre in. As you walk, they even slightly sag. And it’s the part that truly bothers me. Slouchy thigh-high boots provide the impression of being cosy despite their enormous, worn-down, and wrinkled appearance. I feel that if I’m going to walk around in potato sack pumps, I should at least have some kind of comfort. Is that so incorrect?
Sadly for me, these boots aren’t just a fever dream from 2018. Rihanna has once again given her street-style stamp of approval, with new interpretations dominating recent designer collections. See a pattern here? It shouldn’t be shocking that these sneakers have returned.
After all, XXL fashion has been making a comeback for seasons. The demand for massive cold-weather shoes was first shown in the gigantic Y2K Moon Boots, which became a celebrity must-have last winter. It seems that the Moon Boot walked in the world of resurrected impractical footwear so that the slouchy boot might run, er, stomp.
Scrunchy thigh-highs are always confusing to me, despite being in style. I suppose that is the whole point, though. These boots aren’t meant to make sense; instead, they’re meant to be provocative. And if the purpose is to make me feel something, even visceral stress, then job well done, shoes.