Go-go boots

Go-Go boots are a low-heeled style of women’s fashion boot worn since the mid-sixties when fashion silhouettes focused on accentuating the leg. The term "go-go" is a 1964 back construction of the 1962 slang term "go," meaning something that was "all the rage"; the term "go-go dancer" first appeared in print in 1965. [ [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=go-go "Online Etymology Dictionary": go-go] ]


Go-go boots are either calf-, knee- or above knee-high boots with a low or flat heel. The style is a very simple shape with a chiseled, rounded or pointed toe. The boot was usually fastened onto the foot by a side or back zipper, although by the Seventies it was not uncommon to find lace-up versions which accommodated a wider variety of calf sizes. Heel height ranges from flat to low 1” shaped, with the occasional two-inch Cuban heel (as on Beatle boots.)Fact|date=December 2007

Materials were either synthetic or natural, with the oldest designs being made from plastic or vinyl of various colors, the most popular being white. Women’s styles tended to be taller, tighter and with a slightly higher heel than girl’s styles. [ [http://www.centuryinshoes.com/decades/1960/1960.html Solemates: A Century in Shoes: 1960] ]



The idea of a woman’s mainstream fashion boot was revolutionary. Before the introduction of go-go boots, women’s boots were generally worn during only inclement weather, rugged activities, or horseback riding, but not as street shoes.

This new style of footwear was designed to complement the shorter hemlines of the new, modern look. Go-go boots drew attention to the legs, accentuated the simple A-line silhouettes but also offered some modest coverage for the less daring but fashion-minded women.

André Courrèges is often cited as the originator of the fashion go-go boot: a low-heeled, calf-high boot made of white plastic with a clear cut-out slot near the top was featured as part of the “Moon Girl” look featured in his Fall 1964 collection. [History of Fashion & Costume: Courrèges http://www.designerhistory.com/historyofashion/courreges.html]

Manufacturers began mass-producing runway knock-offs in contemporary colors and materials. These knock-offs were extremely popular with teenagers, who could be seen wearing go-go boots on both the street and television dance shows. They were often seen worn by "Dolly Birds" in London during the 1960s.

Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 number-one pop hit "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" helped popularize go-go boots, and the Space Age boots worn by Jane Fonda in 1968’s science fiction film "Barbarella" were a nod to their erotic past.

Other designers (including Mary Quant) designed their own versions of go-go boots. As hemlines rose, so did the height of the boot, and the heel height dropped proportionately, cumulating a pair of thigh-high garter boots designed by Yves St. Laurent which clipped up underneath the tiniest of skirts. [Go-Go Boots: A Foot-First Jump into the Wacky World of Mod Footwear: http://www.coololdstuff.com/gogoboots.html]

Fashion trends progressed and as women’s trousers and maxi-length skirts where only the foot showed became popular, legs were de-emphasized. By the early seventies, go-go boots were referred to simply as boots, and the emphasis shifted to the height of the heel and the development of the platform.

Go-go boots vs. kinky boots

Go-go boots share some history with the UK’s "kinky boots", a style of calf- to knee-length pull-on black leather boots with 3-4 inch heels and pointed toes. The term kinky boots referred to the style’s Dominatrix and fetish origin and alludes to the perception that women in boots are powerful (i.e. like a Dominatrix.) Kinky boots broke into mainstream UK fashion in the early sixties and were seen on Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg in the original "Avengers" television series.


Many versions of go-go boots are still worn today, although “go-go boot” is often used to describe any style knee-high boots worn with a dress or miniskirt regardless of heel height. NFL Cheerleaders, including the Dallas Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the Oakland Raiderettes often wear go-go boots as part of their squad's uniform; high-heeled versions of go-go boots are still worn by exotic and go-go dancers; and reproductions are available from many costume and specialty stores.

ee also

* Knee-high boots
* Thigh-high boots
* Kinky boots


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