The Trend: Steampunk Shoes
Steampunk has been around as a genre of literature, a type of film, and most recently, a style of dress. There’s not a hard and fast definition, but it’s typically a Victorian aesthetic with the addition harder, more anachronistic elements. Sometimes it’s got a cowboy feel to it, sometimes it’s got a vampire feel to it. It’s sort of goth, sort of granny, sort of punk. If Tim Burton, a pioneer woman, and some old clock parts fell into a pot, steampunk would be dinner. I’ve been seeing steampunk gradually creep into magazine spreads, jewelry brands, and now shoes, in the last year. It’s a pretty intense look, so I don’t think we’ll be seeing full runways of steampunk, but it’s fun to accessorize with. Unless you’re really hardcore, you want to incorporate steampunk into your ensemble in small, small amounts. We start with shoes; in a week or two we’ll tackle jewelry.
Miz Mooz Siri Knee-High Boot – $190 – $239.95
Not in-your-face steampunk, but definitely elements here. The covered buttons are straight out of the Victorian age, as is the high boot. But that buckle between the arch and heel is a bit harder, as is the modern wedge heel. Love this boot. Yes, it’s expensive but it’s real leather, it’s darling, and Miz Mooz is a good brand. Snap them up–guaranteed these boots will go fast once shoppers start remembering what cooler weather feels like.
Dolce by Mojo Moxy Victoria Bootie – $69.95
These are more overtly Victorian–the lace up the middle of the bootie, the bows across the top of the foot. Plus, the bootie itself is very Victorian. But there are harder elements here as well. Look at that squat, short heel, and even the flat, rectangular shape of the bows. It’s not a shoe that’s interested in being only pretty or only refined, it crosses the divide between femininity and masculinity.
Wild Diva Lorane-22 Bootie – $33.60 ($42)
A much more feminine shoe here, and really modern looking. But I think the exposed zipper and the over the top ruffles are a bit steampunk. This bootie features a stiletto heel, in contrast to the squat one in the previous pick. There’s still something hard about it though–like that sharp stiletto could poke out your eye.
Joseph Griffin Gi Gi Street Ankle Boot – $106 – $183.20 ($229)
More booties. These also feature buttons, but silver ones instead of covered. Metals are huge in steampunk, especially the jewelry, so it’s nice to have that hard silver on these boots. A sleek, modern look to these boots, especially the black ones which have that shiny patent around the toe and heel contrasting against the matte material of the upper.
Ellie Shoes Ruth Victorian Boots – $37.86 – $98.70
I wanted to include these because they’re so Victorian, but they’re getting a tad toward the costume-y side. I think the black work better as they’re more subtle, while the tan sort of look like part of the costume closet for a wild west movie. Again, covered buttons, a sharp heel, but some modern shaping with the seams.
Pleaser Women’s Tesla Pump – $47.95 – $82.43
These pumps are much harder than the previous shoes posted here. Note the gear on the strap, the bronze hardware lining the toe and heel, the gear print on the inside of the shoe. Gears are a huge part of steampunk, though pretty hard to find in a shoe. This is a great example of how steampunk can vary in aesthetic, from very feminine with just a touch of edge, to this much edgier shoe that is really only feminine in silhouette.
Steampunk Brown Buckle Platform Boot – $83.30
These boots scare the hell out of me. I wouldn’t wear them. But I think they’re the best example of steampunk we have here, and you can see how if the trend started with this extreme of a look, it eventually trickled down to a more diluted form that we common folk can actually incorporate into our wardrobes. Sort of like how designers send the weirdest clothing down the runway, and we all marvel at what would possess them to create such things, and then another designer translates it for the masses. Gears plus lace up boots plus big buckles plus contrasting material = Steam. Punk.
Well, what do you think? Would you wear this look?