Before the mid-1960s, women wore boots in inclement weather or while engaging in outdoor activities — never for fashion. But as skirts and hemlines rose in the 60s, style became all about accentuating the leg! The earliest go-go boots were only about calf-high and much more comfortable than the spiky heels that had been popular, thus making dancing much easier. This footwear made its debut to the masses on afternoon discothèque TV shows, and the teens that watched these programs took to go-go boots (so named for the go-go dancers who wore them) like tadpoles to water.
Soon after this, French designer André Courrèges introduced cutout go-go boots to high fashion in his 1964, space age-inspired “Moon Girl” collection. Footwear companies quickly began mass producing go-go boots for women of all ages in a wild array of heights, styles, and colors, and a leather shortage, along with the era’s space age craze, even prompted shoe construction in vinyl and plastic.
Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 hit song, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin,’” helped further popularize go-go boots, and by the end of the 1960s, they were a commonplace wardrobe staple, worn day or night. Their popularity continued into the 1970s (as demonstrated above by ABBA as well as a group of flight attendants, who were required to wear them as part of their uniforms).
As the decade progressed, though, longer skirts and pants replaced the leggy silhouette of the 60s that lent itself to tall boots, and the fashion designer’s focus shifted back to the development of the heel and platform.
What do you think, ModLovers? Would you swap out your stilettos for go-go boots? Cast your vote, and/or leave a comment below!