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Boots

Boots

Boots, shoes that cover part of the leg as well as the foot, have been worn to protect the feet and legs since very ancient times. The people of ancient Greece, beginning with the Minoans from the Greek island of Crete dating from 3000 to 1400 b.c.e., made many different styles of boots and developed shoemaking into a skilled craft and a fine art.

The ancient Greek society of Minoans, named for a legendary king in Greek mythology, Minos, had a highly developed sense of decorative fashion. Along with colorful skirts and tunics, they wore many types of slippers, shoes, and boots. Though most historians believe that shoes were not worn indoors, many Cretans did wear boots outside. Women wore delicate ankle boots as well as tall boots with high heels, and Cretan men wore tall boots that covered the calf and were tied on with leather straps. Young Minoan men and women played a special athletic game where they performed gymnastic stunts over the backs of running bulls. For these ritual games, they wore special knee-high boots of leather dyed tan, red, or white.

Later, in the classical Greek society of the fifth and sixth centuries b.c.e., almost all Greeks went barefoot much of the time. Shoes were never worn inside, and even the wealthiest people only wore sandals outdoors. However, those who did heavy outdoor work, such as soldiers, farmers, hunters, and some slaves, often wore boots rather than sandals. Ancient Greek boots resembled sandals in many ways. Many were tied on with leather straps like sandals, and some covered the sole, sides of the foot, and calf, while leaving the toes and the top of the foot bare. Some young Greek men wore leggings that resembled boot tops but left their feet bare. Soldiers often wore high boots with wooden soles and leather tops, which were tied on with wide leather laces. Other Greek boots had leather or felt soles that laced up the front like modern shoes and tied at the ankle or the calf. By the end of the fifth century b.c.e. many young men wore highly decorated boots made of white leather or fabric, with turned down tops trimmed in bright colors.

The stage actors who performed the famous Greek dramatic plays also wore boots. Different styles of boot were used to help the audience distinguish the characters. For example, since all ancient Greek actors were men, the actors who portrayed female characters often wore loose-fitting boots, while the actors who played the male characters wore tightly laced boots to help the audience distinguish the men from the women in the play.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Kippen, Cameron. "The History of Footwear: Sandals." Curtin University of Technology Department of Podiatry. http://podiatry.curtin.edu.au/sandal.html (accessed on July 24, 2003).

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume: From Ancient Mesopotamia Through the Twentieth Century. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

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"Boots." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Boots." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/boots

"Boots." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/boots

Boots

Boots

A variety of boot styles were popular during the nineteenth century. Half boots, or those reaching halfway to the knee, with square toes were commonly worn by men and ankle boots by women in the early years of the century. By the middle of the century, the British queen Victoria (18191901) popularized congress gaiters, leather ankle boots with elastic sewn into the side, among both men and women. The side-laced boots women wore under their long skirts became quite fashionable when they were suddenly visible underneath Bloomer outfits and shorter walking skirts in the later half of the century.

Tall boots made of leather or cloth were also fashionable for men. Men wore boots most often while outdoors and wore their trousers or breeches either tucked inside the boots' tall uppers or pulled over the tops and fastened with straps beneath the arch. Three styles were especially popular among fashionable men: Hussars, a military style of riding boots named after various European military units, were modeled on those worn by the Hungarian light cavalry of the fifteenth century; Hessians, thick leather boots trimmed below the knee with a tassel hanging from the center of the boot top, were named after a style worn by Germans from Hesse; and Wellingtons, boots covering the knee in front and cut lower in back for ease of movement, were made fashionable by the Duke of Wellington (17691852), the British military hero who defeated the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (17691821) in 1815 and became prime minister of Britain in 1828.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Bigelow, Marybelle S. Fashion in History: Apparel in the Western World. Minneapolis, MN: Burgess Publishing, 1970.

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

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"Boots." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Boots." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/boots-1

"Boots." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/boots-1

Boots

Boots

One of the most important fashion trendsetters during the seventeenth century was the cavalier, or military horseman. Along with his confident swagger, his costume came to mark a certain male style during the century. Noblemen who may never have fought in battle adopted and exaggerated the cavalier's clothes. These cavaliers wore elaborate outfits with large plumed, or feathered, hats and fancy jackets and breeches, or pants. Essential to a cavalier's outfit were large, floppy-topped, high-heeled leather boots. The boots' tops were shaped like a funnel and could reach twenty inches in diameter. The wide tops of their boots could be pulled up over the knee or, more commonly, folded down to mid-calf to display many ruffles of lace-edged linen hose. Commonly boots were dark leather, but some men wore light-colored boots for formal occasions. At the heels of their boots, men wore clinking metal spurs, even at dances. These boot styles were widely copied by men during the century.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Batterberry, Michael, and Ariane Batterberry. Fashion: The Mirror of History. New York: Greenwich House, 1977.

Lawlor, Laurie. Where Will This Shoe Take You? A Walk Through the History of Footwear. New York: Walker and Company, 1996.

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"Boots." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Boots." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/boots-0

"Boots." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/boots-0