One, Two, Buckle My Shoe…


I’m a boot snob.
I love boots. Warm weather, cold weather, or any temperature in between, I’m all about boots. BUT. I don’t like them to have zippers. I own one pair of over-the-knee boots that have zippers. I blame my sister-in-law; she complimented the way they looked when I tried them on at her urging. So I gave in to peer pressure and bought them. I do wear them, but not very often. All the rest of my dozen or so pairs of boots are either lace or pull-on. Yes, even the calf-high and knee-high pairs.
See, here’s the thing: zippers have been in existence for less than 200 years, and boots have been around for millennia (yes, I did my research 😉 ). So how were boots worn BEFORE the zipper was invented? They were either buckled, laced, or hook-and-eyed (also a more “modern” invention, but still older than the zipper), or simply pull-on with no closure (such as traditional riding boots). Wearing zippered boots is a bit like cheating, in my opinion.
My preference might have something to do with the fact that I love ancient/medieval/Renaissance/etc. history more than I do modern history. Buckles, laces and pull-on boots fit into just about any period. Zippers will instantly pull you back into late 19th century, at the earliest. And yes, I also prefer clothing without zippers – some of those things are sewn into the most inconvenient places; my arm neither reaches all the way up my back underhanded, nor all the way down my back overhanded. And God forbid the zipper get stuck halfway up or down your back!
Where was I?
Oh, yes.

All the pretty buckles! Image from http://www.celticwebmerchant.net/

While I enjoy the convenience of a zipper in some types/styles of clothing, I prefer my boots to be “old-school.” Using a zipper to close your boots is just lazy. And zippers break/jam/pinch your skin far more often than do buckles or laces. Then where does THAT leave you? With a pair of boots you might’ve paid good money for that you can no longer wear because the zipper is no longer functional. Of course, you can have the zipper replaced or repaired, but that also costs money. Laces can be replaced rather inexpensively, and buckles are much more durable than zippers.
Buckles and laces can be decorative as well as functional. Don’t know as I’ve ever seen a decorative zipper. Have you? And laces can be switched out at will; anything from traditional leather to actual lace, in most any color and style. Buttons can also be eye-catching fasteners, especially if they’re hook-and-eye. I know, I know, buckles, laces, and hook-and-eye take much more time to fasten than do zippers. Which leads to my next question: Why do you wear boots? For functionality, for style, for comfort? Why can’t it be for all these reasons? For myself, it’s all of the above. And NONE of those reasons includes the need for zippers.
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Filed under Blogging, Boots, Footwear, History, Musings, Research, Stuff

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