Like other portmanteaus of the garment world (skorts, cargo pants that zip off to become cargo shorts, belt bags) sock boots have inspired reactions ranging from revulsion to unabashed acceptance. A prevailing footwear trend as of late, it can be argued sock boots were popularized by Demna Gvasalia’s designs for Vetements and Balenciaga, and since, the style has taken on a life of its own. But just as for every fashion-agnostic who invests in a pair of dual-purpose cargo bottoms at Costco there is an aesthete who wouldn’t dare (although this may be ripe territory for Gvasalia), for every runway-obsessed sock boot enthusiast, there’s someone to cry fashion foul. To take on both sides, we listened in on an email conversation between our Marketing Copywriter, Noelani Piters, and Associate Editor & Writer, Kaila Abruzzo.
Noelani: Ever since I first saw the Vetements sock boots, I’ve hated them. They remind me of those Vibram toe shoes, which make me cringe! There’s something odd to me about the shape… it just clings to your leg and has no structure or support.
Kaila: I can see where you’re coming from with the toe shoes, but isn’t it part of the fun that they’re so weird and unexpected? Vetements has branded themselves on their outrageousness to some degree. Also, I find them strangely flattering on everyone.
N: I agree that the unexpected aspect is a plus for them. But are they practical? I know that with fashion, you sometimes can sacrifice function for form. But I feel like with sock boots it looks like your feet are just going to slip out all over the place.
K: Or they would be insanely comfortable because they’re basically just socks? Maybe they’re more of a lounging heel vs. a walking heel. I can deal with that. What I do worry about is that thin looking heel! But the fact it’s shaped like a lighter is pretty badass, right?
N: Props to Demna Gvasalia and the whole Vetements design team for designing heels shaped like lighters and highlighters. I’m still not really behind the slinky silhouette of the shoe… maybe that’s because I feel like if your calves are a little thicker, like mine, that it may not be flattering. But I do admit that the heels are cool. Mmm.. if they’re just socks, maybe they would be comfortable when you’re sitting or standing for a short amount of time.
K: I’m all about an office heel since I change from my supportive sneakers into something more fun almost every morning. But the price point is considerable to be confined to hiding under my desk most of the day. So does your aversion apply to sock boots in general? What about the Balenciaga Knife boots which seem to have a more reasonable heel or more affordable brands? Stuart Weitzman has a super cute velvet pair I’m obsessed with.
N: In my eyes, the Balenciaga Knife boot feels a little more acceptable, because it seems like there is actually some kind of support under your foot… but it also looks like you literally put a pair of stockings on over your heels! Like some kind of do-it-yourself project! And if the elastic gets stretched out, I wonder, can it be fixed? I don’t think they’re going to have the same impact if they don’t fit as intended.
K: Fit is definitely essential, and I am curious to see how long this trend sticks around. It kind of came out of nowhere but seems to have some staying power. By the time it takes a pair to get stretched out will they still be worth the fix? I’m trying to decide if they’re worth investing in so late in the game since I’ve held off on buying a pair to feel it out.
N: That’s true, it may take dozens and dozens of wears to stretch it out, and by that time it may no longer be in style… I think you’re right though — they’re going to be around for a while. In this form or some revamped form. But I mean, where else could they take the sock boot, design-wise? It’s been stripped down so it hugs the leg. At this point, you could only add, not subtract, right?
K: Gucci is starting to get wild with their embellishments, which I think is a really fun direction. But those Fendi sandals with the socks built in? That might be one step too far for me. Maybe we can agree on that one?
N: In a shocking turn of events, I’m actually a huge fan of socks with sandals. Go figure. But for those Fendi sock boots, I don’t like that you don’t have the option to remove the sock. And it’s kind of creepy that the toe is structured like a normal heel… I want to yell, where are your toes!?
Staunch supporters of the sock boot? We have an edit for you right here.