Now for a light hearted fashion moment. As opposed to having a heart as black as your soul. (Ooff! Bad cringing joke there.)
Back in the 1980’s, no self-respecting Goth went without at least big hair, pale makeup, black clothing, and at least one pair of Winklerpicker shoes or boots in their wardrobe.
What are Winklerpickers you ask? Besides being originated sometime around the 15th century, Winklerpickers were first worn by 1950’s and 1960’s subcultures such as the Teddy boys and girls. The pointy boots The Beatles used to wear was part of their early iconic look. The Mods added this style of shoe to their wardrobe. The Winklerpickers became a trad Goth staple during the 80’s after the Punk/New Wave movement brought the appearance back in stride.
Even Rik, the obnoxious pseudo-anarchist character from the UK television show ‘The Young Ones’ wore red Winklepickers.
Growing up in NYC during the 1980’s, I remember West 8th street (in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan) having show stores which specialized in the pointy toe shoe variety. Further down the street heading to the East Village was Trash and Vaudeville. The store sold all kinds of rock n’ roll footwear, including the infamous Winklepickers. Trash, as it’s affectionately known, is still in business at the exact same location to this day. Maybe they might even have a few pointy pairs in stock.
I had totally forgotten about Winklepickers, until I went to an Absolution club night in either 2011 or 2012. One of the DJs and promoters, Jason Ledyard, was sporting a pair going halfway up the calf. After not seeing someone wear a pair in years, the sighting made me do a double-take. As a side note, Absolution was a long running Goth event created both DJs Jason until late 2013.
Eighteen hole Winklepicker boots. From The Gothic Shoe Company.
(*UPDATE: Don’t order from The Gothic Shoe Company!)
You can still purchase a pair of Winklepickers online from various sites. If going vintage, there’s always eBay and Etsy. Otherwise you can buy new ones from sites such as Pennangalan or The Gothic Shoe Company. Below is a list of some sites, both for reference and maybe shopping if you desire a pair.
Till next time…