Welcome to Is This Shoe OK?, an infrequent column about shoes that may or may not be good, as determined by me—an authority, because I own shoes—and you, in the comments below. In today’s installment, I’m celebrating World Goth Day with some gnarly booties. Are they okay? And before you ask—yes, this is more Evanescence-goth than Christian Death-goth. Sorry, purists.
Of all the fake holidays to celebrate on social media, World Goth Day is one of the few that sparks a sensation similar to joy in the icy void where my heart should be. It is an opportunity to write and read first-person articles with headlines like, “Goth is not a teenage phase it’s a passion for the dark and beautiful,” to share memes of people twerking in cemeteries, to post throwback photographs of yourself as a young mall goth just discovering The Cure and to remember this video, which I cannot believe has been entertaining for ten entire years now; a decade of Raven, your acid bath princess of the darkness, and her only companion, Tara:
World Goth Day is also an opportunity to discuss $100+ Demonia-brand platform “lolita goth” booties, which have been a staple of Hot Topic culture since the 1990s. Variations of the shoe, pictured above, have appeared in different alternative sub-cultural spaces for the last two decades, anything from the halls of high school, raves, Harajuku, hard rock festivals in Nürburgring, Germany and... well, I guess that’s pretty much it? Wherever there is angst and extra as hell young people, Demonia’s ankle-breaking footwear is sure to follow suit. Some could even consider them stylish, despite the fact that they look like they’re going to yell at you about anime in the back of the cafeteria. Grimes could never.
I don’t think “lolita” should be a way to describe anything other than Vladimir Nabokov’s creepy 1955 novel, and I understand that lolita goth is certainly its own subculture (not to be confused with pastel goth or anything equally as Tumblr-adjacent, or aggressively child-like,) but title aside—I do appreciate that these booties could be used as a weapon in a pinch. In 6th grade, when I wore Trash and Vaudeville-esque tutus to middle school almost everyday, I would’ve killed for these bad boys. I also would’ve cracked my head open. Nonetheless, I actually had nearly identical arm warmers—partially-fish net, partially-ribboned red and black corset gloves that extended to my elbow—and what a look that would’ve been. World Goth Life, indeed.
But are they okay? I’m going to go ahead and say they are so very much not okay, they border on acceptable. I wouldn’t think twice if I saw someone of any age rocking these, unless, of course, they were on the verge of collapse. These booties should come with training wheels, or, at the very least, a set of instructions on how not to die while wearing them.
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What do you think? Are these booties okay? Would you ever try them on? Why aren’t they just called “boots”? Do “boots” connote something you can walk in, whereas “booties” are fashionably immobile?
Defend your stance in the comments below. Feel free to get into fights with other Kinja users about these shoes, too, because you’re all anonymous and what makes you feel more alive than yelling at strangers on the Internet? Judging by my inbox, nothing!