Cage Shoes and Bootie Heels: Like Wooden Clogs, Only Weirder

There’s a new trend in shoes that I just really don’t get: the trend of caging one’s foot in fabric or leather, either in straps or in larger pieces of fabric, that come together to ALMOST form a boot shape, but not really. I’ve seen it referred to as a “bootie heel” or a “peep-toe bootie”. I call it like I see it–a “cage shoe” or “clog.” And even real wooden clogs are not this odd.

First, we have the “cage shoe” look, in which thick straps of fabric are woven or stretched across the foot, sometimes almost-completely encasing the foot, sometimes not.

Your feet ain’t goin’ anywhere.

Now you see your foot, now you don’t

Trying to be a sandal?

Going for the woven look?

Strange cutouts in the toe area…painful to look at

Stuck between a cage sandal and a bootie wedge

Then we have the “peeptoe” bootie, which is almost-but-not-quite a full boot, except without the fabric rising above the ankle that would make the shoe actually look nicer on the leg.

It might have been cool if it was just a high-heeled ankle-high boot

Not really a “bootie,” but not really a wedge heel either. And that color combo… :/

Almost a feminine boot, but not quite

Thirdly, we have the “full-coverage” bootie, which isn’t a style of pants but a style of shoe, covering the whole foot but forgetting the flattering ankle fit.

Clogs with leopard print on them. Really?

Clunky in the front, spiky in the back–the shoe version of a mullet.

We also have the “hiking-boot” style bootie heel, which attempts to blend feminine and masculine shoe styles together…um, yeah.

Clomp, clomp, clomp.

It has Grandpa’s laces, but it matches the granddaughter’s wardrobe better.

Strange angular shape to this bootie…

Strangely over-masculine…I think it’s the leather color and the laces that makes me think that.

And lastly, we have the “backless” bootie, which might be the strangest-looking shoe of the whole bunch:

The shoe version of a backless top, I guess…?

WHAT. In the world. Is this. I don’t even.

The above photos show the variety these strange shoes come in–they are in all colors and all fabrics, and either high-heels or wedges, but they always look like a hiking boot or clog gone wrong. They manage to make even the thinnest of legs look violently cut off at the bottom of the ankle; they somehow strike a horrid balance between strange couture and vagrant chic.

Is it just me? Is it a marker of my growing-up years and my culture, that I prefer shoes that DON’T look like cement blocks made in fashionable colors? I’m not sure. All I know is that these styles don’t flatter any woman’s legs at all, and they don’t look all that comfortable, either–I’m all too familiar with how multiple straps, thin or thick, can bind swelling feet when you’re standing in heels like that. And the peep-toe cutting straight across cramped toes–ah, the red marks of pain!

Basically, these styles of shoe offend two of my long-standing rules of fashion:

  1. Wear shoes that flatter your legs, whenever possible;
  2. Wear shoes that are comfortable to your feet, whenever possible.

Comfort and style are often at odds, even for me, but even the original Crocs boat-shoe look is better than this (and more comfortable to boot–pardon the pun).

Just thought I’d share this bit of fashion weirdness and ask your opinion on this kind of footwear. Are they more comfortable than they look? Are there instances where this style actually looks good with other items of clothing?

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