Fall 2017's iconic over-the-knee boots

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We are falling red hot over in love for Fall 2017's iconic red over-the-knee boots. Here's why.

Fall's favourite boots come in the form of red over-the-knee boots hot off Fendi's runway in the style of hybrid sock boots and Balenciaga's nylon and spandex "Knife" boots.

From designer to high-street, we examine the best thigh grazing boots to keep out the winter chill and turn up the heat wherever you go.



All you need to know about Fall 2017 's favourite boots

History of boots and its evolution

The earliest discovery of boots was a cave painting in Spain dated between 12,000 and 15,000 B.C.E. (Before Common Era).

"In the ancient world, boots represented ruling power and military might. Emperors and kings wore ornate and colorful examples; this was a significant distinction when the majority of the population went barefoot. Leather was expensive, and Roman emperors were cited as wearing colorful jewelled and embroidered examples - even with gold soles." - Fashion History

Over-the-knee boots or OTKs were originally used as riding boots since the 15th century and during the war in the 16th and 17th century to protect the legs of those who went to war - think of it as the equivalent of a leather jacket as a protection to motorcyclists if they were to fall.


Late Victorian era

Women's laced leather boots were fashionable throughout the Victorian era.

Leather boots were first reserved for men until the 18th century when their styles started to evolve into more feminine designs - tight lacing, high heels, and pointed toes.

The most common style of boots in the 1800s was the Adelaide, a relatively flat, and mostly heelless ankle boot with side lacing. This style remained popular till this very day with several adaptations of a low heel or elastic band on the side .

During the Victorian period of 1837 to 1901, boots of all kinds began to catch on such as Chelsea boots and front-lace styles like the Derby and the Balmoral.

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Balmoral style boots from the 1800s

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Barrette boots were worn in the late 1800s, exposing silk stockings and were considered sexy at that point of time. Source: The Chicago Museum

Fetish thigh high and over-the-knee boots with extra high heels were popular in the 19th century and continue to make a comeback in fashion on major runway shows.


Sixties Style icons and the rise of OTK boots

As skirts became shorter in the sixties in contrast to stuffy fifties knee-grazing polka-dot lampshades, OTK boots were perfect to match rising hemlines, at the same time designed to thrill.

Over-the-knee boots became an iconic style from the sixties, made popular by style icons such as French actress Brigitte Bardot, English model Jean Shrimpton, English-French actress Jane Birkin and "It-girl" Italian actress Anita Pallenberg.

Brigitte Bardot
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Brigitte Bardot by photographer Ghislain Dussart, 1968.


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Brigitte Bardot off-duty style, making waves in short-heeled leather over the knee boots which probably inspired the style of present-day Isabel Marant high heel boots.


Jean Shrimpton

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Jean Shrimpton photographed by David Bailey for British Vogue in 1964 in an oversized shaggy shearling coat and plush leather OTK boots


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Jean Shrimpton, known for her bangs, sharp raised eyebrows à la present day supermodel Gigi Hadid, and actor Terence Stamp photographed by English photographer "Terry" O'Neill



Jane Birkin

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Hippie icon Jane Birkin in over-the-knee white go-go boots, short blouse worn as a top and a wicker basket bag.


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Jane Birkin in a micro-mini dress and sheer top worn as a dress with her then boyfriend Serge Gainsbourg


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Jane in red patent leather tall boots and a white linen trench coat.

Anita Pallenberg
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Prints on prints on prints, the true bohemian spirit likes in Anita Pallenberg in fabric tall boots. The 60s style icon passed away in June this year.

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Anita in a shaggy two-tone shearling coat with Keith Richards.


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Anita Pallenberg checks all the rock and rebel dressing boxes from head to toe.


British department store Liberty of London collaborated with fashion designer Oscar de la Renta in the 1970s to present bright and bold bohemian looks as seen on model: Vittoria Marisa Schiaparelli Berenson in the July 1970 issue of Vogue magazine.

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Present-day OTK boots

1) Balenciaga Knife thigh boots
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Kylie Jenner in purple Balenciaga Knife boots from the Spring Summer 2017 runway.

With a little ingenuity and creativity, designers take a twist on the good old over-the-knee or thigh boots such as Balenciaga's 2-in-1 legging boots.

Balenciaga's creative director and head designer at Vetements Demna Gvasalia hails from Georgia and is a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the usual black dress designers.

The originally Vetements designer shot to fame with his "down-to-earth" street-style runway pieces appealing to the youth at not so appealing prices, before joining Balenciaga in 2015.

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Balenciaga's legging boots appeared on the Spring 2017 runway in 2016. These footless pants made of spandex extended all the way into high heel shoes.


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Macau-born beauty and fashion entrepreneur Yoyo Cao (right) who resides in Singapore, wearing the eye-popping, on-trend boots presumably with a fashion show attendee Source


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Victoria's Secret Angel and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Lily Aldridge stands out from the crowd in red spandex Balenciaga legging knife boots at the Met Gala after-party.


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Fashion blogger and stylist Jennifer Grace from Native Fox is of a petite height and wears the Balenciaga Knife boots in pink with a matching pink Gucci logo emblazoned sweatshirt.

For smaller-sized people who are 5ft 1 inch (155cm) and below, the boots may reach quite high up grazing the buttocks, hitting the crotch and creasing at the ankles.


2) Balmain over the knee biker boots

Even Balmain couldn't resist adding over the knee leather boots in black for the Spring Summer 2018 runway show at Paris Fashion Week that happened last week.

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Balmain's Spring Summer 2018 runway boots are cleverly designed to resemble padded leather biker jeans.

Looking more Chanel like a Chanel boy bag than Balmain in an unfortunate color palette of boring black and white, these peep-toe over the knee boots still do not match up with the more exciting Balenciaga ones, bringing to attention the stark age difference between Balenciaga and Balmain's core customer base.



3) Fendi red leather over the knee boots
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Fiery red passion expressed in the form of Fendi's Rockoko thigh boots with sky high heels on the runway. Source: Vogue

Fall is full of browns, blacks and dark shades. The best colour to spice up a toned-down or monochrome palette would be bright or tasteful burgundy red.

These sexy thigh skimming boots would be more wearable without lower back pain, slip disc and burning bunion inducing without its 4inch stilettos obviously not designed with ergonomics in mind by Uncle Karl Lagerfeld.


4) Christian Dior shiny vinyl thigh high boots
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Left, model backstage in Christian Dior Fall 2015 boots. Right, Vogue Japan editor Anna Della Russo famous for wearing the latest fashion items straight from the runway.


4) Christian Louboutin Classe Hot Over the Knee boots
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Taylor Swift wears the Christian Louboutin Classe Hot mirrored leather boots in magenta pink in her latest music video - Look What You Made Me Do


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Louboutin over the knee shiny leather boots with 4 inch stilettos and signature red soles

We wish the colours were less boring in close-to-black shades. 

Instead of towering stilettos, perhaps some designers could make some daily wear versions in short curved, 1-inch block heels as seen on Brigitte Bardot.


Luxury for Less
For high-street versions with more realistic and wearable heel heights, look no further than to Zara for alternatives.

Zara is not known for quality or comfort of it's shoes. However, this pair or boots which we actually tried out were quite comfortable and of reasonable quality considering the price.

1) Zara over the knee patent leather burgundy red boots <3 o:p="">
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These leather boots come in a shiny patent leather finish with a tiny 1.5inch kitten heel which makes walking less painful.


2) ASOS Kindy over the knee boots
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ASOS over the knee boots are made of synthetic leather. These sky-high vegan leather boots look a little vampy because of it's cheap-looking crinkled up and shapeless silhouette.


3) H&M Fall 2017 campaign red thigh boots


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Boots made from faux leather. The H&M thigh boots resemble Fendi's red Rockoko over the knee boots the closest with its stretchy polyester sock backing.


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H&M Autumn 2017 campaign starring supermodel Devin Windsor in red thigh boots.

Unfortunately, replicas usually don't make the cut when mass-market high-street companies don't see the need that some of it's higher priced or unique items could be better made in terms of quality, cut and design so people would actually buy them.

The boots look really loose and unflattering on Devin Windsor. Average people would be flapping around in this cheap-looking and poorly cut imitation Fendi boots.



4) ALDO Over the Knee BootsImage and video hosting by TinyPic
From left to right: Aldo Cherima silver mirrored over the knee boots in synthetic leather. Aldo Sailors series over the knee boots in textile, resembling Balenciaga's knife legging boots in satin-finish fabric. 

The Aldo Cherima mirrored boots are a stunning alternative to Christian Louboutin's Classe boots. Aldo's heels are slightly shorter at 3.5 inches instead of 4 inches.

The Sailors over the knee boots series come in red, hot pink and purple. 

Fendi has the color red, Balenciaga has hot pink and Gucci has released purple satin boots, but none of the designers have camo print boots for Fall 2017.

A unique alternative to the designers' boots would definitely be the camouflage-print over the knee fabric boots.


After our extensive red OTK boot hunts, which
 sock/ spandex boots are your favourite?


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