Can a shoe change history?



The go go boot is a quintessential symbol of the era from which it originated, the 1960s. This blog post considers the significance of the go go boot. 


Over the course of the rebellious, expansive mid-60s into the early 70s, the go go boot was the “go” or “IT” footwear statement of its time. Go go boot originator, André Courrèges captured the essence of life in the 60s through introduction of the go go boot, “You don’t walk through life anymore. You run. You dance. You drive a car.” Seems like everyone was on the go-go!

Originating in visionary, high fashion in space themed “Moon Girl” collection in 1964, nearly instantly there were many interpretations of the boot by designers such as Yves St. Laurent in 1965.

André Courrèges “Moon Girl” collection, 1964 
Yves Saint Laurent, 1965


Go go boots quickly turned into a hot trend by what one may consider early influencers and iconic designers (such as fashionistas on the streets of London) and go go dancers at the famous club, Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood, CA.

Fashion designer, Mary Quant on her way to judge a mini skirt competition wearing go go boots
Mary Quant and her Go Go crew in the 60s
The World Famous Whisky A Go-Go


The go go boot was further popularized by pop icons like Nancy Sinatra, “the boots girl.”

In 1966, Sinatra toured with a colorful array of 250 go go boots to promote her hit song “These Boots Are Made for Walking.”

Nancy Sinatra’s hit song made a huge impact. Her enormous hit was in large part responsible for spreading the footwear trend to mainstream consumers by attaching meaning to the shoe. Her song made a lasting impression (“These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” music video has over 142 million views on YouTube). “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” remains widely celebrated.


Within a few years, go go boots made their way into the closets of many a-groovy babe. 

Go go boots made their way into fashionistas closets, leaving an imprint that continued not only into the next decade (the 70s) but permanently, as go go boots remain a trendy fashion statement to this day.

While the go go boot trend started with designers and icons, go go boots quickly flooded pop culture and spread to a wider audience of consumers.

Go go boots in a variety of popular styles. Lace-up, floral embroidery, over-the-knee, appealing to a wide audience of consumers. 1970s.

Evolution of the go go boot seen in funky platform boots in the 1970s
Modern go go boots by Zig Zag Goods, IG @zigzag.goods
Image by Groovy Tales Vintage, IG @groovytalesvintage
Lace-up boots by Miu Miu, Spring 2014


Boots as a staple in footwear goes back centuries. So, what makes the go go boot different? Although the history of boots can be traced back to the beginning of footwear, with the rise in popularity of the go go boot, (for the first time ever), a boot was viewed and worn as something more than just utilitarian footwear. Go go boots became an iconic statement.

Rock n’ roll legend, Debbie Harry in thigh high boots

The go go boot shows empowerment (echoed in the strong silhouette, shape, and height of the boot) as well as fun, carefree style (portrayed by the silly, wild dance moves) that emerged as a movement alongside the shoe. 

Diana Ross in an amazing look with golden go go boots, 1967

The massive changes in fashion, dance, and art were only part of the picture as, it was also a pivotal era socio-politically as well. 

In a fun, stylish manner, the go go boot symbolizes an active lifestyle outside of the strictly domestic way of life that was so common in the 1950s.

Iconic actress and vocalist, Juliette Lewis showing us how it’s done. Go Go boots forever!

As new themes emerged in music, art, and social dancing, go go boots reigned supreme as a fashion trend. Go go boots were elevated to an iconic symbol of the 60s, conveying a new spin on what it means to be a babe.

Cher power stance


While go go dancing is cute and a bit freakish (as part of its eye-catching appeal), it’s also a subtle form of rebellion, showing that women are in control of their bodies. The go go boot was associated with movement both literally in the form of go go dancing and also movement metaphorically in the form of cultural and societal advancements. So, in addition to an iconic fashion item, what does the go go boot mean? Or more broadly, what is the significance of the go go boot?

Go go boots symbolize an active lifestyle. Additionally, go go boots were often paired with unexpected feminine or playful fashion articles such as hot pants and miniskirts.

Dancers in hot pants and go go boots
Street fashion showing go go boots paired with mini skirts and a rebellious, playful attitude

The juxtaposition of both power and flirtation created a sense of freedom and recreation. The go go boot turned into an accessory for communicating a message about power, activity, and lifestyle. 

The message associated with go go boots gained traction and spread to a global audience. Because go go boots were comfortable to dance in, supportive, trendy, and also symbolized change, the shoe gained status and remains a popular go-to item in contemporary fashion. Once it caught on, there was no going back. Had go go boots remained an exclusive trend in high fashion, the boots wouldn’t have carried such impact. But the go go boot was designed specifically for ushering permanent change. At the very least in women’s fashion without a doubt. Hence, origination of the go go boot changed the course of history for babes.

Jenny Pierce

Check out our Eco-Groovy Graphic Tees which pay homage to the Go Go boot!


Go-Go Boots: A History Of The Footwear That Ruled The 1960s

Go-Go Boots — Are Go!

Go Go Boots Became Go-To Footwear in the 1960s

The World Famous Whisky A Go Go


  1. Emma

    Love this!! The timing of the emergence of this and how air travel expanded and then you see these boots in the uniforms—it all fits together.

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