One thing that I’ve learned through my doodling is that I love pointy boots. More to the point, I love winklepickers, alternatively called pikes or goth pikes. I love the silhouette they create. I love the folksy, elvish, witchy look they immediately bring to mind. They remind me of woods and autumn and cabins; wandering through dark forests wearing shawls and dark, tattered layers. Winklepickers are probably the easiest way to bring fantasy into an everyday wardrobe without looking too much like a caricature.
While the term winklepicker can technically be applied to any shoe with a pointed toe, in my insistently categorical mind winklepickers are more specifically boots that are dark in color and, preferably, have buckles, or a zipper, at the very least. They were first made popular for a short time in the early 1960s by mods and were inspired by the crakow shoe, which had last enjoyed popularity in the 15th century. It wasn’t long, however, before the pointed toe of the winklepicker was ditched for the chisel toe look. The pointed toe came back in the late 70’s and early 80’s among mods, rockabillies, and goths. It was in the 80’s goth scene that winklepickers really took hold, with the mods and rockabillies moving more towards chelsea boots or creepers. However, the style faded away again in the 90’s as younger goths began to create their own subgroups within the goth scene. Today, winklepickers are beginning to emerge once again as the traditional gothic (aka TradGoth) look is beginning to come back into style.
One thing that I think is really interesting about winklepickers is that there are a lot of subgroups within the modern day goth culture that they can work in, fashion wise. They aren’t exclusive to the TradGoth look anymore. They can work with NuGoth, pastel goth, dark mori, dark bohemian, faerie goth, celtic/pagan goth, even, arguably, medieval & hippie goth could successfully incorporate winklepickers into their wardrobe. As long as your style has elements of traditional gothic culture or some level of fantasy and folk element to it, you can make it work.
The only downside of winklepickers (that I can find, at least) is without a doubt, the price point. The cheapest I’ve been able to come across are within the $80-90 range, and that’s for a plain pair that doesn’t come with any buckles or flashy bits that make them worth while. However, from what I’ve heard, they are, much like Doc Martens, well worth the price point and will serve you well for as long as you’re willing to take care of them.