When did the word ‘booties’ enter sartorial parlance? It’s a cutesy term, but I must say I prefer it to the ‘shoe-boots’ that I have also heard, which is clunky. And booties should be anything but. By contrast, ankle boots of course cover, or finish just above the ankle. But what are booties?
They are enclosed shoes that cover the entire instep (the top part of the foot), just like baby booties from which they probably take their name (they don’t rate a mention in the Wikipedia entry on booties). Basically, they look like boots that have had the top part shorn off.
Easy to wear with trousers, once upon a time they looked really weird worn with a skirt. Now that is practically de rigeur.
In the autumn I was looking for booties but, as I’ve probably mentioned before, Australian chain stores are very conservative. Shoes, and boots in particular, usually are single coloured, and for autumn/winter this means either tan, dark brown, black, and sometimes grey. On the extremely rare occasion one’s eye might be assaulted by a red shoe (not a boot, mind) – gasp! How daring!
However, the rarest and most exotic sighting is a shoe constructed in more than one colour and finish. This type of shoe is almost impossible to find. In fact I don’t think it has entered the horizon of some of these shoe designers.
So I shop online. I found these suede booties by Next on eBay, from a UK seller. They are made from not one, not two, but three colours! Extraordinary. And quite cute to boot.