How a village rivalry in rural Mexico led to absurdly pointy boots on the runway in Paris

A fashion trend that began in rural Mexico and swept up through large portions of Texas and Oklahoma has recently made it to the fashion runways of Paris.

The trend is men wearing very pointy boots. Absurdly pointy. As in, you’ll-poke-your-eye-out, how-can-you-even-walk-in-these pointy. Safe to say these are not just the opposite of square toe.

They’re called guarachero boots and some feature a point so severe that they actually curl upward, reaching incredibly unwieldy proportions.

Like these: 

According to NPR, the boots, called “guaracheros,” originated in rural Mexico. But for the first time, the boots have gone completely mainstream. Designer French fashion house Comme des Garçons makes a black ankle-high boot clearly inspired by the trend, called the Guarachero Boot. 

They retail for $US515.

How did a boot with such proportions catch the eyes of designers and reach the runways of Paris? Like many fashion trends, its beginnings are humble.

The boot is inseparable from the trend of tribal (pronounced tree-val) guarachero music, which NPR describes as “a mix of pre-Hispanic sounds, cumbia rhythms and techno.” Both originated in the rural town of Matehuala in the San Luis Potosi region of Mexico, as did the angular boots.

As Vice notes in a short documentary on the footwear, the pointed boots all started when someone sharpened his shoes. This caught the eye of someone from another neighbouring town, who also sharpened his shoes. A competition for the sharpest shoes began, and it wouldn’t end until the points reached epic proportions.

“Then people started making them pointier and pointer, until it got out of control,” one young man from the documentary quoted by NPR said, who they noted “fashions pointy boots out of water hoses.”

Soon, the pointy trend began spreading across Mexico and Hispanic communities in the US, taking the music along with it. NPR notes that “residents of Matehuala started wearing the boots in tribal dancing competitions at clubs, rodeos and quinceañeras.”

The quick spread of the boots can be attributed to popular DJs and musicians who have taken up the trend and spread it worldwide. NPR notes that DJs like Erick Rincon and the French David Guetta have featured them in their music videos, leading to a sharp uptick in popularity.

Which is how they became so popular and came to be featured prominently in the spring/summer fashion show of CDG.

That’s how we end up with these photos: 

CDG’s boots differ quite a bit from their Mexican inspiration. Refinery29 notes that they’re based off the Chelsea boot, rather than the more traditional cowboy boot, with side gussets and easy pull on tabs.

Refinery29 also wondered whether a $US515 designer boot based on something usually made “on the cheap” was appropriate, but notes that anyone who was a fan of the DJs who brought the boot popularity would probably go nuts for it (if they had the money). Indeed, the web shop Ssense is sold out of all but two sizes.

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