Have you heard of winklepickers? We wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t! Winklepickers are a true piece of alternative history that remains to be rocked primarily by die hard traditional Goths, rockabilly’s and the alternative style obsessed. If you’re just as obsessed with alt fashion as we are, we know you’ll love this brief history of the most alternative footwear we’ve ever known!
Winklepickers are a style of shoe that are characterised by its pointed toe. The term “Winklepicker” comes directly from the processes of picking winkles (periwinkles) out of shells using a spike that the sharp toe resembles. Most styles of boot, shoe and heels can be a winklepicker as long as it’s rocking this super pointed toe!
It All Began with, uh, Crackowes?
Winklepickers were first inspired by the fashionable 15th century European shoe called a crackow. They consisted of a super long toe that had to be held up using either whalebone (also used for boning in corsets) or ribbons that were tied onto the tip of the shoe and then around the knee. Crazy, right? Well, the tips of those shoes averaged two feet long!
Who Rocked Winklepickers?
The shoe has almost always been associated with subcultures. While shoes like Doc Martens have a primarily punk association, winklepickers can be traced back to many subcultures starting with Teddy Boys, then Mods, and eventually the New Wavers and Post-Punkers.
Teddy Boys were well known for incorporating the winklepicker style into their beloved brothel creepers.
Mods rocked a winklepicker in the form of a heeled Cuban boot with their sleek suits; they’re perfect wearing while riding mopeds!
Lastly, New Wavers and Post-Punks rocked the style most commonly found today in alternative shops – a flat boot, often in leather with tones of buckles on the side.
Why Haven’t I Heard of Them!
Unlike most Goth and alternative fashion which have been rocking a massive revival in the past decade, what with Pastel Goth and nineties fashion becoming so popular, winklepickers have remained in obscurity. They’re one piece of alternative history that seems to want to stay truly alternative!
Are you a fan of winklepickers? Let us know in the comments below!