from “The Sex Life Of Foot and Shoe” by William Rossi P. 114


This lacks the subtle eroticism of the sensuous shoe, the colorful imagination of the peacock shoe, the feigned boldness of the masculine shoe. or the recessive character of the eunuch shoe. Instead, the machismo shoe is one of the most savagely sex-ridden of all male footwear styles— chauvinistic, aggressive, sadistic. For macho-shoe wearers it isn’t enough merely to be or appear masculine. They must stomp this impression into the minds of others, especially females.

The boot is the best-known form of machismo footwear. Knee-high or calf-high, heavy and leathery, usually with bold hardware such as clumpy buckles or shiny studs, frequently with wide and thick straps. heavy soles, and loud-clicking heels. These boots reflect a kind of swashbuckling personality, hostile and ruthless and challenging, which is precisely the image the wearers wish to transmit.

A classic example is the attire typically worn by motorcycle gangs —the heavy, studded, stomp-type boot matched by metal-studded leather jacket, leather pants, etc. All of it has a militant character with a portent of violence and sadism. Even the ordinary work boot has been adopted as a macho “style” unrelated to its utilitarian function. These are often worn by young men seeking to convey the rugged he-man look that suggests impending threat or challenge.

The cowboy boot also belongs to this group, though in modified form. It has its own machismo character, the cowboy and his boots representing an image of aggressive male thrust, of hardy toughness.

The same principle applies to all military-type boots. For example. young paratroopers will wear their heavy combat boots when off duty in town for machismo- motivated display. The history of military footwear emphasizes the heavy, savage hoot, all part of the machismo image and attitude considered essential to the aggressive character of the occupation. Bismarck said, “The sight and sound of good Prussian boots on the march are a powerful military weapon by themselves.” Hitler’s goose-stepping soldiers with their heavy studded boots were their own threat of impending terror. General Patton was fond of saying, “A soldier in shoes is only a soldier. But in boots he becomes a warrior.”

The machismo boot in any form, like its wearers, suggests a kind of psychosexual malevolence. Ironically, this footwear is sometimes worn by psychosexually’ passive men who wish to transmit a different image. But whether these boots are worn by psychosexually aggressive or passive men, the machismo or gladiator character of the boot itself feeds the undernourished sexual ego of the wearers.

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