Best Pirate Boots From Across The 7 Seas Reviewed
Being a pirate rapidly became one of the top costumes for Halloween after Pirates of the Caribbean movies. There are so many variations of buccaneers like Steampunk, Goth, and even “Sexy” but you can never go wrong with dressing up in a classic Captain Hook vibe with the heel boots and the big hat with a giant feather. Whatever your choice may be we’ve managed to scour the internet to find you the best of the best so you can take your costume or cosplay to the next level.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 19 hrs of research
10 Best Pirate Shoes
1. Telacos Jack Sparrow
*Ahem* It's Captain Jack Sparrow thank you very much. Although, we suppose since he's a swashbuckler he wouldn't say thank you. Your plan to actually be the Captain Jack needs to be flawless in every detail, right down to the feet. The obvious choice is to get an exact replica which is what we have here! Thanks to Telacos custom designs in cosplay they provide Jack Sparrows that look like the real deal and can be requested in exact measurements! How awesome is that?Read more
Not only can you send in the measurements you need to get the perfect fit you can also ask for a different color or style, like maybe adding a taller heel or instead of the light brown get a darker almost black shade. Telacos is known for their stellar customer service and response rate. If somehow you don't get what you wanted to a T or end up with a faulty item they will most definitely work with you to get the issue corrected as soon as possible with little to no hassle. How many other companies and brands do the same? Not many. Also, with other companies, it's usually you get what you get, and you don't throw a fit (as in customizing isn't an option). Woo, go Telacos!
Cost and Value
You can't expect such high standard craftsmanship to go for a dime. Getting the best means spending a considerable price but is it worth it? Oh, yes! Once you slip 'em on you'll immediately realize you made the right choice and will love the feel of the soft pleather, not to mention the comfort that comes with having them fit your foot size specifically. Many of us happen to have an unfortunate circumstance; one foot is slightly different from the other in some way, shape, or form. For example, your right foot is slightly longer which requires half a size up but turns out being too big for the left. You can escape that nightmare with the Sparrows.
2. Summitfashion Fold Over
When you're looking for any kind of fashionable boot on Amazon one of the top choices among consumers will be Summitfashions. Each and every piece tailored by them are brought to life with a passion from the shoemakers. Their goal is to give buyers exactly what they wanted and envisioned with a quality that has no match. All of their products are different, unique, for those of us still out there with no interest in "Yeezys" and whatever else is in fashion these days. Although not a traditional Hollywood piracy look they would make a great addition to your fantasy/anime costume, or even for wearing regularly.Read more
To fold or not to fold, that is the question. Having the option to have a cuff or not can be a defining point in whether or not you make the decision to use them for your ensemble. Not to mention if you plan on wearing them on a regular basis, go from scallywag to chic in just a manner of seconds with your Summitfashion cuffs! Over-the-knee or flipped down you'll rock the house the moment you enter a room like LMFAO said: "The party don't start 'till I walk in." Side question, whatever happened to those guys? (Uncle and nephew duo decided to take their careers solo with no hard feelings or nasty band breakup).
Sadly, no, the buttons aren't functional. Their purpose is decorative only, but that doesn't lessen the effect they have on the eyes. Simplicity will always be a go-to classic due to the fact not everyone likes super bedazzled and gaudy apparel. When it comes to footwear function typically comes first, except when we see a shoe that we would kill for, and it's so uncomfortable and ridiculous that we'll never wear it (we've all done this at least once). Lucky for us that Summitfashions puts comfort and functionality first and somehow manages to still give us the feeling that we absolutely have to have these!
Cost and Value
Hey, hey, we know what you're thinking. Holy moly, right? If you want high-end, you have to pay the price. Admit it; if this was Halloween and you were going to the costume shop, you wouldn't even blink at the price tags because costumes have been and always will be expensive. It's no different when buying stuff online! If you have the time, you could just save a bit here and there and not worry, but if you've procrastinated until the last minute, you'll just have to bite the bullet and swallow the lump in your throat.
3. Funtasma Caribbean Pirate
Now we're getting to the good stuff! The super cool, buckled and distressed Caribbean based by Funtasma make a great modernized addition to any cosplay. Not only are they provided in black, there is also a deep brown as well for the classic look with a twist. The only downside we can really see with this style is that the sizing goes from small to extra large which can be a pain figuring out what will fit. But! On the bright side there are regular width and medium width so if you require a little extra room you can get it. How do you think bunions happen? Too tight of footwear. So do yourself a solid and get you some roomy booties.Read more
They aren't just buckles; they're octopus buckles. If you look real close, you'll see that there are two octopi, one on each side, and their tentacles meet around the sides. They look a tad angry, which is awesome because they kind of remind us of Davey Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean; Dead Man's Chest. Man, that guy was creepy, especially when his little tentacle got cut off and it was moving all on its own. Shudder. So gross. These buckles also are silver that has been treated to appear rustic gold in color with an added flair to look aged. It clashes nicely with the newer appearance of the actual boot itself.
In the world of footwear, it matters what is used for the lining on the inside of a shoe. Each kind is used in specifics such as winter wear, summer, active, etc. This is to keep the wearer comfortable in whatever conditions they'll be exposed to. The inner lining here is a man-made material that breathes to prevent excessive sweating from spending the whole day or night wandering around. Not only that, but it's also going to last a heck of a lot longer than natural materials would because they can be molecularly manipulated to withstand constant wear. Let's face it; it is ridiculously annoying to have the insides fall apart and cause your socks or feet to get all grimy and dirty or even sticky (if an adhesive was used to place the innards). If you get this style, be free to do as you please without fear!
Cost and Value
Ouch. That's going to leave a mark. Better add that into your budget before taking the dive. Otherwise, you'll be left with no power or water so binge watching Netflix or showering will be a distant memory for a month. They aren't the most expensive though, shockingly enough, and with all their great features Funtasma could probably charge more if they wanted. Except they love their customers and try to give the lowest price without screwing themselves over from a profit (without profit, no more products). The craftsmanship is just so beautiful that it would be a shame if the business went under and no one could ever enjoy another one of their works of art again. Did you think that was real leather? Yeah, us too! But surprise, it's fake! See? Amazing.
4. Ellie Shoes Captain Hook
Are you trying to achieve an all-time classic Captain Hook theme complete with a feathered hat, fur-lined coat and large, black boots? You've found the right ones! Ellie Shoes kept people like us in mind that are more interested in the beauty of leather alone and feel no need for any added stuff. The Hook inspired look is finished with a shiny polyurethane and equipped with a moderate heel in true Hollywood fashion. Sizing is in men's, but they do provide a chart to tell you which will fit best.Read more
One Inch Heel
As we've already discussed a bit, captains have usually been known to be very flashy in the way they dress (especially at port). They loved looking rich and fancy, and back in those days, upper-class men wore moderate heels. It was their way of telling the world that they were wealthy and had no reason to do work of any sort, AKA royalty mostly. After heels became popular among the higher classes, the lower classes ended up following suit to appear fashionable except theirs were usually of lower quality and were not nearly as beautiful. Naturally, a captain wants to look like they have money so if that's the kind of costume you're wanting, then you'll be pleased with this one-inch heel.
What was another way the rich could be distinguished from the poor? Whether or not their clothing was dirty or worn down. Anyone of royal blood could toss anything away once it had even the tiniest scratch or bit of dirt because they could afford to. Anyone else, on the other hand, would have to scrimp and save for months, even years, before they could even think about buying something so expensive and if something happened to them, they would be up the creek without a paddle. The Captain Hooks are especially glossy and look like they would run for a king's ransom back in the early centuries, perfect for a conceited captain.
Cost and Value
What seems to be the most logical choice? Buying a pair of semi-expensive booties and not worrying about the quality, or trying to craft some yourself with hundreds of dollars in trial and error supplies? Not to mention all of the gas to keep going back to the craft or fabric store. Yeesh. It seems much more efficient and easier on the wallet to just buy a good product from someone who knows what they're doing and has been doing it a while. Besides, you could always customize them if you wanted to!
5. Ellie Shoes Jack
Have you ever heard of the only known raider of Australia, Jack Black? His given name was John Anderson, an African American who fled with a gaggle of his crewmates after being accused of murder. They became greedy after entering the sealing trade and making a fortune on selling seal pelts. It wasn't enough for Jack Black, so he and his crew started robbing from other vessels to make them even richer. Eventually, though, Black's crew turned against him (mutiny) and killed him, he's believed to be buried on Middle Island of Australia. Ellie Shoes modeled their Jack 121s after this infamous sealer.Read more
No faux leather or sheepskin here! This beauty is made from genuine buckskin, so if you're looking for something vegan-friendly, this isn't it. Buckskin is one of the softest kinds of leather, not to mention the fact that if treated properly can withstand water with little to no stains. This Jack has a polished vinyl cover over the buckskin to give it that shine, since its normally matte. The plastic polymer also keeps the material looking fresh and new for a longer period than if it was left out. Don't worry; the vinyl doesn't make it look fake!
Sadly, the straps aren't removable or even adjustable, which makes it a one fits most type and the shaft can slouch quite a bit since you have no way of tightening it. Thankfully the sizing is pretty spot on (except they run a bit large) so you can get a good fit with a little extra room. Even if they are just for decoration instead of function the straps really give an authentic appearance and add a bit of flair without going over the top. The ankle strap has a square shaped buckle while the upper strap has a more rounded one, and even though they're different, they go very well together.
Cost and Value
When it comes to Ellie Shoes their prices can vary, you may get lucky and find a shoe that seems too good to be true in price or end up getting something that will make you cringe when you see it hit your bank account. If you get the Jacks, you get the first choice! How can something so beautiful and made from such high quality, authentic materials be so wonderfully priced? Simple! There are no excessive accessories added or intricate distressing methods used. Those things require more manpower and hours to get them just right, so without them, you can pay less but still receive more!
6. Ellie Shoes Buckskin Captain
You may have noticed by now that Ellie Shoes has the most variety when it comes to costuming scallywags, not to mention they're going to be built to last and designed with the highest level of craft. Fun fact! Did you know that Ellie Shoes is a family owned and operated company? That explains why they are always pumping out the most amazing and beautiful footwear! The brand started out in the year 2000 by Ellen Renger and specialized mainly in "bedroom" shoes, but as it became apparent that costume type shoes were rising in the ranks, they decided to give it a go. By a happy accident, their Halloween collection became a success, and they've been growing ever since.Read more
Yes, do the pose! Leg up and hand on hip! You'll look the part with this pair of Captains. They're almost an exact replica of the boots the character wears on the Captain Morgan bottle, with a moderate heel and extra long cuff. Then there's the ankle strap with a block buckle for that added panache! Top off your costume with this perfectly built boot, shiny and most becoming of any marauder. You don't even have to be Captain Morgan; they could work for any other kind of captain or even to wear to a Renaissance fair if you so wished!
It may not be in the photo, but with your purchase, you also get a removable red sash you can tie onto the boot wherever you please. You could even use it like an ascot if you wanted, or wrap it around your head if you felt the need to do so. Red was a common color because the dyes used to create such a rich shade was expensive and as we all know, they had an affinity for looking fancy. Only the wealthy could afford such a luxury which means a raider who wants to look high class would wear whatever they could find that was red.
Cost and Value
Just because it's a high-end design doesn't mean you have to pay the price. You get quite the bargain for polyurethane leather and completely lead-free add-ons. PU is popular because it gives the look of wearing authentic materials and since it's man made it also lasts longer before getting worn down. Plus, polyurethane is much easier to clean and care for! You don't need any fancy tools or cleaning solutions or even polish. A simple microfiber cloth with some water will do the job and restore that fresh out of the box shine.
7. Ellie Shoes Quinley
On the prowl for some more pizazz and added hotness to your already scalding levels? Check out what are called the Quinleys by Ellie Shoes! They've got it all! A super tall, pointy stiletto? Check. Lace-up front? Double check. Steampunk aesthetic? Check, check, and check! Also let's point out that if you don't want clunky bucket-tops or cuffs, then you probably were intrigued on the spot after laying your eyes on this gorgeous design. And after we tell you about all the amazing qualities, it has you'll die if you don't get yourself a pair!Read more
Velcro is an amazing thing, it's extremely versatile and can be used for almost anything like clothes or DIY crafts. The Quinley style offers two straps at the top, attached to the tongue, that has velcro closures for the best fit around your knee or thigh. Since it's technically labeled boudiour the whole point is for a tight fit and tall heel to give the legs a longer, leaner appearance. If you're going for the sexy Halloween vibe, this is going to be exactly what you need to top it off. Unless you're a parent to a little girl, and for some reason when you look at the picture you can't help but think of Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy (even though Zarina didn't have heels), gee thanks Disney for invading our brains forever.
What's one thing that has been coveted for hundreds of years? That's right, gold. Pretty much since the very first civilization gold has been used to adorn and enrich the upper classes to show how important they are. Except any more gold is available to anyone. Sadly the accents on the Quinley aren't real gold, just metal colored to look like it. That doesn't make it appear any less fancy though! The glittery yellow contrasts very well with the darker colors that make up the rest.
Cost and Value
Since Steampunk is rising in popularity, that means the cost of apparel and accessories is also going up in overall costs. Not to mention the whole boudoir factor can hike it up even higher. Then add in the genuine leather upper and tough rubber outsole, and you've got quite the expensive boot! The absolutely gorgeous design and placement of the gears and laces more than make it worth the buy. Ellie Shoes is widely adored by many since they only produce and ship out products of the highest excellence, as a brand their standards are very high. Higher than the four-inch heel they've given this specific shoe!
8. Funtasma Gotham
Maybe, just maybe, you want to follow the hype but you don't want to be called basic or a sheep. You can achieve this with the Gotham style from Funtasma! They're just enough to pass for a captain costume without looking like everyone else, heck you could even be Batman the Pirate! They are named Gotham after all! Not only this but the appearance has also been modeled after the Sci-Fi version of engineers, not only is the material distressed it's also specially done so as to look streaked and tumbled artistically rather than randomly.Read more
Take a close look at the bottom, you'll see there are a strap and buckle system attached to the shaft and sole. If you undo the buckle you can remove the top portion of the boot, otherwise known as the cover. Once removed you're left with a plain ankle bootie and you can easily place the cover over a different bootie if you so, please. The cover is adorned with straps around the back and an adjustable strap at the opening to tighten or loosen the top to prevent slouching (or cutting off circulation).
You can't see it but it's there. Built into the inner portion of the ankle bootie is a hidden zipper that is covered by the attached upper. Zippers make pulling on tight footwear much easier because it opens the ankle part wider and keeps you from accidentally crushing the heel inwards. Also, it makes taking them off so much easier after having slightly swollen feet from standing in long lines at the con. Anyone else totally deceived into thinking it was all one piece with no zipper, only straps? Because we sure were. That's how you know it's been craftily designed!
Cost and Value
Funtasma usually has pretty good sales going on, especially since the parent company is Pleaser USA, one that's renowned for giving the best pricing online. The only bummer is that if you miss the sale you'll be spending a big portion of your paycheck (unless you've budgeted, which is recommended). Even if you end up having to pay full retail for the Gothams, they are more than worth it! You're basically getting two for one thanks to the removable cover. The faux leather does seem a bit uniform in the way it's been textured but that isn't really a problem unless you're looking up close.
9. Summitfashions Distressed
Do you love the look of having one base color that's highlighted by a lighter, contrasting color? If you go with this style by Summitfashions you get that look! The main parts are a distressed, black faux leather and the accented designs are a distressed brown. It is an eye-catching yet simple design that will set you apart from everyone else who are all wearing solid colors. These brown patches are also shaped in a popular; three tipped vintage shape that was used in not only clothing but in items around the home.Read more
It's a bummer when laces aren't functional, but it can also be a blessing in disguise. Say you're in a hurry and need to be able to just pull 'em on and go, otherwise you might miss getting to meet your favorite actors and cosplayers at the convention. Lucky for you if that's exactly what you want it's what you get with this easy pull-up design. The laces go from the ankle up to the bottom of the cuff on the outer side on the boot which makes them look real without being real.
Not many of the other listed products are flat on the bottom, most of them have at least a one-inch lift thanks to the heel. Since not all of us enjoy wearing heels of any kind, no matter how low they are, this is a great option to keep in mind. There's still a distinguishing gap between the sole and heel because technically these could be considered riding boots. Fun fact; heels were often worn when riding a horse to keep the foot in the stirrup safely and securely, even when standing up. Raiders didn't have much need for this but liked the dramatic appearance it gave, along with the menacing clip-clop when they walked. Sometimes we can't help but wonder if people became buccaneers only because of their love for being dramatic and theatrical.
Cost and Value
Don't let the fact that they're probably one of the most expensive choices affect your opinion. The amount of love and hours of work put into carefully creating each stitch, every cut of the fabric, and choosing the best way to put it together can be easily seen and felt once you open that box. Even just running your fingers over the specially distressed polyurethane feels as if you're touching true blue leather that's been handmade right from the beginning. Just imagine all the time it would take to cut out each piece for the accents, and carefully stitching them into their proper place, even just the slightest mistake and you would have to start all over again.
10. Pleaser Buccaneer
Another classic! Shiny, brown leather! What, pray tell, is different about the Buccaneers? You may have noticed that they have laces to tighten the bucket top! So in case, you're not a fan of the large, super slouchy opening but still, want a cuff you can tighten to your heart's desire. The cuff cannot be folded upwards though (not reversible) so if you're wanting to go from captain to *ahem* exotic dancer these aren't going to be your cup of tea.Read more
Below the cuff and laces is a "rear calf" zipper instead of having it zip up the inside of your leg. This gives the illusion from the front that there aren't any zippers at all, although we both know that's a lie. Pulling on a fitted boot is a pain and most of the time impossible because the ankle is usually thinner than the rest and makes it hard to squeeze in there. Having one also makes taking 'em off after a long day of standing and walking easier, because by the end our feet and legs have become slightly (or extremely) swollen. Sort of the equivalent to undoing your pants after a large meal. Sweet relief.
Rubber is normally a first choice for the sole or heel in any kind of footwear, it's durable and dependable. Although it can wear down easily and isn't necessarily environmentally friendly. What is anymore? Like the ban on straws. Simple solution! Make it biodegradable! Back on track, the heel and outsole on the buccaneer is made of a rubber like vinyl polymer. It's similar to a plastic but has all of the qualities we love in old fashioned rubber such as impact absorption and weather resistance. It also gives a satisfying click clack on the floor when walking.
Cost and Value
Quite possibly one of the cheapest we've got listed they're a great buy thanks to the high end imitation leather they are constructed of and the sturdy vinyl outsole. Not only that but the insole is cushioned for excessive standing, so when you're posing for pictures at the convention (or even a private shoot for your patreon) you won't have to sit down between shots to give your achy feet a rest. The width is listed as medium which means it should be a "one fits most" kind of deal, and their sizing is based on general small through extra large. Pleaser provides exact details on how each size fits as well so you'll be able to get the proper one.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Among buccaneers their favorite kind of material to use was buckskin, most often it was used in making their footwear and hats. Here in the present buckskin has been replaced with sheepskin but back then it was made of the hide of a deer. The creation method to turn deer hide into leather is similar in the way Native Americans used it for their own clothing.
It starts with tanning the hide, as you would any other kind of leather, and smoked. Similar to how BBQ kings smoke their meat, except here the reason isn’t to add flavor. The process of smoking buckskin prevents the fabric from becoming stiff after getting wet and wards off insects. It is also ridiculously soft and flexible after being imbued with a lubricant. See now why pyrates preferred it? The water from the ocean won’t ruin the material and there won’t be any chance of insects making it their dinner, plus it’s easy to climb around on ropes and navigate the sterns when wearing a buckskin boot. If you’re looking for the most authentic one you can find then you’re in the right place. Many in the list above are made from true buckskin, not faux leather or sheepskin, meaning you can experience the real deal of being a scallywag.
There has been a lot of debating and arguing over the years about what pyrates legitimately wore and the general consensus is that regular buckled shoes were the most common, because they were cheaper and seemingly more practical. Bucket-top boots were actually quite expensive because of the ridiculous amount of leather needed to make them so it seems pretty safe to assume a buccaneer would rather save his gold and go with the coin purse friendly option. Let’s say theoretically though that they boarded another ship and some of the passengers and crew were wearing fancy cuffed footwear, it’s obvious they’ll be left walking the plank barefoot or having their toes nibbled on by rats in the brig. Hollywood will always be Hollywood though and likes to embezzle facts for heightened effects and pique viewers interests, hence an eye-catching boot.
It is also easier to distinguish the differences between characters and what role they play. Example; James Norrington was always wearing a moderately heeled, buckled shoe that was black in color and polished to a shine. On the other hand, Captain Barbossa was always seen in a dirty, water-stained matte black boot with a large amount of the top folded over into a cuff. When cosplaying though we typically like to go for the exaggerated Hollywood version and that’s why we did our best to find folding cuffs.
Cosplay is an art, each piece of the ensemble usually takes hours, days, even weeks to complete because of all the hard work that is put into making them. Not all of us have the skills to be able to do it or the time so we will commission someone to create our costume for us. There is also the option to buy different pieces separately, each from a different creator, to put together a completely unique cosplay that no one else will be wearing. Places like Comic-Con and Anime Expo are all about diversity, you hardly ever see the same exact costume twice! Anyways, back to the point. If you decide to purchase any one of the items we have here you have more than likely noticed that quite a few of them offer complete customization.
Things such as color, accessories, and sizing can be special ordered to your exact specifications. Meaning you won’t have to worry about receiving the completely wrong thing and being unable to exchange it because *gasp* the convention is in two days! And custom gear would take weeks to arrive! Making the choice of getting precise measurements and talking back and forth with the artist to ensure you’ll get exactly what you imagine is right at your fingertips.
Going for a more “traditional” look? Buckles. Needing something flashy? Gears and straps. Prefer plain? We got you covered. It isn’t just high ratings we look for when spending hours researching the best of the best; it’s also a variety of styles and options. Not all of us share the same tastes and visions of how we like to dress which makes it important to showcase fashions that cater to all. Let’s take Steampunk and break it down; as a whole, the style of Steampunk is taking 19th-century fashions and meshing them together with technologies run by (you guessed it) steam power.
Each fantastical bit that goes into the creation of Steampunk equipment and apparel has the idea that it would be able to function in some way. Except most of the time people just like to dress up in it for giggles and try to find the “coolest” looking stuff there is. You probably took a liking to the couple of pairs that are adorned with buckles, buttons, straps, and gears because we sure did. They’re artfully and tastefully placed on the boot to enhance and add to the beauty of the leathers and other materials used in creating it.
Comfort is a crucial element of a boot's performance and is a major deciding factor in the overall happiness of the wearer. There are many elements and features of a shoe which can make a world of difference when it comes to the level of comfort it provides including:
A boot needs to have ample cushioning to support the foot and absorb shock from the impact of every step. Without proper cushioning feet and legs become fatigued and achy which can become uncomfortable and affect performance. Growing children especially need to have a supportive pair of footwear that takes the pressure of off their growing bones, limbs, and tendons. The ankle is another area to pay particular attention to, and that should be well-supported and protected from the potential for injury. It’s easy to accidentally hurt your ankle while walking, running, or playing sports, which is why a sneaker should provide some level of support at the ankle bone, mainly if it will be for athletic activities.
Another contributing factor to the overall comfort of a boot is how well temperature and moisture build-up is controlled. No one likes the feeling of damp, sweaty feet and it can be especially unpleasant for children who have to sit in class for hours at a time. Ideally, a boot will have a footbed which wicks moisture away from the skin, along with ventilation holes or construction using breathable materials. Leather is an excellent material for allowing proper airflow and also draws moisture away from the foot maintaining a cool and dry environment.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Pirate boots can actually be used for a number of different events. Renaissance faires that celebrate medieval culture and events, halloween, or even for different Comic Cons or cosplay events. Whatever the event, you're sure to have fun if you're putting a pair of these on your feet!
To help keep the shape of your boots, use a boot shaper, or even rolled up cardboard to make sure the shaft keeps its look and doesn't' crease. Leather boots will need a leather conditioner to prevent cracking. Caring for the buckles or other metal embellishments can be done using a metal cleaner and toothbrush.
Other Factors to Consider
Finally, we have reached the end of our long journey of discussing boots which come with two style options. The versatility you get with this is amazing, and we love the idea of looking just a little bit different each time we step out of the house but wearing the same, well-worn design day in and day out.
We did talk a lot about different types of pirate boots. At the end of the day, it is important that you are happy and that you feel great in your new pair of boots and they fit the look you're going for.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why do they have cuffs?
To this, there really is no definitive answer, it just happened to be the fashion. Especially among the wealthy who would wear their riding boots and then fold the tops down to appear more appropriately dressed if attending a function or going to town. Many of the great captains mentioned throughout history have been described as “flamboyant” when it comes to their clothing and style. The whole point of being a pirate was to steal and become fabulously wealthy, right? Captains wanted to look the part, they were human after all and greed and vanity are powerful things. If they docked onto a ship and that ships Captain was impeccably dressed guess what? They’ll be left in their skivvies while the thief admires his new outfit and fancy shoes to match with shining buckles and all. It has been speculated that bucket tops were preferred because they did a good job of protecting from ocean spray and the leather could hold its own against the salty water.
q: How to convert regular boots into cavaliers?
The never-ending world of Pinterest probably has tons of ideas to up your regular fall booties that will probably end up being donated to the Goodwill because they’re out of style or are looking worse for wear. You can give them a makeover easy-peasy lemon squeezy! What is often referred to as “boot covers” are simple to make, or if you’re not sewing savvy you can buy some on Etsy. A boot cover is easily attachable to a pre-existing shoe to give the illusion of a fold-over cuff, a staple in Hollywood pirate footwear. They can also be used on several different ones! As long as the fabric matches, obviously. It would look pretty strange to wear a black cover over brown leather unless that’s the kind of style you’re after? Two-tone does seem to be what the in-crowd is wearing lately, so maybe you could get away with it? Anyways let’s get back on track. If you don’t want the cuff you can try making the material look weathered, a technique called “distressing”. If what you’re working with is leather you can use water and sandpaper, even wrapping them in a sheet or something with a bunch of rocks and whacking it around on the ground, hard. Make sure you pay attention to areas that would age faster than all the rest, like the toes and creases behind your knees and ankles. Add on some buckles if you want to go fancy!
q: How do you wear/style them?
We’re not going to tell you how to wear your own clothes but there’s probably a chance you have no idea where to start. Does anyone else remember when What Not To Wear was all the rage? One of the number one lessons was making sure the outfit was cohesive without being matchy-matchy, like matching your footwear to an accessory (heels to purse or loafers to watch). Say you’ve got the outfit all laid out; a hat, shirt, coat, and trousers. When making the decision of what pair of buccaneers to go with it, your best bet is going to be getting some that are similar to your hat in color and material as well as style. Captain hat equals captain boot, steampunk with steampunk, and so on. It would look pretty goofy to wear a black hat adorned with goggles and gears then have plain brown, torn up and frayed booties. It is also most common to tuck your trousers into the openings instead of having them over top and covering them up, similar to how cowboys wear theirs.
q: Why were they so popular?
o you mean among actual pirates or for costumes? If for the real deal, we already went over the fact that they were really expensive and not always the most practical for crewmembers that were climbing all over the place. Captains liked them though when going to port because it gave the appearance of wealth and class. When it comes to Hollywood though, they like to go above and beyond the point of exaggeration. Their references always (almost) link back to pop culture literature that has been fantasized and romanticized to emphasize what kind of character was being described. Studios are suckers for those characters because they’re bold and daring with eccentric traits that distinguish them from the rest. Movies would get really boring really fast if it was always 100% historically accurate, like if every single swashbuckler each wore a variation of the same outfit? Stained, white shirt with torn pant legs and no shoes? Can you imagine the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow like that? No way! His outfit matches his persona, scrambled with bits and baubles (rings, chains, his hairpiece). You can always tell what kind of person someone is by their choice of attire. Most of the time.