Simone enjoys fashion and fashion accessories. She also finds garments to be more about strategy than stereotypes.
An interesting thing is happening in the world of Mexican boots. The toes are getting pointy. And long. And dance crews are flaunting them as they shuffle the night away to the pre-hispanic-African-Cumbia lovechild that is Tribal music.
Where did these boots come from? What makes them different? Who first started making and wearing them? How are they worn? And what do they have to do with Tribal music?
Kick off your pathetically boring shoes and pull up a chair. I'll give you the low-down on the Mexican pointy boot trend below.
Mexican Boot Origins
If you want to fully understand the pointy Mexican boot trend, you'll need to understand the origins of Mexican boots in general.
Mexican boots emerged in the 1800s as an offshoot of more general cowboy boots. What differentiates Mexican boots from cowboy boots is:
- They are typically worn for show or fun: they're not work boots like cowboy boots
- They were traditionally made out of exotic animal skins (e.g. alligator, armadillo...)
- They started out as flat-heeled and shorter than cowboy boots (though now their styles vary significantly)
- They are typically more expensive than cowboy boots due to more expensive materials, more customization, and fancier design
Modern Mexican boots can be flat or high-heeled, and they are bound by no specific design constraints. Most have flat toe caps, though some utilize silver pointed toes. Some are simple while others are incredibly elaborate. Many of the more elaborate ones come with a theme.
The Pointy Boot Trend
Mexican boots were already fancy. The addition of extra-pointy toes is just an extra mod to make some boots even fancier.
The trend emerged in late 2009–early 2010, and runs parallel (and seems greatly inspired by) the Tribal music trend.
The boots (botas vaqueras exóticas) started out as only moderately pointy—just slightly different from most Mexican boots. But the toes just got longer as fashion daredevils sought to outdo each other. Before long, toes that extended out just a couple extra inches were reaching out as far as seven feet.
The trendsetters were usually modding the boots themselves—using plastic hoses for the curved soles of the added pointy toes, topping them with materials ranging from leather to designer fabrics, and using screws to give the toes shape.
The Rise of Tribal Music
The pioneers in the pointy boot trend were also pioneers in the Tribal music movement.
One person in particular stands out when it comes to Tribal music: Erick Rincon (other people to watch on that front are DJ Otto and DJ Sheeqo Beat). This music producer / DJ / kid (he was only 16 when his work really started gaining traction) creates some awesome sounds by mixing pre-hispanic and African sounds with Cumbia basslines.
According to Rincon in a VBS Behind the Seams episode on Mexican Pointy Boots, the Tribal movement is by no means new. It first emerged in Mexico City around 2000/2001, and though it had a more indigenous, Aztec sound to it in the beginning, the movement developed a Tribal Guarachero split (which combined Colombian guacharacas with Cumbia) once it hit Monterrey.
Many of the first people to flaunt this interesting footwear were dance crews, such as Los Parranderos and the Barrio Apache Hyphy Crew. Rincon says he first noticed pointy boots at the Far West Rodeo Club in Dallas and says that most of the pointy boot wearers hail from Texas and San Luis. Apparently there are more pointy boot wearers in the States than in Mexico proper.
What makes the pointy boot trend interesting is how it, like any good trend, applies new materials and technology to a timeless cycle.
Mexican boots have always been about being fun, dressy shoes. That these are extra pointy should not come as a surprise: extra pointyness only adds extra flare to something that is worn for flare in the first place.
My favorite thing about this trend is how it puts a new spin on the material with which these shoes are made. While the first (and most traditional) Mexican boots are often characterized by being made with more rare materials, such as alligator skin, new Mexican boots are utilizing a new sort of high-profile material: branded material.
Just as alligator skin said a lot about status a while ago, Coach fabric, or Playboy logos, say something about status today. Hence the integration of these elements into modern Mexican boots- pointy or otherwise.
A second noteworthy aspect of the Mexican pointy boot trend involves modding and technology. Many of the guys wearing these boots modded them themselves. Some have integrated fun elements like LEDs and the like. This idea of customizing and modding clothing brings the pointy boots trend in line with interesting DIY and crafting trends taking place across the globe.
Finally, these pointy boots are interesting in that they're a throwback to pointed shoes worn by the upper class in medieval times. Much like Mexican pointy boots, these shoes had long, narrow toes that curved up at the point. The longer a toe was, the more status one was thought to have. There were even regulations limiting the length of toe that certain classes could wear. Some toes on these Medieval shoes got so long that they had to be worn with a chain that looped around the calf to keep the tips of the toes off the ground and to prevent tripping. I never imagined that such impossible shoes would make their way into the 21st Century... but here they are!
How to Wear Mexican Pointy Boots
Mexican pointy boots are best worn with skinny jeans and a whole lot of attitude.
If you're going to go for a bold statement, I say go all the way. Chances are you're going to have a pair custom made—or you'll be modding a pair yourself—so go all out and really express yourself. Choose interesting colors, and really make a statement. If I were to make a pair for myself (and I don't know how well that'd work, since I haven't seen any girls wearing these), I'd include some LED tubing like a TRON-esque pair I saw on the Chuntaro Blog the other day.
Once you've got your boots and your skinny jeans on, and your attitude is turned on to maximum volume, I recommend you dance. Preferably to some Tribal mixes. And let's be honest—it's pretty hard to listen to Tribal mixes without dancing, so you'll find the going pretty easy. Just make sure nobody steps on your toes. And be careful—you might put someone's eye out.
A Note on Accessibility
Though pointy Mexican boots might be trendy, they are by no means mainstream. You will not find them in stores, mass-produced by a major (or even minor) brand. To my knowledge, all of these boots are custom made and modded by a handful of local shoemakers—if not the owners/wearers themselves.
If you go to Mexico or the areas of the States where these boots have caught on, you're not going to see people walking along the streets wearing them. To be honest, they're kind of hard to move around in, so they're only worn on special occasions (e.g. out for a night of dancing to some awesome Tribal music).
Though I am kind of sad that these shoes are not so easy to find, I suppose their exclusivity and rarity is yet another thing that makes pointy Mexican boots special.
Have you ever seen a pair with your own eyes? Let us know in the poll to the right!
© 2011 Simone Haruko Smith
vitrais on May 05, 2015:
On here u never see how their made and what their expenses are! :(
i want a pair on August 21, 2014:
How can I purchase some
Stephen on January 14, 2014:
I'm in Texas and have only seen these a few times, at Mexican clubs and quinces. They're pretty cool to see, although most are shorter than a few feet long
thirstwatcher on February 16, 2013:
Im mexican and we don't wear does redicules stupid things you see this style mostly in texas trival music and boots is the most stupid and annoying thing ever made who ever invented this should be killed and hang...lol just saying don't like my comment too bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sd on February 14, 2013:
medieval not mideval
donna on December 01, 2012:
I live in Wilmington, N.C. I saw them today at a booth inside the Starlite drive-in flea market. As a Texan, I had to grin and investigate. That is how I found your hub. They rocked!
Hector on November 18, 2012:
The most embarrasing thing ive ever seen as if a 5'0" wet back with a cowboy hat wasn't bad enough, now he really looks like an Elf! Lmao
indiaguerita on July 02, 2012:
Jose...jajajajaja. Usted dijo lo que yo estaba pensando. Que ridiculo. Ellos parecen payasos tan babosos. Jaja.
Interesting hub. Ridiculous 'boots'...they look silly.
Marcus on June 08, 2012:
I love TribaL Music!!! But I'm not a fan of these boots. Not my Style, however I own some regular classic Texan boots ;)
Jose on May 28, 2012:
Esta gente no deberia tener acceso a medios de comunicacion, ve nada mas que verguenza!!? se trata de verse mejor no mas ridiculo, de por si estan feos los cabrones y le suman estas ridiculeses, brillan en lo obscuro de tan nacos.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on May 07, 2012:
That's pretty cool, trodus!
trodus on May 04, 2012:
I sell used boots on Ebay and live in the DFW area. I have sold several pairs of these boots in the last few years.
Sophy Arlenne on April 24, 2012:
Amy alonso on April 12, 2012:
I love em
El Senor on April 08, 2012:
This is the gayest idea mankind has ever conceived. When is the Circus coming to my town? Can you tickle my cocos with your ergonomic elf shoes? My wife needs a pair! Dance Party Tonight. Oh, and what is the age limit for little boy dancers? If that was my underage child dancing dirty, I would have to put a boot in someones ass. Wait, maybe that's what these boots are really for.
laque on March 20, 2012:
I love tribal boots there kewl !!!!!! for the people who wears them r even more mexican !!!
Mary on March 11, 2012:
Think this boots are stupid! For the people wearing them are even more retarded!
TribalerosAllDAy on March 08, 2012:
I love my boots tribal !!!!
Enrique Gomez on February 20, 2012:
People that never use thise boots don't say nothing because i got seven pairs of thise boots and i loved them
Pancho Villa on February 18, 2012:
How ridiculous ... I am Mexican And I like my regional music.. But I never thought about wear those shame things .. I mean seriously guys if you wanna look country or vaquero just buy a good pair of boots and a good hat but that boots is way too much... People capable of use reason will make fun about you ...
5629914168 on February 09, 2012:
i would love to see those black over the knee boots
wringer on February 09, 2012:
mine are just black mexican boots with 2 1\2inch heel and over the knee that's about daring enough for me.
Jose on January 12, 2012:
These boots are horrendous. I'm Hispanic and where I go to Mexico they would laugh at you if you would wear those. Mexico's dress is like the cowboy not that type of dress.
Eric on January 10, 2012:
tommy d on January 03, 2012:
these are so dumb but i would expect this from a bunch of mexicans
CZCZCZ from Oregon on December 29, 2011:
Lol those sure are some pointy boots, loved the hub, keep up the great work.
vkhialani from india on December 19, 2011:
I like the picture where the hat is on the boots. I reminded of Yosemite sam in looney toons.
I found a wiki on him too hehe
Jacksons on December 11, 2011:
Looks like Leningrad Cowboys boots.. .what they already use in 1990...
Mary Hyatt from Florida on November 24, 2011:
My daughter just told me today about this trend among the Mexican men. I'd never heard of this. I'm sending her the link to your Hub. Very informative.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on November 18, 2011:
Gentlemen, let me just say that y'all are awesome. I wish I could pull off these boots. And dance tribal. T____T
TRiiBALERO_ANtrax on November 16, 2011:
shut up manuel u don't know wat your Sayn xD
TRiiBAlERO_ANtrax on November 16, 2011:
Manual cant Dance tribal at all.!
manuel El Trivalero Palomo on November 16, 2011:
thanx im not the only one who knows how to dance trival in dalon ga me and my friend bernard Paez are the best in dalton we are thinking of making our own group in dalton called Los Trivalero De Dalton Ga Look uus up on Chuntaritos.com
TrivalOfficial on November 16, 2011:
This manuel El Trivalero is pretty cool and know how to dance trival in Dalton Ga he is probbly the best in dalton ga and that's true Yougot to be truly Mexican to Wear them
manuel El Trivalero palomo on November 15, 2011:
welp you got to be trully mexican like me to wear them
GLopez on October 23, 2011:
Real Mexican cowboys do not use this kind of boots, this are just some boys who think they are cowboys. How embarassing this boots are horrible.
P.D. I'm Mexican
Xenonlit on October 21, 2011:
OMG. Thanks for the heads up!
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on October 10, 2011:
High heeled shoes are pretty worthless, too. Don't even get me started on ties. But from an artistic, social, expressive standpoint.... they're priceless!
SA, Texas on October 10, 2011:
How ridiculous. I hate to sound so negative but those boots are worthless. They look like clown shoes but so much more expensive.
Victor Mavedzenge from Oakland, California on September 14, 2011:
Now that is really cool fashion trending,home bred and totally over the top! Love it.
Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on September 05, 2011:
These look real cool, can't say I've ever seen anything like them, but they do look kind of trendy, like something that could catch on in that funky end of town...lol!
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on July 13, 2011:
heheheee shall do, camsolivia!
Camille Olivia Strate from Planet Earth on July 13, 2011:
I had NO idea! I like your LED idea for your very own boots. Please post pics when you're done (giggle).
Mike on June 02, 2011:
I live in Mexico and I haven't seen those ridiculous boots here. With this I can only say: GO Arizona!!!! you have all my support . GO SB1070!!!!
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on May 16, 2011:
Hahaa, that's one of the reasons I like them so much!
Ricardo Enrique from Guatemala City on May 12, 2011:
I don't like those boots :| looks like elf boots but bigger
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on May 10, 2011:
Me too XD
Yena Williams from California on May 10, 2011:
Cool! I kind of want a pair now.
JasonPLittleton on May 04, 2011:
This is amazing stuff, yeah so funny.
ravenlt04 from Atlanta, GA on April 26, 2011:
Really funny and interesting! Thanks for sharing!
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 24, 2011:
Oh, I wonder! O_O
Jason Menayan from San Francisco on April 23, 2011:
Interesting! Is this related to a neo-Zoot Suit trend?
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 23, 2011:
Agreed BMG. And I'd have trouble walking in them too, Icbenfield, though I think it'd be easier than walking in spike heels. And me too, PaulStaley1! It has got a great sound. And thanks for reading :D
PaulStaley1 from With the wind---(or against it) on April 22, 2011:
Wow great topic! I love the shuffling beat of the CUMBIA! Maybe I should get a pair!! I am going to follow you after such reading this nifty hub!
lcbenefield on April 22, 2011:
What a fun, interesting read. I would imagine that some people(me)would have trouble walking in these without getting the toe stuck in something or someone. I can't think how hard it would be to dance in them. Thanks. I really enjoyed this hub.
BMG from timor laste on April 22, 2011:
never seen this kind of boots before....but it really cool...
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 21, 2011:
Thanks Giselle Maine! It is amazing how much dance and music has influenced fashion over the years. Though it also amazes me how the military has been arguably even more influential in shaping modern (and historical) fashion.
And LOL Green Art- it would be strange indeed to see those shoes in action on some stairs!!!
Laura Ross on April 20, 2011:
How FUN! I bet escalators and stairs are interesting to navigate wearing these boots. Fashion trends often have unique challenges don't they?
Giselle Maine on April 19, 2011:
Wow, these boots certainly do make quite a statement! I really liked your insightful explanation of their popularity coming from music and dance teams. Thanks for this very captivating hub.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 19, 2011:
I'm sure they take a lot of skill to wear! Though I don't imagine they're any more dangerous than my 2.5 inch spike heels. Women are just USED to THEIR extreme footwear :D
Audrey Kirchner from Washington on April 19, 2011:
I would have an accident just putting these shoes on, Simone and I'm sure I'd end up in the ER trying to explain that it was my SHOES that cut my leg open or got me in the eye! Just the thought of these hurts my feet. What a unique niche though!!!
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on April 18, 2011:
Thanks for stopping by, Hyphenbird! And LOL @drbj. And you're so lucky, A.A. Zavala! I wish I could see these in person! I'm still in Garrett Mickley's camp and on the look out. I hope we both see them soon!
Garrett Mickley from Jupiter, Florida on April 18, 2011:
I have never seen these in my life.
But now I'm on the look-out.
Augustine A Zavala from Texas on April 17, 2011:
I saw a guy wearing pinty boots in the mall. I immediately thought of medieval times. THank you for sharing.
drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 16, 2011:
There's a lesson to be learned in all this, Simone. Never make fun of people wearing really pointy boots.
Unless you know you can outrun them.
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on April 16, 2011:
Now those would give a great kick in the pants. Wow, this is so interesting! Thanks for this one. I really enjoyed it.