Horse-Inspired Hoof Shoes

Have you ever wanted to express your inner horse, from the ground up? Here are some wild, crazy and very inventive examples of shoes that look like hooves. Some are objects of art and others are actually meant to be worn--but I doubt they are very comfortable!

For the sake of completeness I have also included shoes with a more bovine look and various other kind of cloven hoof, with some other animals shapes included at the end--but most of the examples given have an equine inspiration. If there are any that I have missed, please let me know!

Taxidermy

Iris Schierferstein created "hooves" (2005, shown above) from actual dead horse parts. Other versions by the same creator come in brown, or with gold high heels shaped like a revolver called "gun hooves" (also in a black-and-white version).

A faux replica of the same basic concept was commissioned by Betfair and available for around $2000 a pair to raise money for a prostate cancer charity. They are mean to be quite comfortable, but I am not really convinced. I mean, I haven't found any candid shots of customers actually wearing them.

See also: a cow version by an unknown maker (2009) and these shoes were made from hooves sold as dog chews (2011).

Fashion

Some designers get a hoof like appearance on a relatively wearable shoe (well, wearable for high heels). For example:

  • A.F. Vandevorst (2009)--They are only really hoof-looking from the front.
  • Marjan Pejoskiboots (2009, pictured)--You can see a candid shot of some one wearing them here.
  • BCBG Max Azria (2009)
  • Antonio Berardi (2008)--heel-less "pony" sandals.
  • Christian Louboutin (2011)--Made out of horse hide, but with no actual hoof....
  • Christian Siriano (2011)--On the scale of thing, not a ridiculous shape... but still responsible for toppling a lot of runway models.
  • Unknown (2011)
  • Skovgaard court shoes (2012)

Alexander McQueen's shoes are kind of in a category in themselves. They are called hoof shoes but there is less of a literal "hoof" shape and they look more like a claw. The shoes appeared on the runway in 2008-2009 and have pretty much fallen out of fashion now--and not many people miss them.

Costume

Many handmade hoof shoes have been made for costumes of just for fun. If you want to make your own this should give you lots of ideas. Here are examples of all sorts of inventive approaches below, and also links to step-by-step tutorials at the bottom of this page.

iamdolleyes (2007),Unknown (2008), Unknown (2009), Horseking (2011), Unknown (unknown)

There are also some commercially available options including: Gypsy Rose (in development, see also: 2009 design) and costume hooves by Rubins Costume Kingdom.

There are some elk-hoof shoes in a museum in Michigan were apparently made to be worn when trying to evade pursuers.

Photo credit: cibomahto / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Extreme Costumes

Some designs go beyond just dressing up the foot to simulating an entire equine leg including the backwards-facing hock joint.

  • Kim Graham designed a version of 'digitigrade' legs (2009, shown right). They were picked up by Weta Workshops and used in the new Hobbit movie.
  • A different design was employed in the Underworld movies. And various rather more home-made version can be found online, such as these by Osara.
  • For a more distinctively equine version see the costume design by Elizabeth Whting for a production of Equus by the Auckland Theatre Company. (I a not sure if this is a full digitigrade design but it looks like it might be.)

Other Costume Parts

Manchu Shoes

Certain kinds of shoes worn by Manchu women are referred to as horse hoof shoes. These were slippers balanced on a pedestal with a bottom shaped in a roughly horse-hoof shape.

Celebrities

These extreme shoes have nowbeen seen on the feet of celebrities including:

  • Lady Gaga (Noritaka Tatehana no-heel and McQueen boots)--Which have on occasion caused her to fall on her face.
  • Kelis (designer unknown)
  • Victoria Beckham (Antonio Berardi hoof boots, 2008).

Sculpture

And finally here are some examples you couldn't actually wear, but that are going for the same idea.

And More...

Skin

If the hoof shape doesn't do it for you, you can simply gets some normal boots made out of authentic horse-hide--such as these made by Azzedine Alaia (2010) and these platform boots.

Heads

Machu Picchu make a pair of shoes shaped like pony heads and Tetsuya Uenobe does the full unicorn.

Source

Tails

And if you don't want to wear uncomfortable high heels, you might like Zjef van Bezouw's boots which get their equine effect with a jaunty tail. Masaya Kushino has created several models of heel-less (pony) boots that also have a pony tail--although in this case with a more human-hair appearance (example pictured right, see also Ling ta).

Mane

These Nicholas Kirkwood shoes look like the have a mane, courtesy of some goat hair.

See also:

  • Camel foot boots: Spiral Tabi

Comments 4 comments

corina 5 years ago

Very unique shoes, I love that black color!


nolabambola 4 years ago

These are the most disgusting shoes I have ever seen, Thanks


PLEASE LEARN 4 years ago

PEOPLE WANT TO LOOK LIKE HORSES?? WE ARE HUMAN LEAVE THE HORSES ALONE AND LEARN TO LIKE YOUR OWN LOOK... THIS IS THE MOST STUPID DESIGN YET! WAKE UP PEOPLE AND LET ANIMALS BE! LEATHER, FUR, MEAT, LAND... PULL YOUR OWN WEIGHT IN THIS WORLD YOU TAKERS!


4 years ago

art project with great legs: "may the horse live in me". won prix ars electronica in 2011, i believe.

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