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!
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: these shoes were made from hooves sold as dog chews (2011).
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.
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.
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.
A number of costumers offer custom-made hoof shoes, such as Chaos Costumes on Etsy.
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
- Hand hooves by Beetlecat (2009)
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.
And finally here are some examples you couldn't actually wear, but that are going for the same idea.
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).
Nicholas Kirkwood shoes look like the have a mane, courtesy of some goat hair.