SHOE OF THE MONTH / YEAR: SAINT LAURENT ‘NIKI’ BOOTS

Saint Laurent ‘Niki’ OTK boots in black

Quite simply, the boots of the year.

You know it, I know it. There is a glittery elephant in the room when it comes to my holy ‘Shoe of the month’ category, that shamefully has not gotten the attention it deserves! I am of course talking about the Saint (correctly titled) Laurent sparkling, Diamond (well actually Swarovski crystal-embellished) boots that stopped traffic (read: jammed Insta, the 2017 version of causing a physical traffic jam) when they made their way down the runway in Paris last February. “A cult shoe was born!” is what I remember the press raving.

The boots that more or less inspired the KiraKira+ app has been featured and adorned, but only by the very selected and industry insiders alike. See the crystal-embellished boots landed online with a hefty price tag of £6,855, so with a heavy heart, I had to start looking for some realistic, wearable alternatives. Although it sounds like I was shopping for the baby of average-Joe and plain-Jane, I knew Saint Laurent was not going to leave us dry. The boots started dropping in more version that I could hope for, actually more version I wanted to hope for, as they now come in leather, suede, in everything from otk-boots long enough to have me skip pants, to pumps that cut so low, you’ll have all your toes practically pouring out.

The cone heel has been well received. It is comfortable, practical and somewhat timeless, however, it is nevertheless controversial. Think the heel looks familiar? You are right. The pointy toe, cone heeled boot is a signature style to Isabel Marant, and all versions of the ‘Niki’ are annoyingly similar. I think I am only scraping the surface when I say that we can spot the ‘inspiration’ here, but then again the cone heel dates back to the 1980’s and can’t really be owned by anyone, right? I will let you be the judge…

Comfort: 4/5

I would state these as pretty kind on the feet. The foot part is comfortable to walk in, you’ll feel it first on the ball of your feet because of the high heel and lack of platform. The boots can be worn either pulled up or scrunched down, in the latter you might find that they are a bit bulky to walk in… That is if you, like me, are lacking a modest 50cm of hight compared to the runway models.

Quality: 5/5 

The glossed leather is so delicious. Shiny, but not patent. Structured, but not hard and very forgiving when it comes to scratches. The boots have been travelling with me back and forth since the fall, both worn and stuffed in a suitcase - still looks like I just unwrapped them.

Sizing:

Runs a little on the small on size, so I would say go up half a size. I bought mine in a full size up, simply because they were selling out quicker than my shopping habits could keep up with. These being boots, go rather too big than too small. It is December after all.

Purchase price:

£1200 at Net-a-Porter, September 2017. The ‘Niki’ comes in variations from otk-boots to pumps, in leather and suede. Shop the collection below. 

Conclusion: 

There is a reason why I crowned these not only ‘Shoe of the Month’, but ‘Shoe of the Year’! Certainly living up to their reputation, I remember feeling a bit like Batman when I first stood up in these. The versatility of wear (there is nothing in my wardrobe that would not go with these) is guaranteed to suit and spice up even the most basic denim wearer and you’ll see people’s heads turning in slow motion. YOU NEED THESE BOOTS. Although there is a delicious tan version (and even a Rambo take on that), you’ll make the biggest impact in black. Make it the otk-version, or at least the knee-length one because the wrinkled leather is 90% of the fun. Think of it as the sexy, fashion version of a rolled down wool sock (if you must) and thank me later!

Me and my boots are wishing you a Happy New Year! May 2018 bring us happiness and more shoes!

Photos by Mikko Puttonen

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