Here’s where I’m at: The Delta variant sucks. Summer [cries in Green Day] is almost over. No one knows what tomorrow brings, and unless you lean into the void with a vax card, a fistful of Takis, and an open mind, life might pass you by. That’s part of what keeps me up at night, and why I was so beholden to these incredible boots when they popped up on my TikTok at 2 AM.
They are cowboy boots. They are pole-dancing boots. They are a Dalí-esque daydream wrapped in the scent of knockoff perfume, and they have swept me off my feet. Of course the TikTok discourse they’ve inspired is poetry...
My personal favorite:
If you’re not familiar with the Spongebob canon:
Unhinged. I knew they would kick my ass in the best way, so I frantically searched for “strpper cowboy bots,” and Google said, Bro, did you mean these?
“They are as nice in person as they look in the photos,” said one reviewer, “[The] fit is exact. The only problem is, if you have larger calves like me, dealing with the ‘spillage’ over the top. Other than that, these are fantastic!” Most reviews said they were very comfortable, but that the fabric doesn’t have much grip (which can be tricky if you’re new to pole dancing).
They were also selling out fast. I didn’t really know what to do with this absolutely delusional conundrum I’d created for myself; should I buy them, and hoard them like a horny magpie? I do have thicker calves. I never buy shoes online. Then I remembered the two requirements my mother used to give me when shopping as a teen: 1) Can you make it an outfit? 2) Can you live without it? Duh, and, No. I smashed that order button.
Some sizing context: I’m a 5’9’’ string bean with girthy Popeye feet. My body shape is probably “chemtrail.” I have a hard time with heels because of my width, but I ordered a size 10 and they fit great (they offer sizes 6-12); they also zip up the side, which helps, and have a bit of give in them.
They arrived in a few weeks (again, these babes get backordered fast) and smelled like bald eagle and cherry cobbler—but not in a patriotic way; more in a campy, Willie-Nelson-meets-Reno-diner-after-dark way. Can I stick my arms up by the ceiling fan in them? Nope. Are they easy to walk in? Kind of, but also, RUDE. We’re not here for an easy ride. We’re here for a thrilling ride, which just so happens to come in the form of a seven-inch cowboy-boot heel this month:
I don’t wear tons of heels. I wear slides, and Tevas with chonky socks; I wear the Lady Miss Kier Fluevogs on special occasions, and never ever a pointy heel. So I knew the hardest part of these shoes would be mastering the stiletto, but the platform was thick so it wasn’t too tricky. I stood up on the first go, and kind of felt like a video game avatar unfurling itself right after it’s been selected; I mean I was what, 6’4’’ in these? I highly recommend that sudden growth spurt feeling, for anyone. My friends started coming around the house, paying their respect to the heels, trying them on and looking like hot car-dealership blow-up thingies, too, and it was all very baby-in-a-manger exciting. How blessed were we? These aren’t just boots. They’re a foot cathedral for the people.
When I did finally wear them out for errands, I paired them with a thrifted Death Valley T-shirt and my favorite bike shorts (from our June Editor’s Picks); this is the outfit I WFH in, nap in, and drool in at the park under the sun. That’s my best advice, if you’re hesitant to add a new sartorial addition to your personality: Pair it with something that already feels like a second skin. I was hoping to feel like a mix of Mugler’s spring 1992 cowboy-inspired collection and Robert Redford in The Electric Horseman, and instead they made me look like the praying mantis from A Bug’s Life, so, different, but also, sick:
Here’s the thing. You have to wear these out like it’s NBD (because it is NBD), eject your rational brain from your body, and enjoy the curious feeling of realizing what an absolute breeze everything in life is, because life is usually lived outside of these seven-inch cowboy boot heels you have fused with. I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn, so the setting is perfect for stomping around in these magic shoes; people clock you just enough, and you have to be vogueing in Mr. Potato Head drag (a true toy story) to get a crowd going. I received some nice smiles, some gross smiles, some confused smiles, and other reactions that I couldn’t see because my face lives above the treeline now, and the view is amazing.
If your shoes don’t give you an atmosphere adjustment, have you really explored the limits of your life? The past few years have suuuucked, dude, no question about that. And as is basically our creed at Rec Room, we think you deserve the serotonin boost that comes from smothering yourself in a smorgasbord of bidets, sex toys, and sausages with your hard-earned coinage. A need for tactile joy has been heightened. I remember how this past spring, right before the vaccines became widely available in the United States, I dreamt in shades of assless chaps and summer plans. Perhaps these boots are some parallel continuum of my need for yeehaw joy (next: this acrylic cowboy hat, which doubles as a hat and salsa bowl).
These shoes were not the most logical purchase, but I spend enough time dicing up my days with common sense. Now, it’s time to hit the city streets like a Southern centaur on a poppers mission, edging towards an uncertain, but spicy future [clops off].
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.