Men in Tall Boots

A regular reader of this blog sent me an email saying, “I would love for you to do a blog on wearing knee high boots. I know that you have worn knee high boots for a longtime and I would like to know about:”…

1. What led you to start wearing knee high boots?

2. How it has impacted your life?


I do not call boots that go up to the knee as “knee-high boots.” That may be a cultural thing; I’m not sure. The term “knee-high boots” is used in marketing tall boots for women. I’m a man. I wear tall boots. (Minor distinction, really… probably inconsequential.)

So to address these questions, I started wearing tall boots when I began riding a motorcycle. My first pair of motorcycle boots were 17-inch (43cm) Sears Engineer boots which at the time were made by Chippewa. Chippewa still makes them (model 27909 with steel toe; 27908 without a steel toe), though there are long breaks in production and these boots are not regularly available like they used to be.

Then as I grew a bit older and became a motorcycle safety instructor and a good buddy from high school (JB) became a local motorcop, I admired his tall cop boots (Dehners). I learned that anyone can buy and wear Dehners with breeches, so I began doing so. Back in the ’80s there was some concern that someone who is not a cop and who wore breeches and patrol boots was thought to be trying to impersonate a cop. JB told me, as have other active duty cops, that as long as you aren’t wearing insignia of a police agency and don’t try to act like a cop (pull people over, direct traffic, etc.) then it is okay to wear a cop-like boots/breeches semi-uniform.

How have tall boots impacted my life?

Life impact? I dunno… let me think. They’re boots. I like how they look and how they feel on my legs. I appreciate the protection they afford to my lower body. That’s really about it.

I have purchased and worn tall cowboy boots — buckaroo boots — but as I have aged and my lower leg muscle tone has relaxed, I could not wear those boots any more. They were tight on my legs and uncomfortable. My few pairs of Olathe boots have made their way to my friend WC (who wrote the last blog, “Life Is Too Short For Boring Footwear.”)

When it comes to men wearing tall boots, the reader who wrote to me also opined,

someone posted a picture of DeMarcus Cousins wearing knee high boots. He is a basketball player for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. After that picture was on Facebook, many people commented on him wearing knee high boots and the reactions were overwhelming negative. Many people were saying that men shouldn’t be wearing tall boots and they look funny and weird wearing them. When I saw those reactions, I was pissed. it felt like they were telling me what I can and can’t wear.

This is not surprising to me, especially regarding social media postings.

People will say really nasty, rude comments on Facebook and other social media platforms — especially on public pages for fans of certain sports, entertainment, and political figures. All I can say is that there are a lot of highly insecure people in this world.

Men in particular are afraid of being labeled with characteristics of a feminine nature. In other words, insecure men will react negatively toward anything that could have the slightest hint of being effeminate.

And that’s the rub about “knee high” or tall boots. Unless the boots are worn by men doing highly masculine activities — a motorcop or a working cowboy — the current-day perception is that tall boots are worn by women and therefore a man wearing tall boots (cops and cowboys excepted) must be effeminate and thus to be ridiculed.

Further, men who are afraid of men who like men (ee gads, “homos”) display their ignorance by assuming that all homosexual men are frilly-froo-froo queeny limp-wristed weak people and thus, to these extremely insecure men, any man wearing tall boots (except for cops and cowboys) is a “homo” and also subject to ridicule.

Trust me — I know this. As I gay man, I have had much ridicule directed at me throughout my life. I am a masculine gay man, but that doesn’t matter. Insecure men will behave like children. (Any similarities to the U.S. national stage?)

In a way, wearing tall boots has indeed impacted my life because I have learned how to be strong, confident, and secure in my own life and lifestyle. I really don’t care what other people have to say about the boots that I wear or that other people wear. Like them. Dislike them. Whatever… go pick on someone your own size (pea-brain size, I mean.)

Moral of the story: if you like tall boots and they fit you, wear ’em. That’s it. Boots are boots and men are men. Both go together well.

Life is short: wear tall boots and be a secure, confident adult.

2 thoughts on “Men in Tall Boots

  1. Thanks for this great article, BHD.

    I agree that a man should just wear tall boots if he wants. Period. Knee-high, crotch-high, it don’t matter none.

    I hear over and over in this blog and other places dealing with boots this theme:
    what will other people think?

    Don’t worry what other people think. Take a minute and turn and face that monster. Why are you so concerned about what other people think?

    Then go from there and put on your tall boots.

    (and if you are really self-conscious, nothing says you have to wear your boots tucked in your pants!!)

  2. Tall boots were men’s boots for hundreds of years. I’ve always liked wearing boots and don’t buy the recent fad that only women can wear them. I bought a pair of custom Wesco motor patrol boots for my 40th birthday mostly because I wanted something for the bike that evoked the old-school style of the 20s and 30s. I’ve worn them off the bike in the colder months because I think they look good, feel good, and my wife really likes them. With maybe one exception, I’ve gotten nothing but praise and compliments for them from guys and especially from women. A male relative said, “If I had boots like those, I would wear them all the time,” and more than one woman has told me, “I wish more men wore boots like that.”

    That all said, I think it’s more difficult for a younger man to stray from the pack, sartorially speaking. The confidence to truly not care what others think about one’s clothing choices only comes later in life. I also think some people, even if they are very progressive and inclusive in many areas, get all weirdly traditional when it comes to clothing.

    I’m not really being critical of his clothing choices, but DeMarcus Cousins in his ripped jeans and what looks like women’s boots, does come across more feminine than, say, BHD in his Chippewas. There’s too much needlessly negative crap on social media, but I can see the critics’ point.

    Anyway, hope all is well with you and yours BHD.

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