Made for Walking: A Modest History of the Fashion Boot
What is abundantly clear from almost the beginning of this book is that Andy Peake has gone far and beyond what Made for Walking might have been if he had not extensively and adeptly researched and constructed this book. Peake immediately will win over the informed fashion reader by mentioning names that have long been forgotten and overlooked in the annals of fashion history—in this particular case the history of boots.
Made for Walking could have been just another historical, chronological, and pedantic accounting of boot history written like a thesis, but instead Andy Peake has given the fashion reader something that is so often missing from books of this ilk and that would be context. Peake offers the historical facts, but they are laced with references to real life meaning he cites television shows of the era, fashion critics from varied publications, designers long forgotten, and so much more wonderfully unearthed information. In essence he has taken what might have been the most boring, dryly written read imaginable and made it a fact laden monograph with personality, humor included.
Peake proffers a story not just a history; the references offer a glimpse into the amount and extent of research, knowledge, and skill that this author possesses and exudes through the written word. To be honest, he had me early on in the first few pages when he states that Beth Levine and her husband Herbert were visionary when it came to the business of shoes. It would be my opinion that indeed they were pioneers, if not clairvoyants, as to what would happen in many decades to come. Those who consider themselves fashion cognoscenti and among the most fashion educated will surely agree.
If you have no interest in this specific article of fashion or footwear, then obviously this book is not for you, but if you are voracious when it comes to facts and history concerning fashion in its many incarnations, in particular here boots, then this is a celebration of fashion devoted to the genesis and ongoing history of this type of footwear!