THE BLOG
12/10/2013 11:41 am ET | Updated Feb 09, 2014

Trendy Wendy: What's Up With The Ubiquitous Side-Zip Closure ?

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I am a big fan of style and follower of fashion, but I detest fakery and pretense, most especially via knock-off artifice. KIR, Keeping It Real, guides my style and what I spend to have it. I rather have the one real piece or pair over a half-dozen fakes. I do love shoes and won't admit to the numbers of pairs in my closet, and I confess am known for having lovingly dubbed shoes the 5th Food Group. Here's my beef on another aspect of KIR:

As a parent I have observed the complete takeover of Velcro closures in the children's shoe market, rendering learning to tie a good bow a tangential skill. I am certain that is here to stay; so it goes.

But since when has it become too much to ask an adult to properly tie a shoe or fasten a boot with real hardware -- buckles, hooks, eyelets and laces? I shop primarily online, so my searches are quickly accomplished and vast -- love it. I shop generally within a mid- to higher-priced range for styles that suit the broadest demographic in terms of age and trend awareness. I do, however, search long and hard and mostly in vain for boots or booties that have no 'side zip closure.' Has anyone else also noticed how nearly impossible that has become?

Are we 3-4" heel sporting, car-addicted comfortable ones not willing to do the 'work' that is to tie and truly fasten a boot? Has the shoe industry lowered itself to what is the equivalent of Velcro tennis shoe closures for tots in creating EZ but oh, so ugly 'side zip closures' on nearly all boots and booties? Are we perhaps accommodating some sort of mobility epidemic, where people are unwilling or unable to bend over long enough to actually lace up or hook and tie a boot? And how long have we been wearing shoes and boots?

Why cannot a basic, mid-price bootie (bootie, not boot, mind you, with barely an ankle-covered that might require lacing up no more than what once was a standard tie shoe) still be honestly fastened to the foot and ankle? I think the ubiquitous 'side zip closures' are ugly and redundant and have cheapened the look overall.

High-end boots are still more often honest, at least where hardware is concerned. Indeed, in that realm there also exist many nearly unwalkable contraptions called designer shoes and boots, for fools and their money will always be parted, not to mention at the cost of the good health of their feet. They can have at it -- no shoe envy there. I know for my own purposes which lines are worth the extra buck and which are not. We consumers are still an amazingly gullible bunch of 'must have' shoppers, aren't we? But I wish to remain true to self, not only from a budget and health standpoint -- I want honest design, and I will tie the bow, I will fasten the buckle.

Allow me to go on the record as non-fan of the boot 'side zip closure' takeover.

Photo by Kimann

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