Winklepickers can be easily considered as the kind of shoes with the longest history ever and if you look at them closely you’d probably find you might definitely see them somewhere before. At the same time they’ve managed to go the whole way from the Middle Ages to our century without any drastic changes or upgrades, obviously excluding the technical side of their crafting process and may be also the choice of materials and accessories. Long story short, it all started from so-called Poulaines that French noble gentlemen used to wear. In 1960’s winklepickers were practically born again when modernists made them their classic default footwear. Later (end of 70’s – early 80’s) they were picked up by quite a few alternative waves like punks, new wavers, goth, rockabillies and so on. The goth community is rather the only one who still keeps winklepickers alive and well, though they call them simply “pikes”. It’s amazing these shoes are still quite popular among the old-school goth people and today I’m going to introduce you to an awesome brand that does everything in its hands to let the pikes continue being a thing.
The brand called Goth Pikes (speaking about “what you see is what you get”) was founded in September 2016 by three professional shoe designers from UK and Germany. During their 7-year experience they’ve gathered a lot of ideas and finally decided to start a brand with a strong focus on pikes only. That was a very brave and also smart decision since there was a major gap on the shoe market and nobody seemed to be regard as a serious competitor. Being a very forward-looking brand Goth Pikes became the first pikes manufacturer that presented their entire product line of pikes made of vegan leather, and I’d say it’s a very important step for any modern company. At the moment Goth Pikes is enjoying their status of one of the most remarkable pikes brands in world. Thoroughly deserved!
I can’t help admiring the companies who just stick to one single product and do their very best trying to reach perfection. Usually it means putting their last shirt on this product and hoping to hit the mark. It’s always rather hit or miss and luckily in the case of Goth Pikes is was a decent hit. What I love the most is how diverse the winklepickers can be! Looking at the old goth pictures you’d be able to spot may be 2-3 styles of pikes, but Goth Pikes made them look so different! The just broke all the rules and introduced pikes to the new century as one of the most multifarious kinds of leather shoes ever: any style, any color, for any taste. Classic pikes with lacing, buckles and lots of various metal accessories, pikes with high heels looking a bit fetish… there are even white/silver pikes which is not so goth, but still looks quite fancy ;)
All these shoes are hand-made and can be crafted especially for you of leather, vegan leather, suede or patent leather, so when you make an order you should keep in mind it would take Goth Pikes about 2 weeks to manufacture your personal pikes. It surely gives every pair some sort of a unique charm, let alone the fact it practically brings us to the initial sense of the term “hand-made”. Isn’t it sweet?! So if you’re a big fan of these classic alternative shoes or just curious and thinking about buying your first pikes, you know where to start searching. By the way, Goth Pikes is very active on Etsy, so if you’re an Etsy user, you might want to check their account (the links are below, as always). They also have a showroom in Berlin, but you’d have to call and get a personal appointment first.