How to Make Steampunk Boots

By Rochelle Leggett
Steampunk is a re-imagining of the Victorian Era.

"Steampunk" is a style designed to evoke feelings of the past, focusing on the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian Era. Many people, both men and women, enjoy creating outfits that are "steampunk." A common component of these outfits are boots, which were the typical footwear of the Victorian era. Making a pair of boots is difficult, so the best way to make steampunk boots is to add embellishments to an ordinary pair of boots. There are many different ways to do this. Boots that lace and boots that reach the knee are the best candidates for steampunk boots.

Add straps and buckles. Cut strips of leather or material that looks like leather, wrap them around each boot, then attach them by sewing or with glue, as sewing leather is a challenge. Sew one end of each strap around the middle of a buckle, and punch a hole into the other end to fasten into the buckle. The buckles should fasten and unfasten so that you can get into the boots, but otherwise do not need to be functional.

Add buttons. You can put buttons along the outside of a boot for decoration. If your boots lace, you can unlace them, then glue a button into each grommet for the laces with a little epoxy. When the buttons are dry, you can relace the boots around the buttons. Only use buttons with a hook in the back and not ones with holes in the front, which do not seem as "steampunk."

Add caps to the heel and toe. Victorian shoes often had a distinctive cut to them, which you can imitate by adding a shaped piece of fabric or leather to the shoe by sewing or with glue. You can also use a thin, curved piece of brass or copper to add caps to a shoe, which is much more difficult but has a very "steampunk" feel.

Add spats. You can make imitation spats from cylindrical pieces of stretchy cloth that have wide, curved bottoms. Sew small buttons up the outsides of the spats. The spats cover the tops of the boots. Spats look most distinctive in white with black buttons and black boots, but you can try different color combinations, as well.

Add gears. Gears are iconic for steampunk. You can buy decorative gears, cut them out of fabric, or get actual gears out of clocks and other small mechanical items. If you have a pair of boots that you like and feel are pretty "steampunk" already, you can easily enhance it by gluing some gears to the boots’ sides. Chains, particularly in copper, brass or pewter, also lend a steampunk feel.