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Committed: 10 Great Superhero Boots

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9. Flash (Jay Garrick’s) winged boots
From a design standpoint this is an obvious homage to the winged messenger Mercury, but the fact is that these aren’t just roman sandals, these are the slouchiest little 1980’s-style ankle boots (and so ahead of his time! These were designed four decades earlier than the era when these would finally become current). Red boots with perfect, little golden wings and a solid sole for good traction when running, they might not be as useful as a good pair of sneakers, but in an era when the only sneakers available would have been lightweight tennis shoes these were a practical creation as well as a stylish one.


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I love this topic, but I have to disagree about your choice to represent Iron Man’s boots. While the boots on Adi Granov’s movie Iron Man are impressive, his comic Iron Man’s footwear is far superior. In the Extremis armor, Tony’s shoes are thinner and conform to the shape of his feet, down to a slight indentation between the big toe and the other four. Since Extremis was the point where the book went more towards transhumanism than just a guy in a metal suit, this was a brilliant touch.

It’s interesting you mention Storm’s boots staying up. Dave Cockrum drew them much tighter and many years ago remarked that he thought the way John Byrne drew them, they looked like they would flop down. John Byrne just last month when it was pointed out Dave drew them much tighter said in all these years he never even realized that he drew the boots differently than Dave.

What a great idea, Sonja, and I love the list. A lot of these choices might not have occurred to me–as opposed to WW’s and Cap’s, which are pretty darned iconic.

What, no Nightcrawler??

You must be saving him for the “greatest glove/boot combo” article.

Really fun article, although I’m confused by the note in the Zatanna write-up about the boots being from her “current costume, not the Justice League Dark one.” Isn’t the Justice League Dark one her current costume? I’ve not seen her appear in that version since pre-Nu52. (Although I prefer that outfit to the JLDark one, but also understand why they changed it.)

Amanda Conner’s boots always look quite similar to me. They tend to be chunky with a slight curve to the back. She did the same with Power Girl’s boots on that book, if memory serves.

I always thought Wolverine’s brown-and-tan costume boots were pretty cool. Ridiculous, yes, but they worked really well with that costume overall.

I loved Conner’s take on Power Girl’s boots as well, and I’m a little fond of Dinah’s boots when she switched back to wearing fishnets in Birds of Prey as well.

I kind of also always dug Red Sonja’s boots.

i think this countdown might include the new X-men plataform shoes… specially the emma’s…

Storm’s boots, along with her entire costume, as well as the vast majority of the new X-Men team that appeared in Giant Sized X-Men # 1 and Uncanny X-men # 94, we’re designed by Dave Cockrum, not John Byrne.

my favorite super hero boots of all time HAVE to be Dazzler’s disco ball boots with roller skate attachments! I mean c’mon, how can you NOT love that?

the X-Treme X-Men disco ball platform boots are pretty fierce too.

I’m rather partial to the Alan Davis Captain Britain boots, myself.

2000AD in the 70s/80s went for huge mental looking footwear by default. Loved it. McMahon’s Dredd was always my favourite, still is; that’s Ian Gibson’s work on the right though, I’m relatively sure.

Iron Man’s coffee can boots. Oh, and pretty much every time Joe Madureira has drawn someone’s boots.

“2000AD in the 70s/80s went for huge mental looking footwear by default. Loved it. McMahon’s Dredd was always my favourite, still is; that’s Ian Gibson’s work on the right though, I’m relatively sure.”

Yeah it defo is.

Dredd’s boots have reached epic proportions at times but will always be a size too small.

No list of great boots is complete without Guy Gardner’s 80s Crisis era boots. those were a classic.

Jon Johnson (Sir)

February 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm

A favorite of mine was Deadshot’s boots — particularly as drawn by Luke McDonnell/Karl Kesel. Looks like a standard costume boot with a metal shin guard running from toe to just below the knee. Odd.

And, what about the king of all pirate-style boot wear? Deathstroke: The Terminator’s! Giant, floppy top and ORANGE, of all colors.

The boots that immediately came to mind for me were Batman’s gritty, utilitarian combat boots as drawn by Paul Pope in Batman: Year 100. Made for kicking ass.

Sorry guys I don’t like the next and previous buttons to see the next bits of the article. Makes it look like a Newsrama article and in a bad way.

Next time you do an article like this can we have it as one long list on one page?

I own the George Perez Wonder Woman sketch they are using for this article…not sure where they got the hi res scan?!?! Would have been nice to be asked if they could use it…I would have said “yes” but it’s nice to be asked first……

Philip: I don’t have any control over the way the new gallery format works. You’ll have to email someone higher up to voice your concern.

Mike: Thanks for letting me know you own that sketch. I found it in random google image search on “George Perez Wonder Woman”, which took me here: http://forums.superherohype.com/showthread.php?t=180288&page=18 which seems to be some kind of public forum, so I assumed it was alright to use it as an example.

There’s no “they”, it’s just me. I can’t ask permission to use images because there isn’t time, I often post at 11pm at night, with only an hour to find images and write an article. (And before anyone asks; there’s no one to fact check or proof read either. This is just me blogging for you, every week.) Usually I use published images so that they’re covered under the “fair usage and promotion” clauses, but this time I forgot. I apologize if this caused you any distress, I can replace it now if you like.

” Iron Man’s coffee can boots. Oh, and pretty much every time Joe Madureira has drawn someone’s boots. ”

That was during the early 1990s, when Tony spent his spare time playing NES games and got jealous of Mega Man’s boots?

Sorry guys I don’t like the next and previous buttons to see the next bits of the article. Makes it look like a Newsrama article and in a bad way.

Next time you do an article like this can we have it as one long list on one page?

Sorry, Philip, this will be the format of all list posts on the blog going forward.

Enjoyed this, from couple of obvious ones to highlighting some which I hadn’t really paid attention.

And the first thing that sprung to mind when I saw the headline was Judge Dredd boots.

I liked this article… I’ve always put a lot of stock in how a costume looks. A lot of costumes these days are a little bland for my taste. Deadshot, Bucky, Nightcrawler and Thor all have the best boots IMHO.

As a kid I was always fascinated by Hawkman’s boots. They’re the standard peaked top hero boots, but the trident design running from his knee down to his toes were always unique and gave him a slightly martial feel. And as drawn by Kubert they felt like a particularly otherwordly aesthetic, particuarly appropriate for the alien Katar Hol. It was only when I got older that I finally realized that the design was meant to mimic a bird’s three toed foot. And somehow that made it all the cooler.

Mention also has to be made of Ulta Boy’s one of a kind boot design with its unique castelated turn down flap. Along with that weird bird symbol it contributed to one of the few costume designs that seemed to grow from a culture and fashion outside 20th century America.

Following up on db’s comment, the Falcon’s boots were obviously inspired by Hawkman but had a sort of fringe around them that mimicked a bird’s feathers. Memory’s a bit off but I think it started with the original green and orange costume and continued well into the classic white and red.

Thanks for throwing Cap a bone. Where Steve Rogers has never been particularly charismatic, I got into his comics because his awesome, severely underrated. You understand immediately when he’s from, but don’t feel like he should go back. You know a guy in those boots is gonna have a hearty adventure.

And spot on analysis for Barda’s small boots.

I always thought gambits original steel knee-high boots were awesome. A product of their time, but they still look cool today. Although completely impractical for someone who’s supposed to be quite.

“the thick flat sole is a far more useable one for a superhero.”

ugh. nothanks. She speaks backwards and magic spells happen. why should she care about arch support? Useability? She’s in fishnets, for god’s sake.

Where are the best boots in the history of comics? Donna Troy’s black knee high heeled boots from Wolfman/Perez’ Teen Titans?

If I was a super hero, I would wear Captain America’s “Avengers” movie boots. That, or the classic Captain America boots.

Love this article. Make more of these please!

What about Thor’s boots – very unique back in the day!

I agree with the complaints about the lame next page links for lists, poorly designed, inefficient, needless clicking. It is a sad day at cbr. I am less likely to view an article like that.

What a fun article! Really enjoyed your selections and descriptions.

I’ve never even thought of Iron Man wearing boots before. I’ve always thought that was just and extension of his leg armour. Thanks for making me see his costume in a new light.

These are my favorites:

Amanda Conner’s Power Girl Boots: with the integrated heel, shorter tight flaps, and the zipper up the front – a design that was repeated in her gloves. I’m happy to see her returning to her traditional look in the near future – hopefully she’ll be wearing Amanda’s awesome boot design too.

Dazzler’s X-Treme X-Men Disco Boots – they kick so much ass! I hope she keeps them now that the series is ending.

Supergirls current boots. Such a simple addition to her traditional super-boots but he long extension with the knee cut-out looks so odd and interesting – it really emphasizes her alien background and fashion-sense.

Phoenix’s long gold boots: Tall pointed gold boots – so unique and elegant. Such a pretty costume; I really wish we could see it on a regular basis again.

Costumes are such an iconic part of the superhero image that it’s no wonder there are so many discussions of various elements over the years. That said, I enjoy these fannish back and forths and wouldn’t mind seeing other discussions. For example, I wouldn’t mind to see opinions about the best chest emblem or mask design. Not to mention best overall designs.

A couple other thoughts coming out of this article: I just noticed that Storm’s costume is actually the Bronze Age Saturn Girl’s in black with a cape accessory.

Loved George Perez’s work on Wonder Woman. And it’s amazing how the lack of a heel on those boots somehow make the character more athletic and realistic.

Cap’s buccaneer boots are classic. A proven design that has been reused so many times I fear to count all the other examples.

Aside from the best, how about the most bizarre? Like the Creeper’s fur lined footwear. The rainbow thigh-highs owned by Colossus (what is the explanation behind those three hash marks on top?). And yes, the Dazzler’s disco mirror roller skates.

I agree with the heel part.

I could never understand why someone who’s a warrior who gets her hands dirty and does a lot of running on the job would wear heels, especially an amazon. It’s like asking to trip while fighting for your life

@ Neil

Actually, I was refering to the post-Armor Wars 1 armor from the late 80s, but I did also like the squared-off JR Jr armor also, the one I think you’re referring to, and I’ll cop to it – a big reason is the Mega Man boots. Something about them…

And when Bright was drawing the coffee-can armor, the boots did have kind of the same visual effect Sonia was talking about in her Iron Man pick, the way they look like jeans going over the actual boot.

I disagree with the complaints about the awesome next page links for lists, thoughtfuly designed, efficient, a much cleaner presentation. It is a happy day at csbg. I am more likely to view an article like that.

Brian, can we get a poll on this?

I rarely notice footwear on characters except when the artist puts a lot of effort into drawing the waffle pattern on the bottom. I’ll have to pay more attention!

Terrible #1 choice, terrible end to a good list.

Why force people to click so many times?

Hm… I usually hate click-through slideshows. I’m lazy. I prefer slideshows that allow you to use an arrow key to move through slides.

But I didn’t even notice this one; I guess I was so interested in the topic that I didn’t mind.

I find it amusing that the right side of the George Perez Wonder Woman picture is actually by Phil Jimenez, doing his usual George Perez homage style.

Great article but I was hoping to see the most legendary boots of all comicdom, Walt SIMONSON’S Manhunter boots with built in Bundai dagger holders!

Anywho, keep these awesome insights coming Sonia!

If a giant mecha-shark ever bites off both my feet I’m gonna have the doctors attach mew snazzy ROM feet! Always liked the split two-toe look for some reason, perhaps just because it doesn’t look like a foot in a shoe.

Also, Shade the Changing Man had some cool sneakers from Meta in his 80s run.

If a giant mecha-shark ever bites off both my feet I’m gonna have the doctors attach new snazzy ROM feet! Always liked the split two-toe look for some reason, perhaps just because it doesn’t look like a foot in a shoe.

Also, Shade the Changing Man had some cool sneakers from Meta in his 80s run.

Okay, but clicking BACK 10 times to get to the main page does indeed suck.

Please THANKS to whomever got rid of the super-ugly stencil font on the headlines a while back!

Thanks so much for including Cap’s awesome pirate boots. I love the style, used it constantly when designing City of Heroes characters. I just read the letter column of Captain America #4 and, much as I love Remender, was horrified to learn he thinks the pirate boots are not cool. I love me some awash and buckle and am not at all a fan of Cap’s Marvel Now look. I prefer aesthetics to functionality or even realism when it comes to fiction.

Also, I almost skipped this article as well due to the “newsarama” style clicking. It’s pretty annoying.

Shouldn’t this countdown go from 10 to 1 instead of 1 to 10?

Anyway, doesn’t matter.
This list is irrelevant because #1 is not Sam Kieth’s THE MAXX.
Marshal Law should have been on there too.

I love it when women complain that super heroes, shouldn’t wear heels because it’s not realistic..what is realistic in a comic book? The super powers? The tights? List was bias and lame.

I used to love Storm’s Cockrum boots. I didn’t really realise they were almost the same as Bronze Age Saturn Girls’.
And WW’s boots are quite iconic. although yes heels have varied over the years. The current ones being blue-black and white are quite a change.
And always loved Donna Troy’s classic Perez black boots.
With Zatanna, I may be in the minority that preferred her in her Perez blue and white outfit with jewelled head and white cape – those boots were great – blue thigh boots with white trim.

Actually super-characters’ footwear has tended to look very perfunctory – for some reason it was felt that they couldn’t wear shoes, so artists have drawn their feet as blunt shapes with a couple of lines at calf-height. Same for most aliens. Maybe there haven’t been enough boot fetishists working in comics?

I think it would be cool for Wonder Woman to wear rubber rainboots with chunky soles and buckles at the tops, myself.

This article and comment stream is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to articles. Plus a special shout out to the person who argued the countdown went the wrong way. A sad day for mankind indeed.

Boot fetishist-phobia!

I’m from the UK and I think my sarcasm didn’t travel well lol

I’m not certain what “on the left of the image on the right” means
From the context I’m guessing it does not mean the image left of the image on the right and right of the image of the left but rather the image left of the image left of the image on the right.

and probably the pictures did not appear in the expected layout.

Of course, if were to put together my personal list of 10 favourite superhero boots it would probably consist only of thigh-highs worn by women (…Huntress)…but I imagine you are not interested in my personal fetishes

The Newsarama style article is awful. There’s a reason I don’t read their lists.

thinking about it, I’ve always liked Spiral’s boots (especially the art Adams originals)

Jonathon Riddle

January 16, 2014 at 3:31 am

I’m glad you titled this “10 Great Superhero Boots” which is a very different animal than “10 Greatest Superhero Boots”. That way there’s room to include more great boots beyond the ten listed here, which are unquestionably great.

Personally, I always liked Cyclops’ yellow pirate boots, but I think that’s just because his 70’s costume was so streamlined and simple that his footwear really stood out. I also think some props should go to Lobo for wearing boots that would make Gene Simmons proud and to Marvel’s Hercules for his thigh-high leather strap sandals.

Hey, what about the Trickster? Not only does he have the moxy to sport a pair or true blue pixie boots, but those same shoes allow him to walk on air! Now that’s styling!

The iron man boots is so fantastic as ever. Suited with light armor with cool booster boots is an amazing hero for me.

John Byrne saw this article today and made a comment that in part said,

“There’s no actual LIE in this piece, of course, but there is a lot of confusion. Especially in the comment that corrects the writer’s mistaken assumption that I was the designer of Storm’s costume. And therein lies an interesting and all too familiar pattern.

The post commenting on Storm’s boots (scroll past the ads) refers to Dave Cockrum having expressed his displeasure at the way I drew them, saying they would “flap.” Now, I have heard/read Dave making that comment only once, and that was about how I drew Colossus’ boots, not Storm’s.”

Since I’m the person he’s talking about that is “confused” I thought I’d link to a few posts.

Here is JBF member Mark Haslett talking about the “flop down” not “flap” comment he says Dave Cockrum made:

Post 2 here. http://www.byrnerobotics.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11883

So I would advise John to speak to my good pal Mark if he wants to know more about what Dave said.

Here is John noticing for the first time he drew the boots differently than Dave did.

Post 11 here. http://www.byrnerobotics.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=43513&PN=126&TPN=3

Have a great day John and the JBF.

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