Picture this: It’s 2018 and you’re scrolling through Instagram. As you flip through photos of Kourtney Kardashian pre-Travis Barker and Kylie Jenner in a platinum blonde wig, you notice something: everyone who’s anyone is squatting in their outfit photos. Kendall Jenner, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj are just a few of the big names participating in the trend. Before long, the phenomenon is given the moniker “Hot Squat” (among other squat-related nicknames), and for years, it’s the go-to pose for racking up likes with little to no effort.
Cut to 2020, mid-lockdown. Instead of glitzy parties and fashion shows, where models like Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Hadid, and Kaia Gerber used to Hot Squat near vintage cars and lit-up runways, everyone — celebrity or not — is now forced to spend their days inside. There, we as a social-media-obsessed society are left to our own devices (literally), and tasked with drumming up a new, easier-to-execute pose that allows for selfie-style photography and a full-body ‘fit pic.
It took a few months, but eventually a new method of documenting looks arose. You’ve likely already seen it dozens of times during your nightly scrolls. All it needed was a name.
Meet the Boot Shoot, a new mode of flaunting your outfit that involves bending your limbs and manoeuvring your camera in a way that grants your footwear the opportunity to shine, no photographer necessary. In some instances, the Boot Shoot results in the boot-wearing party laying down, kicking their feet up in the air for the best angle. In others, the camera is positioned somewhere on the ground, which allows for close-ups of the boots in action. More options include behind-the-back kicks, boot-centred mirror selfies, and wearing your boots in bed.
According to Vanessa Campana, the founder of Toronto-based jewellery and accessories brand Voons and a tried-and-true Boot Shooter, this boot-revealing trend is the result of people investing in good footwear and wanting to show it off. “I love the look of oversized boots and channelling my inner Bratz doll,” Campana tells Refinery29. “So, whenever I wear giant platforms, they become the focal point of my outfit.” To ensure that her Instagram feed reflects that, she isn’t afraid to get creative with her poses.
New Zealand-based artist and fellow Boot Shooter, Gracie Lambert, agrees with Campana. “My shoes are a huge part of my final ‘fit — especially platform Docs or any chunky trainer, because I feel like they give me a Bratz doll silhouette, which I am all about,” she says. (With Y2K trends proliferating in 2021, it’s no wonder that Bratz dolls, too, are becoming relevant again.) “So pushing them forward in my photos and really highlighting the shoe just ramps it up even more.”
What sets the Boot Shoot apart from past trends, the Hot Squat in particular, is that this new alternative is without limits, meaning that your feed won’t be clogged with the same pose over and over. Take whatever route you’d like to get there — all that matters is that your boots are the main character of the shot.
And it’s not just savvy dressers who are utilising the Boot Shoot to showcase their footwear. Brands are doing it, too. Beloved accessories brand Miista uses the method to show off not just its selection of angular boots, but also clogs, sandals, and mules. Jil Sander’s most recent resort lookbook also included spins on the trend.
Now, with Fashion Month coming up, and many designers continuing to present their collections in a digital format as opposed to in-person, we’d be willing to bet that this new form of experimental outfit documentation will continue in spring ‘22 lookbooks to come. In other words, you have two months to perfect your Boot Shoot before everyone else does. See you — and your boots — on the feed.