Fall's Best Boots Were Made For Dancing

Flex dancing, a dance form characterized by rhythmic waving, gliding, and contorting of the body, is often thought of as a man’s world. But there are a few ladies making a name for themselves in this one-of-a-kind street-dancing scene, largely centered in Brooklyn. Dancers Shellz and KitKat have been flexing for about eight and 13 years, respectively.

And luckily for us, they were game to clue us in on this under-the-radar style of movement, all while sporting fall’s most daring boot trends. Read on to fall for the flex.
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Shellz's own hat; Moschino Intarsia Wool Sweater, $595, available at NET-A-PORTER; Diesel Pagda Pants, $395, available at Diesel; Rupert Sanderson Parnassus Biker Boots, $935, available at Rupert Sanderson.

As soon as we saw Shellz and KitKat breaking it down on YouTube, we knew we had to get the scoop on what it’s like to be a part of this unique (and male-dominated) culture.

KitKat, who started getting into flex dancing at only 13 years old, is proud of how far the style has come. While she originally just looked at it as a hobby or something to keep her out of trouble, she’s now seen where flex dancing can take her, from working with brands like Reebok to meeting celebrities like Omarion.

But her success and recognition in the flex community didn’t come easy. While still in school, she spent every free minute that she had practicing her moves. And now, she has to bartend and work other jobs just to pay the bills. She’s aiming to one day be able to line up enough paying flex gigs to turn it into a full-fledged career.

Shellz’s journey with flex dancing hasn’t always been straightforward, either. "At first, I felt a disadvantage because I was a female and no one knew me yet," she explains. "Sometimes, [the guys] would be like, 'Oh, she's cute, I want to talk to her,’ and I’d have to say, ‘I’m not here for that.’”

Adds KitKat, “Some men view us as equals, and some don’t. Some men don’t want to [dance] battle a girl. They think we have the automatic win just because we’re female. But others like the challenge.” Fortunately, flexing allows for a mix of both solo and group battles or performances. So now that KitKat and Shellz have proven themselves for years, they train and work together with the guys without question.
But just like other, more traditional forms of dance, at its core, flexing is about self-expression and emotion. Says Shellz, "It’s the freedom to be you."
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Versus Tartan Versus Logo Sweatshirt, $425, available at Versace; Nike Pro 3" Women's Training Shorts, $28, available at Nike; Pierre Hardy Shoes.
If you think over-the-knee boots are restrictive, think again. A flat pair with a rubber sole and soft, movable suede means you’re free to stride wide and strong. Amp up the athleisure while showing some leg with a sporty short and matching hoodie.
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Diesel Pagda Pants, $395, available at Diesel; Dior Shoes.
Don’t shy away from jazzy details like this sparkling metallic heel. Sheathed in patent leather and a bright blue shade, your feet won’t be able to resist dancing.
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Nike Dri-Fit Knit Training Bralette, $55, available at Nike; Milly Pants; DKNY Shoes.
Here’s a harsh reality: After fall comes winter, and you’ll want a boot that can carry you season to season. Opt for a sole with treads for a vibe that looks tough year-round — and is tough against the snow when the time comes.
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
KitKat: Nike Dri-Fit Knit Training Bralette, $55, available at Nike; Tommy Hilfiger Pants; Philipp Plein Shoes. Shellz: Nike Dri-Fit Knit Training Bralette, $55, available at Nike; Milly Pants; Carven Shoes.
Don’t try this at home — the moves, that is. The boots, on the other hand, will be your new go-tos. Stick with elements like a thick heel and soft elastic leather straps for all-day comfort, and spice up basic black with eye-catching studded accents or minimalist colorblocking.
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Boot game on point? With a studded pair, yours will be, no doubt.
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
T by Alexander Wang Cropped Ribbed-Knit Cotton-Blend Top, $245, available at NET-A-PORTER; Milly Pants; Robert Clergerie Shoes.
Another way to gain some height without sacrificing comfort is a bold contrast platform. Lace them up to your liking, and you’ll be doing backflips all the way through your morning commute.
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Milly Pants; Chanel Shoes.
Walk this way — into a fresh take on the classic Chelsea boot. And ankle booties don’t always have to be worn with skinny jeans. Amp up the volume with an MC Hammer-esque pant to make a serious statement that catches wind as you walk.
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Nike Track and Field Crew Sweatshirt, $90 $54.97, available at Nike; Nike Shorts; Rag & Bone Gabrielle Short, $395, available at Rag & Bone; Chanel Shoes.
Make work boots feel a bit more elevated by going for a fall-appropriate burgundy hue with contrasting silver hardware. Wear them with shorts while you still can, and play with chunky socks when the temps drop.
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Nike Track and Field Crew Sweatshirt, $90 $54.97, available at Nike; Nike Shorts; Rag & Bone Gabrielle Short - Cab Diamond, $395, available at Net-A-Porter; Nicholas Kirkwood Shoes.
Lace-up boots aren’t just utilitarian — they can cause a major double-take when decked out in statement fur and combined with a suede flatform. Not to mention, you’ll probably feel like you’re walking (erm, dancing) on a cloud.

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