New Rocks are pure win. A Spanish brand of boots founded in the 1970s by, I'm told, the brothers Ortuno, who inherited a shoe factory and were bikers. Or something like that.
Thirty five years later, New Rocks are the boots of choice for many, many, different people. Notably metalheads, esp. on the more extreme side because you can pile in in the pit and still look suitably cool, goths, riveters, cyber folken, and also some more obscure segments of society, such as pick up artists, dominatrices, and the Judoon from Doctor Who.
The New Rock company are best known for producing stylish, chunky, oversized, super heavy, and needlessly ornate boots. Usually they come up past the ankle, have big silvery buckles all over them, 8-foot laces that often pass through the soles, are padded on the top part of the upper, and often have silver or red flame decorations over the toe and/or up the back. The soles are usually solid rubber blocks that are stuck and stitched to the upper and are about two to three inches thick, and flared out as well. Some of the soles have a hollox metal box type arrangement in the heel to which they are screwed. This gives them a really satisfying "clump!" on stairs. Stealth boots, these are not.
Let us just say that an ideal top idea for a New Rock TV spot would be a column of New Rock wearers of all shapes and sized marching down Oxford Street or the West End with a banner with the "planet" roundel logo describe in the above writeup on it, while "Hell March" from C&C Red Alert blasts out. "WE WANT WAR, WAKE... UP!" Yeah.
They are also known for some other speciality markets as well. They still make traditional style motorcycle boots but you won't see Valentino Rossi wearing them because they don't make the plastic-covered and horribly uncomfortable looking racing boots with super thin soles favoured by competitive riders. As an aside, you cannot ride a motorbike in most New Rocks, as the soles are too thick to let you "hook" the gear lever to change down. They also have a bit of a sub-brand, named "Malicia," which are generally aimed at the fetish market and have metal spike heels and pointy toes and a cartoon dominatrix on the box. The "Malicia" boots are outside the scope of this writeup because I have never found a pair in my size. I probably look very fetching in four-inch heels but all the same...
They come in many different sizes and shapes and sub-brands. Indeed, the many different styles of New Rocks are generally made by interchanging the various elements and to that end, each style is generally identified by a three-digit number. Some particular permutations are rather rare and I have only seen them once or twice in many years of being round people who wear them. Here's a quick and dirty list of the styles you're most likely to encounter in normal service:
- 272. The New Rocks we all know and love, if you're a headbanger or a brutal alien fascist rhino. They come up to your knees. They are padded all round, have an 8-foot lace that goes through the sole, chunky buckles all up the outside, and a big blocky rubber sole with metal "clips" on the front and back. They were also the first pair I owned, and I still have them to this day in a corner of my room, where I wear them every so often to pile in in the pit with. The plus side of this style is that they, for the most part, are indestructible. Apart from the metal clips on the front and back of the sole, which tend to snag on things and snap off far too easily. Also, when new, you may want to invest in a pair of rugby socks as they tend to be a bit larger than their advertised size. I did not enjoy walking back from Camden to Charing Cross in these when first I got them and invested in a pair of King's College London rugby socks once I got to the union shop just to avoid my ankles being rattled about to buggery.
- 350. Calf length and plain and matt black leather. They are sort of like engineer boots crossed with cowboy boots except with a big thick sole. This are the sort of pair that have a clunky metal block in the sole as described above. STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP. They are the most bulletproof of all the New Rocks due to their lack of foofraw.
- 335. Knee height and with silver flames up the back and 14 rows of lace holes, and silver flames over the toes. Quite hard to find nowadays. Very roomy but the laces tend to go far too easily and the soles are almost the equivalent of slick tyres so they're super grippy when it's dry but they slide around like anything in the rain. Also the most comfortable variety.
- 591. These are calf length and have the chunky buckles like the 272s but have broad coloured flames round the toe and up the back and in a wreath around the "planet" roundel at the top. The flames are most commonly red or silver, though there are also purple, yellow, and acid green varieties and, very rarely, ones that are red all over but with black flames.
- 474. They fit in between the 591s and the 272s in that they have five buckles, and are a bit over calf length. Fairly rare, actually. The top three buckles also are velcro and on both sides of your leg.
- 280. Whoa! These calf length ones are without a shadow of a doubt the equivalent of sword blades on chariot wheels, for they fasten with a "spiral" type zip that goes all the way round and have a forest of spikes all over them. Expensive and completely impractical. The spikes probably snag on things really easily.
- 738. Another totally impractical variety, these knee high ones have stiff silvery leather "armour plates" down the front and back. Expensive and only slightly less impractical.
The New Rock company also is less well known for doing leather clothing, usually aimed at the alternative and fetishware markets. Often they have the "flame" decals stitched onto them. I saw a woman at Wacken Open Air this year who was wearing a New Rock leather corset, leather flame-sided trousers, and "Malicia" fetish boots. I was intrigues but kept clear because she had a 19 stone German boyfriend who looked like he was contemplating nailing my pelvis to a hatstand.
I don't wear my New Rocks as much as I used to; I think a Judge might be a bit nonplussed if I stomped into Court in my 272s. Still, I get them out for a good ol' mosh or going dahn the pub or similar. I still think I should get together with a squadron of other New Rock wearers and filming that parade type TV spot for shiggles though.
(Node 14 of my 30 IRON NODES).