Boots are made for walking, the saying goes, but what about for rooting on the Tigers?
LSU-themed footwear is the new fashion accessory to add to that sea of purple and gold on Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium. Fans are looking everywhere for LSU boots, shoes and flip-flops to complete their ensembles.
“I have LSU everything, so, of course, I would have LSU boots and shoes,” said Debbie Heroman, who has taught in the LSU School of Education for 32 years. Heroman usually has some of the LSU players in her courses. She’s their biggest cheerleader.
“I literally go to every LSU sport, and I never miss an LSU football game,” said Heroman, who was headed to the LSU-A&M game in College Station, Texas.
As a very active member of the Bengal Belles, she has at least a dozen pairs of LSU shoes and boots including tennis shoes, purple sandals, suede clogs with LSU monogrammed on the top, a pair of purple suede shoes with big gold wedges and a pair of purple sandals with gold rhinestone buttons made by Dee Keller, a local shoe designer. Keller named the sandals “The Debbie” in honor of Heroman.
One of Heroman’s favorites is a pair of purple and gold sequinned Elaine Turner shoes from Head Over Heels on Corporate Boulevard. Owner Susan Holliday calls Heroman first whenever she gets something with an LSU design.
Local stores say the LSU-themed footwear is selling well.
“We have 10 different boots and 13 different flip-flops for LSU,” said Kellee Hennessy Dickerson, owner of The Glass Slipper in Denham Springs. “We are wall to wall purple and gold.”
Danys Castillo, owner of Signature Shoes and Apparel on Tiger Bend Road in Baton Rouge, sells her LSU boots to people going to the games and those who are just showing their LSU colors.
“A lot of people buy them to wear on Fridays and to the games,” Castillo said. “And some will wear them all the time.”
The best-selling shoe in her store is the Game Day boot made by Old Gringo. “It’s an all-leather, hand-tooled boot with a tiger face on the shaft and LSU embroidered on it,” she said. The Game Day boot is pricey at $399, but Castillo says she can’t keep them in the store.
A less expensive alternative at $85 is her Volatile boot made of “pleather,” or faux leather. “It has a fashion heel, not a cowboy heel, but is western inspired,” Castillo said.
Bengal Belles President Aimee Simon loves her Volatile short cowboy boots the most “because they are comfortable,” said Simon, who always dresses for Game Day. She has at least five pairs of LSU-themed boots.
“Even when I had to sew my own outfits, I always wore LSU,” she said. “Now it’s much easier because you can find everything.” She usually buys her Tiger attire at Bengal Belles events, where vendors of LSU products often sell their items.
“I always dress for LSU things,” Simon said. “Sometimes I might be tiger. Sometimes I might be purple, and sometimes I might be purple and gold. And I always wear a hat.”
Dickerson said that shoes in animal prints are big this year. “The tiger stripe is one of the most popular, which is good for LSU fans,” she said. She also carries an assortment of heels and flats in purple and gold.
Sally Banta, owner of Imelda’s on Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge, has two different LSU flip-flops. The Havaianas, made in Brazil, are available year-round, but the purple and gold variation sells best during football season. Imelda’s also sells a Feel Goods brand cushy flip-flop in half-purple and half-yellow.
“We sell these for football season along with purple shirts, scarves and purple jeans that flew out of the store,” Banta said.
The Royal Standard at the overpass on Perkins Road in Baton Rouge has four items of LSU footwear, two different boots in purple and gold and two LSU-themed flip-flops.
“They sell out almost as quickly as they come in the store,” said Caroline Nance, one of the managers of the Royal Standard.
Online sales are hot for purple and gold rain boots called Stadium Stompers, which are available at Bolton Health Mart on Perkins Road in Baton Rouge for $35 a pair. These are also available in black and gold for trend-setting Saints fans.
For the trendiest platform wedges in LSU purple, Shoe Station has a style by Jessica Simpson along with leopard-spotted platforms and an assortment of purple and gold flip-flops in a wide range of prices.
For fans on a budget, Wal-Mart on College Drive in Baton Rouge has a selection of purple and gold flip-flops, tennis shoes and slippers, some even in children’s sizes. And for those rainy Saturday nights that never happen in Tiger Stadium, Wal-Mart carries a selection of plastic rain boots in a tiger print.
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