Though her petite, boyish frame hardly make her a physically imposing persona, Lisbeth Salander, the psychologically and physically scarred computer genius who enacts her own brutal brand of poetic justice (one involving some much-deserved revenge) in Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo instantly makes an impression on those who encounter her thanks to her gothic punk style. Sporting a raven cropped 'do with side-swept bangs covering one side of her face enigmatically, her eyes rimmed with black liner, her nose and earlobes pierced in multiple places, the motorcycle-riding renegade is mostly seen wearing all-black ensembles: black tees and hoodies paired with black skinny pants and studded black leather biker jackets, then accessorized with spiked metal necklaces that look like they double as instruments of torture, black skull caps, black fingerless gloves and, of course, gothic leather boots with chunky platforms and buckles galore.
Whether you're faithful to the 2009 Swedish film adaptation of the best-selling novel or you're raving about the recently-released US movie version starring Rooney Mara, chances are you've caught The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo fever.
Here, we pay tribute to Lisbeth Salander and to the punk looks of the season with 10 boot styles that perfectly capture this subversive spirit.
Demonia by Pleaser Transformer-800 Boots, $150. Available at Endless.com
You've got to be as hardcore a goth as Lisbeth Salander to pull off these gargantuan, Edward Scissorhands-meets-Frankenstein-style patent leather boots, which feature a chunky 5 1/4" platform with metal rivet accents and 13"-tall shaft accentuated with wide straps and silver-tone buckles.
Dr. Martens Massai Lace-Up Boots, $150. Available at Dillards.com
If, rather than jumping into the punk rock fashion pool, you want to tentatively dip a few toes in the water, do so in these lace-up combat boots, which feature stone black massai leather uppers with a waxed, wet cement-like finish, stark black accent stitching, black satin ribbon laces, and a Victorian-style floral print lining.
When you only lace the boots half way and then fold the top of the shaft over, you can reveal the vintage-looking blossoms and invite onlookers to acknowledge your feminine side. If you'd rather play with a more hard-edged look, simply lace the boots all the way to the top and let that ladylike lining be your private little secret.
Opening Ceremony Leather Lace-Up Ankle Platform Boots, $272. Available at Saks.com
They may look like ordinary ankle boots, but these lace-up Opening Ceremony shoes play with proportions and angles to create an ultra-modern effect. The sides of the shaft are cut at an angle to yield an asymmetrical line, sloping downwards from the front and center to the back of the ankle. The tapered top edges of the shaft are then juxtaposed against a 5" stacked heel with a block-like shape and an exaggerated, bulbous 2" platform along the front of the boot, positioned directly beneath a slightly rounded toe. The cartoonish, over-the-top elements of this footwear style stand in stark contrast to the rows of eyelets through which the lace-up cords are threaded — which, unlike most booties, aren't boxed in by rows of intricate stitching.
Jeffrey Campbell Lita Spike Ankle Boot, $195. Available at JildorShoes.com
Biker jackets with zipper accents and stud details, slim silver hoops tracing the outer curves of the ears, jet black hair, and leather collar necklaces with lethal-looking spikes abound in Salander's closet, so the Jeffrey Campbell Lita Spike Ankle Boots would fit perfectly into this fashion paradigm. One of the most popular Jeffrey Campbell styles to date, the Lita first charmed shoe hounds with its '70s-inspired silhouette — from its hefty heel and pronounced platform to its square toe and lace-up vamp construction. Its latest incarnation, however, fast-forwards a decade to the golden era of punk rock thanks to the Sex Pistols-worthy spikes and studs covering the back of the 5" heel, along with the heel counter.
Kelsi Dagger Hettie Lace-Up Wedge Boots, $198. Available at RevolveClothing.com
The Hettie boots marry the adventurous, danger-loving spirit of popular biker styles with the urban functionality and versatility of comfortable wedge heel boot offerings.In addition to a 5" wedge heel and 1" platform, the fearless Hettie features a single slim leather strip that zig zags its way along the front of the shaft, weaving through rows of corset-style, brass-toned D-rings. A single belt buckle at the base of the shaft and an identical one at the top secure the two ends of the strip.