Nancy Sinatra

These Boots Are Made for Walkin'

Composed by Lee Hazlewood

Song Review by

A prime piece of '60s kitsch -- do seek out the priceless circa 1966 promo video, complete with dozens of boot-clad dancing girls doing the frug in unison -- Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" is best enjoyed on a shallow level. Certainly that's how Sinatra herself seems to feel about the song, even as she poses in knee-high boots at every opportunity: she's made more than a few mildly disparaging comments about the song itself over the years. And yet while there's something to be said for the fact that if the gender roles were reversed, as songwriter/producer Lee Hazlewood originally intended, many would consider the song horribly misogynistic, Sinatra treats the lyrics with such a tossed-off sense of detachment that it's impossible to treat them at all seriously. So what one is left with is that simultaneously corny and wicked-cool descending bass riff, the prominent percussion and mariachi trumpets, and Sinatra's own purring vocals, and that's enough to make it at the very least a guilty pleasure (for those who believe in such things) and a shining example of a mid-'60s novelty gem. Most of the many covers are pretty awful, but Lisa Germano deserves a mention for her 1993 reworking of the song (on the original Capitol issue of her album Happiness, but not the 4AD reissue), which removes the kitsch entirely in favor of a stomping, seethingly angry attack.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Boots 1966 Sundazed 2:43
The Hit Years 1986 Rhino 2:46
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Classic Rock: 1966 - Shakin' All Over 1989
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:45
No Image 198? Rhino
Lightning's Girl 1997 Raven 2:44
Crazy in Alabama 1999
Original Soundtrack
Silva America 2:41
Millennium Party [Rhino Box] 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:42
You Go-Go Girl 1999 Varèse Vintage / Varese 2:44
The Mexican [Music from the Motion Picture] 2001 Decca 2:43
Definitive 60's, Vol. 1 2002
Various Artists
Hal Lifson's 1966 2003
Various Artists
Varèse Vintage / Varese 2:45
Sixties Soft Rock 2004
Various Artists
Passport Audio
The Italians: The Next Generation 2004
Various Artists
Audio Fidelity 2:45
Essential Nancy Sinatra 2006 EMI Music Distribution 2:43