University of Northampton student creates high heel boots from knives

A University of Northampton student created a pair of boots with a knife for a heel as a reaction to the rise of organised crime that has blighted her home town.

Jo Allen channeled her anguish at the activities of criminal gangs that have targeted Banbury into something creative.

Jo Allen with her boot with a knife heel. Photo: University of Northampton

Jo Allen with her boot with a knife heel. Photo: University of Northampton

In 2018, eight people from Banbury were jailed as part of a police campaign to tackle organised crime and ‘county lines’ drug dealing in the town.

While Jo feels powerless to do anything about the situation, she made the striking blood red leather boots, complete with carving knives for heels.

The final year footwear and accessories student said: “You might not think it if you were passing through, but Banbury is suffering from the activities of criminal gangs based in larger cities.

“It’s happening across the country, with trafficking networks being set up to bring drugs into smaller communities.

Jo Allen's boots with a knife heel. Photo: University of Northampton

Jo Allen's boots with a knife heel. Photo: University of Northampton

"With a railway station and the M40 on its doorstep, Banbury was ripe for infiltration by gangs from London and Birmingham.

“Making the boots has been quite a therapeutic process for me, but I made them because I wanted to create something thought provoking.

"They are a visual statement which I hope will allow people to start that awkward conversation about what could be seen as a taboo topic in places like Banbury.”