From the moment Italian entrepreneur Giancarlo Zanatta was inspired by a projection of Neil Armstrong’s large, anti-gravity boot-shaped print on the moon’s surface and set about crafting an otherworldly après-ski boot, ever-evolving Moon Boot has continually left its mark beyond the slopes. After becoming a mountain must-have for the Jet Set in the 70s, Tecnica Group’s retrofuturistic icon and first ever unisex, multi-size and ambidextrous shoe became a Y2K superstar, before being displayed at the Louvre among the 100 symbols of the 20th-century design, and is now riding a resurgent it-shoe wave with the world gripped by 00s nostalgia.
After conquering mountains, New York’s club scenes, The Simple Life, Instagram and TikTok alike, LN-CC wanted to celebrate the latest Moon Boot drop – featuring Icon Snow Boots, Low Rain Boots, Shearling Low Snow Boots and more – by taking them back underground. Here, four members of a Dungeons & Dragons group take their favourite pair on an adventure inside the dark recesses of Chislehurst Caves at Labyrinthe in Kent.
“It's a real community,” Duncan Matthias, The Labyrinthe Club’s Managing Director, tells LN-CC over email. There are many Live Role-play (LRP) systems running throughout the UK, but Labyrinthe is the only club in the country that runs multiple events almost every weekend of the year in an amazing warren of underground caverns and tunnels. “Labyrinthe is a world of escapism; a place where you can be a character like those you see in Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, and achieve great feats that you just couldn't do in real life,” he adds. With over 30 years of game play, Labyrinthe’s LRP system has evolved into a dynamic high fantasy one, filled with wizards, witches, goblins, ogres, soldiers, priests, rogues and scouts, villains and heroines. Today, its cross-generational community of players are aged 11 to 65+.
Beyond Live Roleplay, Labyrinthe is Kent’s destination for all things Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Warner Bros and fantasy memorabilia! Below its unassuming ground-level reception and retail space is a world of infinite possibilities. To help us explore the magical multiverse, LN-CC casts a recently formed Dungeons & Dragons group of friends. “Everyone’s been playing Dungeons & Dragons without you,” The New York Times declared in a feature published earlier this year explaining why the role-playing game has never been more popular and how players seem to be getting more out of it than ever before. What was once forced into the shadows following the ‘satanic panic’ of the 1980s has made a surprising return to mainstream culture. More than 50 million people worldwide have interacted with D&D since the first edition was released in 1974, according to its publisher. While the game itself is continually evolving (just like Moon Boot), digital culture has amplified its reach. Video streaming platforms such as YouTube and Twitch have shown gaming voyeurs just how fun the world of tabletop games can be, while social forums like Reddit, Discord and Twitter have created digital homes for role-playing game subcultures to cross-pollinate and thrive.
Now in its fifth edition, the real-life magic born out of communal and collaborative storytelling has captivated a new generation of players. “Just as in our world, humanity is wonderfully diverse and we wanted to make sure that people remembered that’s also true in these fantasy worlds,” explained Jeremy Crawford, the lead rules designer for Dungeons & Dragons, back in 2019. By playing roleplaying games like this icon, you learn to solve problems together – something the world needs now more than ever. Our fantasies have the power to shape our realities. Similarly, Moon Boot is for those of who live and think out of this world. People who believe in making the most out of every moment, because every day has the potential to be a voyage of discovery. At home in the city, mountains and, as LN-CC has proved here, caves. it’s all their playground.