How Isaac Boots Set the Wellness World on Fire

How Isaac Boots Set the Wellness World on Fire


The trainer’s wildly popular fitness routine, Torch’d — a high-energy dance party meets body weight-resistance workout — keeps the celebrity set (like Jessica Chastain and Kelly Ripa) on a nonstop global tour with residencies in Milan during fashion week, LA during the Oscars, and the Hamptons every summer. Avenue caught up with Boots mid-sweat.

You were born Isaac Calpito in Hawaii but changed your name to Isaac Boots. Do you have a massive boot collection?
I have a trove. Call me the Imelda Marcos of boots. A pair of Prada chunky boots are my go-to. They give me extra height, so I don’t look like a lilliputian next to my husband. My first pair were patent leather Doc Martens. I was trying to be like Madonna in the “Human Nature” video.

You and Madonna have a few things in common…
Madonna was my biggest inspiration for obvious reasons, like going to a Catholic school and feeling like an outsider in my own home. She was speaking to everything I was feeling: moving to New York [as a teen] with nothing and pursuing a dream; following a passion and being deeply ambitious; and believing in yourself no matter what anyone thinks. When people try and destroy you in any way, you resurrect and keep on slaying it.

Both your father and grandfather were boxers named Isaac. Were you expected to follow in their footsteps?
I was forced to box when I was young. I was very effeminate, doing paddle-turns to Madonna’s “Cherish” on the beach. I was devastated every time they forced me to box. But looking back, I am grateful because I know how to protect myself. You have to do things that make you uncomfortable, so you’re equipped with tools to survive. Moving to New York when I was 17 with no safety net, I realized I could handle myself. Whenever there are things I don’t want to do or I’m tired and fearful, I go back to those moments and I dive in and do it.

During lockdown you did online workouts to raise over $1 million for No Kid Hungry. Did growing up on food stamps inspire you to give back?
Absolutely. My first thought in March 2020 was: what if this happened in 1986? What would my family have done? It frightened me. Schools were being shut down and so many children in America rely on school lunch as their meal of the day. I wanted to raise a few thousand dollars. And it just hit. With the help of my celebrity clients posting about it, it just amplified the audience. I think it’s a sin that poverty even exists.

Tell me about married life!
It’s an adventure. My husband and I have been traveling so much with my work. I experience things I never imagined I would be able to do with someone that I love, but also with someone that sees life with me as a priority. When we first started dating, I was not wanting to delve into a relationship. I have a very tight group of girlfriends I call my “squirrels.” They all fell in love with him instantly and they fall in love with no one.

What inspired Torch’d?
I was a dancer on Broadway. I was doing eight shows a week for 12 years. The workout was out of necessity because I was in West Side Story and it was such a challenging show, not only physically, but the rehearsal hours. I didn’t have time to go to the gym. I started doing the workout on the Palace Theatre stage with Madonna playing on my boom box. Slowly but surely the rest of the cast started joining in — all the Sharks and the Jets and Bernardo and Maria. And I’m barking out orders. It has been an organic evolution. I started choreographing and working with pop stars and I would start rehearsal with this workout. Whenever I do Torch’d, it hearkens back to my days dancing on Broadway.

Torch’d now has energy patches, CBD gummies, and clothing. How did that happen?
I created a lot of the products because I travel so much. I didn’t want to rely on artificial stimulation. I don’t need a fourth cup of coffee or Diet Coke. I work with a lot of people on the fashion circuit doing all the shows. I have my girls popping their gummies or putting their Torch’d patch on. No jet lag, darling!

Your life is like a pop star on tour.
I just finished my LA residency and I’m heading to Boston then Italy. Then I’ll be back to start my Hamptons life. I love the travel. I feel lucky that I’m able to be in all these beautiful places in season. I pretend I’m Madonna in “Truth or Dare.”

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