A boot is a type of footwear. It mainly covers the foot and the ankle and extends up the leg, sometimes as far as the knee or even the hip. Most boots have a heel that is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the sole, even if the two are made of one piece. Traditionally made of leather or rubber, modern boots are made from a variety of materials. Boots are worn both for their functionality – protecting the foot and leg from water, snow, mud or hazards or providing additional ankle support for strenuous activities – and for reasons of style and fashion.
High-top athletic shoes are generally not considered boots, even though they do cover the ankle, primarily due to the absence of a distinct heel.
Cowboy boots were western style and went above the ankle.

President Harry S. Trumen's custom made Cowboy Boots

Types and use

Boots designed for walking through the elements may be madeof a single closely-stitched design (using leather, rubber, canvas, or similar material) to prevent the entry of water, snow, mud or dirt through the gaps left between the laces and the tongue in other types of shoes. Simple waterproof gumboots are made in different lengths of uppers. In extreme cases, thigh-boots called waders, worn by anglers, end at the hip level of the wearer. Such boots may also be insulated for warmth. Most boots commonly sold in retail stores are not actually waterproof.
Speciality boots have been made to temporarily protect steelworkers if they get caught in pools of molten metal; to protect chemical workers from a wide variety of chemical exposure; and there are insulated, inflatable, boots designed for walking in the Antarctic continent. However, most work boots are “laceups” made from leather; formerly they were usually shod with hobnails and heel- and toe-plates, but now usually with a thick rubber sole, and often with steel toecaps. Work boots (like the popular Dr. Martens) were adopted by skinheads and punks as part of their typical dress and have migrated to more mainstream fashion, including women’s wear. As a more rugged alternative to dress shoes, dress boots may be worn (though these can also be more formal than shoes).
Specialty boots have been designed for many different types of sports, particularly riding, skiing and snowboarding, Ice skating, and sporting in wet conditions.
Fashionable boots for women may all the variations seen in other fashion footwear: tapered or spike heels, platform soles, pointed toes, zipper closures and the like. The popularity of boots as fashion footwear ebbs and flows. They were popular in the 1960s and 1970s, but diminished in popularity towards the end of the 20th century. Today, they are becoming popular, especially designs that have a long bootleg.
Boots have their own devotees among boot fetishists, shoe fetishists and foot fetishists.

nancy sintra

Singer Nancy Sinatra was largely

responsible for popularizing the

fad of women wearing boots

in the late 1960s.

A pair of kneehigh boots in white leather with 6 cm (2.36″) stiletto heels

Boots in idioms

• Boots, particularly those worn as protective footwear by workers (work boots) have a reputation for being as hard-wearing as their owners, hence the commonly used simile “tough as old boots”.
• One potential fate of a discarded boot is to be used in the construction of a musical instrument known as the “mendoza”.
• Tall boots may have a tab, loop or handle at the top known as a bootstrap, allowing one to use fingers or a tool to provide better leverage in getting the boots on. A German legend about a boy lifting himself by his bootstraps into the air, allowing him to fly, has led to the word’s metaphorical use in many different contexts, such as “to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” Further information: bootstrapping and booting

Calfhigh leather boots with stiletto heel (Le Silla).

• To “die with one’s boots on” means to die from violence as opposed to from natural causes (to “die in bed”); hence Boot Hill as a popular name for Wild West cemeteries.
• Boot camp: a colloquial term for the initial recruit training of a new recruit enlisting in a military organization.
• Stormtroopers, skinheads, and other agents of authority or political strongarm tactics are typically referred to by their detractors as “jackbooted thugs,” a reference to the tall riding or military-style boot of the Nazi uniform. Authoritarian rule, either by hostile military forces, or by groups of armed intimidators, is imposed by “jackboot tactics.”
• To “give someone the boot” means to kick them out (of a job, a club, etc.), either literally or figuratively.
• To “put the boot off” someone’s chin.
• “The boot is on the other foot now” means that a situation has become reversed — a previous victor is now losing, for example.
• Wearing “seven-league boots” references a classic children’s fairy tale and indicates that a person or company can cover great distances, figuratively or literally, in a single stride.
• To “shake in one’s boots” means to be very frightened, and is mostly used sarcastically.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia