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A boot is a type of footwear which covers at least the foot and usually the ankle, and sometimes extends up to the knee or even the hip. They come in every imaginable variation of height, color, material and style. Most have a heel which is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the sole, even if the two are made of one piece.
Boots which are designed as protection from the elements may be made of a single closely-stitched piece (of leather, rubber, etc) to prevent the entry of water, mud or dirt through the gaps left between laces and tongue in other types of shoes.
Other types of boots are sturdy in nature, meant for protection in wilderness or industrial settings. Work boots such as Dr. Martens boots have been adopted by skinheads and punks as part of their typical dress.
Fashionable boots for women may have all the variations seen in other women's shoes: tapered or spike heels, platform soles, pointed toes, zipper closures, etc. Specialty boots have been designed for many different types of sport, particularly football or soccer, riding, skiing and snowboarding, and skating.
Boots have their own devotees among shoe fetishists and foot fetishists.
Tall boots, such as those designed for horseback riding, 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 up by his bootstraps into the air, allowing him to fly, has led to the word's metaphorical use in many different contexts; see bootstrapping and booting.
Boots, particularly those worn as protective footwear by workers (work boots), have a reputation for being as hard-wearing as their owners, hence the expression "tough as old boots".
A long established clich of anglers, especially those who are inexperienced or angling in waters known to be poor for fish, is that of the "old boot", caught in place of the expected fish. This can be seen in many cartoons, parodies, etc., and is usually depicted dripping with weeds and with part of the sole detached, giving the impression of an open mouth.
Learn about Over The Knee Boots.