Shoes & Boots

Are boots a type of shoe? Or are they considered a separate type of footwear? My friend and I have a bet going on this. Does anyone know where I might find a factual answer, not an opinion?

Welcome aboard!

I would venture to say they are separate types of footware. I think it has something to do with the height: below the ankle = shoe; above = boot.

Just a WAG.


Also, if they were not different types of footwear, a company name like Rocky Shoes and Boots would just be redundant. I’d consider them experts on the matter. They make boots and shoes; not just different kinds of shoes. So a boot is a different kind of footwear. Like a shoe or a sandal or a rollerskate.

If you’ve got a bet riding on this I’d advise making sure the question is pretty specifically worded before anybody pays up.

The dictionary definitions that Bear_Nenno gives are certainly a valid set, but clearly there are others.

Stores that post signs saying, “Shirts and Shoes Required,” pretty clearly use the term “shoe” to by synonymous with “footwear.” Somebody trying to argue that boots are a subset of shoes could point to such usage as evidence.

Have you specified American usage only? In much of the world it’s quite common to hear soccer shoes referred to as “boots.” While perhaps not everyday walking shoes, they’re certainly not “boots” under the definition posted above.

Unless the question is made more specific, I don’t think there is an unequivocal correct answer.