Boots are footwear that covers not only the feet but also the ankles and sometimes even the lower leg. Shoes cover and protect the feet but generally stay below the ankles. Some dress shoes cover the ankle; they are referred to as high-topped shoe or high tops.

Comparison chart

Boots versus Shoes comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartBootsShoes
What is it? Footwear that covers the whole foot and lower leg. Footwear shaped to fit the foot (below the ankle) with a flexible upper of leather or plastic and a sole and heel of heavier material.
Purpose Originally it was for protecting foot and leg from water, snow and hazardous industrial materials and arduous work. It may cover the ankle, calf or the complete leg. Now it is used for style and fashion also. It is to protect and comfort the foot while doing day to day activities.
Types Hip boot, knee-high boots, thigh-length boots, wedge boots, chap boots Dress and casual, Athletic Orthopedic, Dance, Work
Styles Chelsea boots, Mukluks, Wellington boots, Cowboy boots, Gumboots, Rigger boots, Russian boots, Valenki Oxfords, Blüchers, Monk-straps, Slip-ons, Brogues, High-heeled footwear, Mules, Slingbacks, Ballet flats, Court shoes, Moccasin, Espadrilles
Accessories Spats, Boot jack, Boot hooks Shoehorn, Shoe tree, shoe insert, heel grip, foam tap
Made using Traditionally made from leather or rubber. Now suede, plastic and several other materials Originally made from leather, wood or canvas. Now made from rubber, plastics, and other petrochemical-derived materials.


Boots are commonly used for work wear, industry, mining, military, riding, walking in snow, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. However, with boots now being available in smooth and soft material, it is fashionable for women to use boots with dresses.

Shoes are commonly used for jogging, running, walking, golf, bowling, dancing, and for formal occasions like weddings and at work.

Hiking shoes and hiking boots are both available. This video compares the use of shoes vs boots for hiking.

Accessories for shoes vs boots

Boot jack and hooks are tools which help you wear and remove boots. Spats provide additional protection.

Shoe accessories include


Prices vary significantly by brand, style and distributor. Current prices for some of the top selling brands are available on

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