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    Boot


    • A boot is a type of footwear and a specific type of shoe. Most boots mainly cover the foot and the ankle, while some also cover some part of the lower calf. Some boots extend 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, extreme cold, mud or hazards (e.g., work boots may protect wearers from chemicals or use a steel toe) or providing additional ankle support for strenuous activities with added traction requirements (e.g., hiking) – and for reasons of style and fashion.

      In some cases, the wearing of boots may be required by laws or regulations, such as the regulations in some jurisdictions requiring workers on construction sites to wear steel-toed safety boots. Some uniforms include boots as the regulated footwear. Boots are recommended as well for motorcycle riders. 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. In Britain, the term may be used to refer to football (soccer) cleats.

      Early boots consisted of separate leggings, soles, and uppers worn together to provide greater ankle protection than shoes or sandals. Around 1000 BC, these components were more permanently joined to form a single unit that covered the feet and lower leg, often up to the knee. A type of soft leather ankle boots were worn by nomads in eastern Asia and carried to China to India and Russia around AD 1200 to 1500 by Mongol invaders. The Inuit and Aleut natives of Alaska developed traditional winter boots of caribou skin or sealskin featuring decorative touches of seal intestine, dog hair and suchlike. 17th century European boots were influenced by military styles, featuring thick soles and turnover tops that were originally designed to protect horse mounted soldiers. In the 1700s, distinctive, thigh-high boots worn by Hessian soldiers fighting in the American Revolutionary War influenced the development of the iconic heeled cowboy boots worn by cattlemen in the American west.



      • Boots that are particularly old and well worn, or a similarly tough item are referred to as being tough and strong with the phrase "tough as old boots."
      • A discarded boot may be used in the construction of a musical instrument known as the "mendoza."
      • Tall (high) 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. The figurative use "to pull one's self up by one's bootstraps" in the sense of "ability to perform a difficult task without external help" developed in the 19th century in US English. The term "bootstrapping" was subsequently used in a metaphorical sense in a number of fields, notably computing (which uses the term "bootup" to describe the process of starting a computer and in entrepreneurship, which uses the term "bootstrapping" to describe start-up companies which are launched without major external financing.
      • To "die with one's boots on" means to die while one is still actively involved in work or to go down fighting. Popularized by Wild West movies.
      • : a colloquial term for the initial recruit training of a new recruit enlisting in a military organization or armed force. In this context, a "boot" is just such a recruit.
      • Stormtroopers and other agents of authority or units used for political strongarm tactics such as intimidation are typically referred to by their detractors as "jackbooted thugs," a reference to the hobnailed military jackboot of the World War I German Stormtrooper and later Nazi uniform. Authoritarian rule, either by hostile military forces, or by groups of armed intimidators, is imposed by "jackboot tactics."
      • To "give one the boot" means to kick one out (of a job, a club, etc.) or expel one, either literally or figuratively.
      • To "put the boot in" is an idiom for inflicting violence on someone.
      • "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/quake in one's boots" means to be very frightened, and is mostly used sarcastically.
      • "Knocking boots" is slang for having sex, regardless of whether either person is wearing boots.
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