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Footwear consists of garments worn on the feet, for fashion, protection against the environment, and adornment. Being barefoot is commonly associated with poverty, but some cultures chose not to wear footwear at least in some situations....
, a hobnail
is a short nail with a thick head used to increase the durability of boot
A boot is a type of footwear but they are not shoes. Most boots mainly cover the foot and the ankle and 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....
(known in Scotland as "tackety boots") are boots with hobnails (nails inserted into the soles of the boots), usually installed in a regular pattern, over the sole. They also usually have an iron horseshoe
A horseshoe, is a fabricated product, normally made of metal, although sometimes made partially or wholly of modern synthetic materials, designed to protect a horse's hoof from wear and tear. Shoes are attached on the palmar surface of the hooves, usually nailed through the insensitive hoof wall...
-shaped insert, called a heel iron, to strengthen the heel, and an iron toe-piece. The hobnails project below the sole and provide traction on soft or rocky ground, ice, and snow, but they tend to slide on smooth hard surfaces.
They have been used since antiquity for inexpensive durable footwear, often by workmen and the military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...
, including as the trench boot
The trench boot sometimes known as the Pershing boot was a combat boot used in World War I by British, American, French and Belgian forces, made for the cold mud of trench warfare.-Introduction:...
s of World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
. They gained particular notoriety during the Second World War as the standard footwear of German troops, which in conjunction with the distinctive goose-step march upon cobblestone streets, left a lasting impression of their martial entrance into countless towns and villages throughout Occupied Europe.