Boots are a form of footwear which are distinguished from shoes as entending above the ankle bone. Boots are generally made entirely of leather, although with the advent of man-made materials, the construction of boots has expanded to include nylon, rubber, neoperene, and plastics. Each of these materials requires different techniques as part of their care, making it important for bootblacks to develop the ability to identify different products prior to beginning work on them.
Some (But Not All) Types of Boots
Combat (or Jump) Boots
A type of combat boot first to come with high legs before modern issue combat boots, exclusive with Paratroopers and soldiers of the Airborne Forces. In modern times, nearly all combat boots are fully laced, therefore modern jump boots are mainly worn as dress and parade boots. Their uppers are generally made of smooth black leather, with toe-caps and heel counters that accept a high polish.
A type of combat boot designed for use in jungle warfare or in hot, wet and humid environments, where a standard leather combat boot would be uncomfortable or unsuitable to wear. Jungle boots have vent holes in the instep and sometimes a canvas upper to aid in ventilation and drainage of moisture.
Engineer boots are one of many styles of leather boots; Originally these type of boots were worn by land surveyors and train engineers. This type of footwear is often worn by motorcycle riders. The boots are most often made of heavy weight black leather, have a rounded or squarish toe and range in height from short (10") to extra high (38").
Harness boots are designed to protect the motorcycle rider from the heat of the exhaust pipes and the engine block and from injury to the foot and leg in the case of an accident while riding and may include a built-in steel toe cap and metal shank in the heel. Whereas engineer boots have a rounded toe, harness boots typically have a square toe.
Lineman (or Logger) Boots
Logger boots show the rough side (leather) on the outside, the deep lug Vibram sole, and the arch-ease heel set well forward for maximum walking comfort. These are very popular with firefighters, Forest Service workers, hunters, heavy equipment operators, truck drivers and hikers. "Corks" or spikes can be driven into the soles of the boots to give better traction on slick or uneven surfaces. (www.whitesboots.com)
A fashion boot is a boot worn for reasons of style or fashion (rather than for utilitarian purposes – e.g. not hiking boots, riding boots, rain boots, etc.). Fashion boots come in a wide variety of styles, from ankle to thigh-length, and are used for casual, formal, and business attire.
Police Patrol Boots
The boots should be light enough to facilitate quick actions, such as for quick maneuvers on a bike, but heavy enough to withstand the heat, cold, and rain, as well as provide protection from the heat of a motorcycle engine (especially when idling). The sole should provide excellent traction. The overall boot should be comfortable to stand in for hours if necessary. (www.bootedman.com/ bootinfo/patrolboots.html)
A riding boot is a boot made to be used for horse riding. The classic boot comes high enough up the leg to prevent the leathers of the saddle from pinching the leg of the rider, has a sturdy toe to protect the rider's foot when on the ground and has a distinct heel to prevent the foot from sliding through the stirrup. The sole is smooth or lightly textured to avoid being caught on the tread of the stirrup in the event of a fall.
Cowboy boots refer to a specific style of riding boot, historically worn by cowboys. They have a Cuban heel, rounded to pointed toe, high shaft, and, traditionally, no lacing. Cowboy boots are normally made from cowhide leather but are also sometimes made from "exotic" skins such as alligator, snake, ostrich, lizard, eel, elephant, stingray, elk, buffalo, and the like.
Tanker boots are military boots closely associated with soldiers who serve on tanks and tracked vehicles in general. Whereas regular combat boots are laced through metal eyelets in the leather upper, the tanker boots are fastened with leather straps which wrap around the upper and buckle near the top. The problem with laces is that they can become undone easily and then entangled in the many exposed, moving parts of a tank.
Over a half century ago, the White's Packer was designed specifically for professional outfitters and packers who required a strong arch for all-day comfort and support. Soon, workers in various industries discovered the remarkable qualities of the White's high Packer arch, and made it a vital part of their tools of the trade. Today, people in various demanding occupations, from ranchers and outfitters to mechanics and construction workers, depend on White's Packers for comfort and durability. Many find the boots so comfortable that they even wear them off the job.
Wellington boots are waterproof and are most often made from rubber or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) a halogenated polymer. They are usually worn when walking on wet or muddy ground, or to protect the wearer from heavy showers and puddles. They are generally just below knee-high although shorter boots are available. The "Wellington" in contemporary society is a very common and necessary safety or hygiene shoe for vastly diverse industrial settings: for heavy industry with an integrated reinforced toe; protection from mud and grime in mines; chemical spills in chemical plants; serving the high standard of hygiene required in food processing plants; operating theatres; dust-free clean rooms for electronics manufacture; and horticultural work for protection from water and mud.