Boot is a type of footwear which covers at least the foot and usually the ankle, and sometimes extends up to the knee or even the hip. They come in every imaginable variation of height, color, material and style. Most have a heel which is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the sole, even if the two are made of one piece.
Boots which are designed as protection from the elements may be made of a single closely-stitched piece (of leather, rubber, etc) to prevent the entry of water, mud or dirt through the gaps left between laces and tongue in other types of shoes.
Other types of boots are sturdy in nature, meant for protection in wilderness or industrial settings. Work boots such as Dr. Martens boots have been adopted by skinheads and punks as part of their typical dress.
Fashionable boots for women may have all the variations seen in other women's shoes: tapered or spike heels, platform soles, pointed toes, zipper closures, etc.
Boots have their own devotees among shoe fetishists and foot fetishists.
Tall boots, such as those designed for horseback riding, 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. A German legend about a boy lifting himself up by his bootstraps into the air, allowing him to fly, has led to the word's metaphorical use in many different contexts; see bootstrapping and booting.