Iron shoes

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[   iron shoes   Iron shoes.png
Appearance hard shoes
Slot boots
AC 2
Special (none)
Base price 16 zm
Weight 50
Material iron

Iron shoes are a type of non-magical boots that appear in NetHack. They are naturally made of iron, and appear as hard shoes when unidentified. When worn, they grant 2 AC.


Dwarves have a 67 chance of generating with iron shoes, and Uruk-hai have a 13 chance of generating with them;[1][2] orc-captains have a 12 chance to be generated with Uruk-hai armor, giving them an effective 16 chance of generating with the boots.[3]


A pair of iron shoes grants 2 base AC when worn. Worn iron shoes will protect you against a xan's leg-wounding sting 25 of the time.[4]


Iron shoes and high boots are the only kinds of boots to have a natural AC of 2; iron shoes are much easier to find, particularly in the Gnomish Mines, but weigh more and incur a small spellcasting penalty. They are additionally vulnerable to rusting, which among other things can make encounters with rust monsters annoying.

In the early phases of the game, melee roles with low interest in spells and casters looking to prioritize AC will likely grab one of the many pairs of iron shoes they encounter in the Mines, and may swap them for lighter high boots if deemed necessary. Their spellcasting penalty is low enough that it is usually possible to retain a comfortably low failure rate if no other metal armor is worn.


Iron shoes first appear in NetHack 3.0.0.


Some variants rename the hard shoes used by dwarves to dwarvish boots, which may grant an AC bonus to dwarves that wear them, and are otherwise the same as iron shoes; other variants may additionally repurpose the iron shoes given to Uruk-hai into orcish boots.


xNetHack renames iron shoes to dwarvish shoes and retains the chances of Uruk-hai generating with them, with a comment in makemon.c suggesting that they stole their boots from dwarves.


In EvilHack, iron shoes are renamed to dwarvish boots and grant an AC bonuses to dwarves that wear them, while Uruk-hai and other orcs are instead given orcish boots, which grant AC bonuses to orcs wearing them. Dwarvish boots can be created at a forge by combining a dwarvish short sword and a pair of gauntlets.

Croesus has a 12 chance of generating with a set of gold dwarvish boots among his golden armor.


In SlashTHEM, the militant cleric of the rebel leader's party that serves as quest nemeses for the default Noble quest will generate with iron shoes.


Hack'EM splits iron shoes into dwarvish and orcish boots similar to EvilHack. Fumble boots can be upgraded into dwarvish boots, and dwarvish boots can be upgraded into speed boots, water walking boots, jumping boots, stomping boots, or kicking boots, with an equal chance of each - upgrading any of these boots will turn them into either dwarvish boots or elven boots.