Speed boots

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[Combat boots.png Jungle boots.png Hiking boots.png Mud boots.png Buckled boots.png Riding boots.png Snow boots.png
speed boots
Appearance random
Slot boots
AC 1
Base price 50 zm
Weight 20
Material leather

Speed boots (also dubbed boots of speed) are an item that appear in NetHack. These boots are popular choices for an ascension kit because they are the only way to permanently become very fast.


Speed boots give a player an extra six movement points per turn, plus a 1/3 chance of an additional six movement points. This boosts the normal movement rate from 12 to 18 (150% normal speed, or 3 moves every 2 turns), with a 1/3 chance per turn of movement rate being 24 (200% normal speed, or 2 full moves per turn). On average, the player will thus get 20 movement points per turn (167% normal speed, or 5 moves every 3 turns). Wearing speed boots yourself does not allow you to move any faster when riding a steed.

Monsters can also wear speed boots, but they have the same effect as a wand of speed monster.[note 1]


In the early game, speed boots are generally considered the most useful boots, and indeed one of the most useful items overall. With speed boots, an unburdened player can outrun most foes, including highly dangerous soldier ants, leocrottas, and most centaurs (mountain centaurs are the exception). Some exceptionally fast monsters such as air elementals, warhorses, and unicorns will still be faster than a player with speed boots, but there are easy ways of dealing with the last two. In addition to enhanced flight, speed boots also give a fighting player extra attacks, so a player in speed boots gets five attacks for every three that he would get without.

Blessed fireproof +2 (or +3) speed boots are a common wish for players who find an early wand of wishing and have already wished for a source of magic resistance and reflection. However, they become a less essential wish in the late game, as the player likely has a few potions of speed that they can use to haste themselves in especially dangerous areas such as the Plane of Air or the Astral Plane. Players who can cast the haste self spell will also find speed boots entirely unnecessary, as will spellcasting pets, such as ki-rin and Archon, who will eventually permanently haste themselves.

Making the most of speed boots requires a good conceptual understanding of speed, and in particular the difference between turns and actions. A player who spends most of his time riding would do better with jumping boots, or possibly water walking boots for those emergencies when your flying steed bucks you or gets killed over water. Jumping boots can let you move even farther in one turn, but are tedious to use and cost more nutrition.

Speed boots are an essential item in turncount speedrunning, due to their ability to give the player multiple actions without advancing the turn counter.


You feel yourself speed up.
You put them on, and did not yet possess speed.
You feel yourself speed up a bit more.
You put them on, and already were fast (but not very fast).
Your quickness feels more/less natural.
You gained/lost intrinsic speed while wearing the boots.



In SLASH'EM, Whisperfeet is an artifact pair of speed boots that, in addition to their normal effect, give stealth and act as a luckstone. They are the guaranteed first sacrifice gift for tourists. Additionally, due to the new create pool spell that monsters will cast at you, non-flying players may prefer water walking boots to speed boots as their primary shoe of choice in the late game.

Slash'EM Extended

In Slash’EM Extended, boots with the randomized appearance “speed boots” will function as speed boots in addition to their original effects.


  1. Some monsters can also drink a potion of speed for the same effect.

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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.4. Information on this page may be out of date.

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