Water walking 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
water walking boots
Appearance random
Slot boots
AC 1
Base price 50 zm
Weight 20
Material leather

A pair of water walking boots is a set of magical boots that appear in NetHack.


A guaranteed pair of water walking boots is found within one of the niches on the middle level of Vlad's Tower.[1]


When worn, water walking boots provide 1 AC and allow the wearer to walk on water; they can also be used to cross lava, but must be fireproofed first, as trying with non-fireproof boots will destroy them and probably plunge you into the lava. Water walking boots have no impact on a steed's ability to cross water, and cannot be used to traverse the Plane of Water.


Water walking lets you cross moats and pools safely, similar to levitation sources such as the ring or boots. However, they will not protect you against drowning attacks, nor will they protect you or your inventory from fire damage while crossing.

While the ring of levitation is easier to manage and generally preferred, water walking boots are still a more manageable method of crossing water compared to levitation boots - they do not cause you to break contact with the ground, so you can freely pick up items on land and walk down stairs without removing anything. If planning to cross over lava, be sure to have fire resistance to avoid sustaining damage, and fireproof as many other vulnerable items in your inventory as you can.

Water walking also allows for unlimited #dipping scrolls and spellbooks into water tiles to blank them, or diluting potions for water production - while falling into water is normally faster, it is also reliant on your Luck. Having access to water walking can also save time and even wishes in these cases, as you may be able to put off obtaining a source of sustained levitation until the Elemental Planes. Be especially careful around foocubi and nymphs while on top of water or lava!

The Castle, Juiblex's Swamp and Medusa's Island are common levels where these boots are used, as well as the Quest for certain roles (e.g., the Healer quest). Some players keep them on routinely to reduce water-crossing hassles, particularly from forgetting to use levitation or else moving off dry land due to typos.

Players crafting ascension kits tend to forego these boots in favor of speed boots and jumping boots, which are typically supplemented with a ring or potions of levitation - for those who do not have either types of boots and do not want to wish for them, water walking boots are an excellent choice. If you have not found any of these boots by the time you reach the Castle, a pair of unenchanted high boots or elven boots can suffice until you reach the middle of Vlad's Tower or find another preferable pair.


Water walking boots are non-trivial to identify, as they do not display a message when worn and have no obvious effects, unlike speed boots and jumping boots; price identification is one of the more reliable methods, as it poses no risk to your inventory.

If you cannot price-ID, the simplest way to test boots for water walking is to remove and drop any scrolls, spellbooks, potions, and rustable equipment first (or place it into an oilskin sack), then step into a water tile - unless your encumbrance is high, you will safely climb back out if the boots are not water walking. A safer and more difficult option is to use teleport control, since water squares will be considered "safe" if you teleport onto a water tile while wearing water walking boots, you can teleport onto a water tile and stand safely there; if not, you will be teleported elsewhere in the level at random.


Water walking boots first appear in NetHack 3.0.0.



In SLASH'EM, the presence of the create pool monster spell makes it vital that some players keep a means of staying above water on hand at all times, particularly on the ascension run. Water walking boots are among the more ideal options for ascension kits as a result.


In dNetHack, the Bard quest places water walking boots on the same square as the quest nemesis Aglaope square at level creation.

Two artifact pairs of water walking boots are added:

The Plane of Water is changed so that the "floor" of the air bubbles are also considered water as well, making it possible (and likely a good idea) to wear water walking boots there.


In EvilHack, monsters are capable of using worn water walking boots, and seeing a monster cross water this way will auto-identify them.