Water walking boots

From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
[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

Water walking boots are a set of boots that appear in NetHack. They are magical boots that are made of leather, and have a randomized appearance when unidentified; the default one associated with them is a pair of "jungle boots".[1]


In addition to random generation, general stores, used armor dealerships and antique weapon outlets can sell water walking boots.

A pair of water walking boots is always generated within a niche on the middle floor of Vlad's Tower during normal level creation.[2]

Player monsters on the Astral Plane have an effective ~8.01% chance of generating with water walking boots.[3][4]


While worn, water walking boots grant 1 AC and water walking: they can also be used to cross lava, but must be fireproofed, as trying with non-fireproof boots will destroy them and plunge the character 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 boots allow characters to cross moats and pools safely, similar to levitation sources such as the ring or boots. However, they will not protect against drowning attacks, nor will they protect a character or their 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: characters can freely pick up items on land and walk down stairs without removing them. 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 possible (or else stash them in a fireproof bag). Be especially careful around foocubi and nymphs while on top of water or lava!

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 luck. Having access to water walking can also save time and even wishes in these cases, since a character can put off obtaining a source of sustained levitation until the Elemental Planes. 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 of levitation or potions - for those who do not have either set of boots and do not want to wish for them, water walking boots are an excellent choice. For a character that has not found any of these boots by the time of reaching the Castle, a pair of high boots or elven boots can suffice until they 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 inventory.

If unable to price-ID boots, the simplest way to test 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 the character's encumbrance is high, they 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" when teleporting while wearing water walking boots; if not wearing the boots, the character will be teleported elsewhere in the level at random.


Water walking boots first appear in NetHack 3.0.0.

In NetHack 3.4.3, water walking boots are subject to a few fixed bugs:

  • Water walking boots are not handled properly on lava - this is bug SC343-3, and is fixed in August 2004.
  • If a character in the form of a vampire lord that is wearing water walking boots then polymorphs into a non-flying form, they inventory will become wet despite wearing water walking boots; a potion of levitation prevented this. This is bug NM343-32.



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 more ideal for ascension kits as a result.


In dNetHack and notdNetHack, water walking boots grant 0 base AC, 1 base DR and water walking while worn.

The Bard quest nemesis Aglaope has water walking boots placed on her square of the goal level at level creation.

There are two artifact pairs of water walking boots:

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.


  1. src/objects.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 516
  2. dat/tower.des in NetHack 3.6.7, line 94
  3. src/mplayer.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 134: special is only set to true when generating player monsters on the Astral Plane
  4. src/mplayer.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 294: this line requires if (special) and selects boots from all available types listed in objects.c