Last Updated on July 18, 2022
Everyone needs a good pair of shoes to travel the many roads of adventure, but outside of the leather boots and metal greaves that come with your adventurer’s armor, how much do you think about magic boots? For most folks, it’s not a common thought. There are plenty of great magical boots to explore in D&D 5e. So, let’s look at what fanciful footwear options adventurers have in 5e and what they can do for you!
What Are Magical Boots?
Unlike earlier editions, D&D 5e doesn’t go out of its way to designate where each item goes on your person. So, for us, we think of magical boots as being enchanted items that go on or near your character’s feet.
There aren’t any official explanations about magical boots, so it’s the best we have for now!
Magic Boots Early Game 5e
Early on, most players will initially feel like a disappointed kid on Christmas when they receive a pair of boots as their quest reward. While magic boots aren’t as flashy as magical weapons, foci, or armor, there are plenty of solid magic boots to pick up during the first few levels of play.
Boots of False Tracks
For example, the Boots of False Tracks make it so that a player can change what kind of footprints they leave behind while walking, as long as those prints could come from a humanoid. These are the only common rarity boots on this list. They don’t require attunement, but the benefits they offer can help when trying to stay off an enemy’s trail.
A rogue or other stealthy party member will appreciate these boots during their scouting missions. If their trail is discovered, the adventurer could decide to leave behind the tracks of some other humanoid, perhaps one of a species hostile to the folks the scout had spied on. Get creative here! Either way, considering common magic items don’t tend to be more than a hundred gold or so, these boots are a cheap option if you can buy them.
Boots of Elvenkind
Speaking of sneaky magical boots, the Boots of Elvenkind will be a welcome sight for any stealthy character. When worn, these uncommon magical boots provide advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to move silently.
For most tables, wearing these boots will give the adventurer advantage on their Stealth rolls while scouting or when trying to hide. Considering these boots don’t need attunement, that’s a powerful ability to have early on for the Rogues, Rangers, and other stealth-focused members of the party.
However, these boots will be more expensive considering their higher rarity. Uncommon items tend to cost around 500 gold according to the Dungeon Master’s Guide, so be prepared to hand over a lot of your dungeon-delving spoils for these early.
Boots of Striding and Stepping
For the adventurers not expecting to go out scouting, the Boots of Striding and Stepping offer some mobility options to certain kinds of characters. While attuned to these uncommon rarity boots, a character has their walking speed set to 30 feet if not there already and can jump three times their normal jump distance with the aid of these boots.
Immediately, any member of a Small race or a dwarf would appreciate these boots since they will let them walk at the same speed as their Medium-sized counterparts. This is especially so for the melee-focused classes like Barbarians and Paladins as the extra movement speed will give them a better shot at closing the distance between them and hostile creatures.
This speed bump occurs even if you’re weighed down by carrying too many items or heavy armor. This case won’t come up as much but could be handy in case you need to move something around quickly.
Finally, the extra jump distance will be a big help in mobility for Strength-based classes. Since jumping distance comes from a combination of your Strength score and getting a running start, these boots can make your Strength work triple to help you get around.
It’s one thing for a low-level Barbarian to have a 4-foot high vertical jump, but what about 12 feet? Suddenly, creatures flying just overhead or shooting down from moderately tall cover will have to deal with a raging Barbarian leaping up toward them!
These boots are also an uncommon rarity, so expect them to cost a few hundred gold from any magic item vendors that offer them. Most DMs will view this item as less impactful than the Elvenkind boots, so maybe your Bard or Sorcerer can haggle a lower price for you.
Boots of the Winterlands
For something more specific to the environment, the Boots of the Winterlands are a pair of uncommon magical boots that give benefits to the attuned wearer in the cold. Specifically, the character attuned to this item is resistant to cold damage, ignores difficult terrain created by ice and snow, and can tolerate temperatures down to -50°F with just the boots and -100°F with heavy clothing.
Anyone who played Icewind Dale would have loved to have this item given all the combats around ice and snow. Plus, with all the creatures out there trying to freeze their targets in place, the resistance to cold damage would help with survivability.
These boots would make for a great early reward for homebrew adventures happening in or around arctic climates. Or, for a higher-level party, a DM could have a quest that puts the players on the path to getting a pair of these boots for each party member before sending them to this climate.
Slumbering Scaled Ornament
Finally, the Slumbering Scaled Ornament is a wearable accessory that can take the shape of boots. These uncommon boots, when attuned, provide the wearer advantage to both avoid and end the charmed and frightened condition on themselves.
Considering that both of these conditions are the most common conditions created by failed Wisdom saving throws, characters with a weak Wisdom save will love having these boots when going up against early threats like dragon wyrmlings, hags, and ghosts that want to charm and fright the players.
Usually, these items are inside of a dragon’s hoard, meaning you might have to slay that wyrmling first before you can get your hands on these boots. Since they have an uncommon rating, they should cost as much as other uncommon boots, but that will be up to your specific game and the DM.
Magic Boots Mid Game 5e
As your character breaks through into higher levels, more powerful options await them. Many of these magical boots will give their wearers access to mobility options not seen in the early game items.
Take, for example, the Winged Boots. These uncommon boots, when attuned to, give the wearer up to four hours of flight every dawn. The wearer chooses how they want to break up this flight, down to the minute. However, the flying speed equals the character’s walking speed, including any class or racial abilities to their walking speed.
Flying is never a bad thing in D&D. Flight offers plenty of tactical advantages in and out of combat, ranging from putting the team’s archer out of reach of the melee bad guys to allowing the Rogue to vertically scale a wall without climbing or creating a ruckus with pitons and rope.
Despite being an uncommon rarity, it’s best to save these boots for mid-tier play to prevent your players from running away with early game combats. Many low-CR creatures are melee focused, meaning they can’t hit a flying creature unless they wanted to. Basically, this is your reminder that item rarity isn’t necessarily an indication of how powerful a magic item is!
Boots of Levitation
For a similar effect, the Boots of Levitation are rare magical boots that allow the attuned wearer to cast the levitate spell on themselves whenever they like. While this spell might seem lackluster compared to the Winged Boots, you can still use it in similar ways.
Take, for example, a martial archer like the Fighter or Rogue. Neither of these classes gets spellcasting without taking specific subclasses, meaning their concentration is free to use levitate. So, for one action, the archer can begin to float in the air as enemies brandish their swords or claws angrily. You can also use levitate in the same way as flight to scale tall structures or otherwise get to areas normal humanoid movement wouldn’t allow.
Boots of Speed
For melee characters looking to close more significant gaps, the Boots of Speed offer a solution. While attuned to these rare magical boots, the wearer can use a bonus action to click their heels together and double their movement speed. Also, creatures under this effect cause an opponent that takes opportunity attacks against them to roll those attacks with disadvantage.
The wearer can use another bonus action to turn off the effect and can use these boots for a total of 10 minutes per long rest.
So, for a bonus action, a melee character can double their movement speed and ignore opportunity attacks from most creatures? Considering most fights don’t last a minute in-game, the Boots of Speed give characters a lot of upside for little cost, especially classes that don’t get bonus movement speed like Fighters and Paladins.
Stirring and Wakened Scaled Ornament
Finally, there is the Stirring Scaled Ornament, the rare upgrade to a Slumbering Scaled Ornament. This item not only provides the same benefit as the slumbering version but also gives the wearer’s allies within 30 feet advantage on saving throws to end or avoid the charmed and frightened conditions.
Plus, the wearer gets an extra +1 AC, to boot!
This is a powerful magic item given the defensive abilities it grants. A 30-foot radius around the player that grants advantage on annoying status conditions can be compared to a Paladin’s Aura class feature, which doesn’t reach 30 feet until 18th level! Extra AC on top of this is even better.
There is also the Wakened Scaled Ornament, which is a very rare item that also does what the Stirring version can do as well as converting a preset damage type into healing for you once per long rest.
Just about any class would love to have one of these pairs of magical boots for their adventurer, especially if the Wakened version protects against common damage types like fire or poison.
Magic Boots Late Game in 5e
As the players reach the last few levels, the official options for magical boots start to trail off. Rather than giving up, we covered both the official option and some homebrew ideas to get your creativity flowing.
Ascendant Scaled Ornament
The final step of the Scaled Ornament items, these legendary magical boots give a lot in one item once you attune to them:
- Advantage to the wearer and everyone within 30 feet of the wearer advantage on saving throws to avoid or end the charmed and frightened condition.
- +1 AC
- The ability to, every dawn, take damage of a type determined by the item that hits the wearer and instead convert it into healing for the wearer
- A flying speed equal to the wearer’s walking speed and also gives the wearer the ability to hover with spectral dragon wings.
If the previous versions of the Scaled Ornament are good, the Ascendant Scaled Ornament is amazing. So many powerful effects exist inside of this one item, empowered by the draconic magic of the hoard it lay dormant in for untold centuries.
Just about any character can benefit from all of these benefits. Just don’t expect to easily buy it since it requires hundreds of thousands of gold to buy a legendary item.
Homebrew Boots: Boots of Avandra
The first homebrew item we suggest is inspired by the Boots of Speed and is called the Boots of Avandra. When attuned to these very rare boots, a character can move up to half of their movement speed on their turn without provoking opportunity attacks. Also, as a bonus action once per dawn, the wearer can double their movement speed for the rest of their turn.
While these boots don’t offer the same duration of speed as the Boots of Speed, these boots allow characters of all kinds to escape danger or reposition in a melee. In fact, both options can be combined on a turn to let a character zip around without provoking any opportunity attacks!
Skirmisher classes like the Rogue and Monk will like this item since it lets them get into and out of danger without relying on their respective bonus action options. Monks in particular will love that they can commit their bonus action more to unarmed strikes.
Homebrew Boots: Earthsense Boots
The other homebrew idea we had comes from a capability many monsters possess: tremorsense. When attuned to the very rare Earthsense Boots, a creature gains the tremorsense ability out to a max range of 30 feet around them.
This capability makes it so that creatures that could otherwise sneak up on a creature through Stealth or invisibility can no longer do that if they are touching the ground near the character. Combined with a high Perception score, the wearer of these boots could be the radar detector of the party as they face off against epic-level threats.
Overall, magical boots are a fun way to reward movement capabilities to players. They may not be the most exciting category of magic items to many players, but the tactically minded folks at your table will be able to take these items and turn them into integral parts of their battlefield tactics.
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I played the game a lot as a kid, back in first edition. Over the past few years since 5e was released, I’ve really started getting back into it. Currently, I run a campaign online for some friends and my brothers, and we also play a side-sesh just to mix things up.