Posted by Ann on September 25, 1997 at 23:52:52:
In response to Hobnail boots, written by Jessamyn on September 25, 1997 at 23:07:11
] I don't know where the "hob" in hobnails comes from, but people (men mostly) used to literally nail said hobnails into the soles of their boots to give them some traction (in the days when all soles were simple strips of leather). As you can imagine, they're pretty hard on, well, anything indoors--wooden floors especially. Schoolboys wore them, too, and were therefor famous for ruining things with them.
Would they also have been used to increase the longevity of the soles? The nails, I would think, would protect the leather soles from wear.
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