Footwear refers to garments worn on the feet, which typically serves the purpose of protection against adversities of the environment such as ground textures and temperature. Footwear in the manner of shoes therefore primarily serves the purpose to ease locomotion and prevent injuries. Footwear can also be used for fashion and adornment as well as to indicate the status or rank of the person within a social structure.
Socks and other hosiery are typically worn additionally between the feet and other footwear for further comfort and relief.
Cultures have different customs regarding footwear. These include not using any in some situations, usually bearing a symbolic meaning. This can however also be imposed on specific individuals to place them at a practical disadvantage against shod people, if they are excluded from having footwear available or are prohibited from using any. This usually takes place in situations of captivity, such as imprisonment or slavery, where the groups are among other things distinctly divided by whether or whether not footwear is being worn.
In some cultures, people remove their shoes before entering a home.