- See Shoe if you're looking for information on the comic strip by Jeff MacNelly.
Shoes are items of clothing to cover and protect the soles (and often more) of the feet (or paws) an individual walks on. Similar protection coverings for the hands are called gloves. Besides protection, shoes also function as an indication of social status, as they are expensive to manufacture and usually wear out fairly quickly.
Zoomorphic furries can often not wear shoes made for humans due to their differently shaped feet. The design of shoes for furries is a topic of furgonomics. As custom-made shoes are expensive and foot-covering of any kind will limit the use of natural features of the foot like claws, a significant number of furries will go barefoot (or barepawed, as it is called), unless environmental hazards unencountered in natural environments mandate a protection.
The other extreme, a furry character wearing no clothes but only shoes, can occasionally be encountered. This is less common for furry art and literature, but for real life mascots and company logos. One practical reason for this may be the difficulty of making functional paws for fursuits.
Types of foot coverings
Some digitigrade characters are depicted as wearing shoes or boots which are shaped for wearing on higher heels, often without external support for the heel; other characters are depicted with foot/hindpaw coverings, plantigrade or digitigrade, which cover the arch of the foot without covering the toes (and claws). Such coverings can be pull-up or lace-up, and can also be designed as "sneakers" or elevated sandals.