Seven-league boots

Seven-league boots are an element in European folklore. The boots allow the person wearing them to take strides of seven leagues per step, resulting in great speed. The boots are often presented by a magical character to the protagonist to aid in the completion of a significant task.

Hop-o'-My-Thumb stealing the Seven-league boots from the Ogre, by Gustave Doré

Mention of the legendary boots are found in:


From the context of English language, 'Seven-league boots' originally arose as a translation from the French bottes de sept lieues,[2] popularised by Charles Perrault's fairy tales. A league (roughly 3 miles (4.8 km)) was considered to represent the distance walked in an hour by an average man. If a man were to walk seven hours per day, he would then walk seven leagues, or about 21 miles (34 km). In the 17th century, post-boys' boots were called 'seven-league boots'. While some suggest that the 'seven leagues' references the distance between post houses (post-boys would only have their boots touch the ground at every coach inn, when changing the horses), this is inaccurate: the distance between coach inns was fixed at no more than five leagues.[3]

Other variationsEdit

In fictionEdit


  • Russian folklore has a similar magic item called сапоги-скороходы (fast-pace boots), which allows the person wearing them to walk and run at an amazing pace.
  • In Finnish and Estonian translations of stories with seven-league boots, they are often translated as seitsemän peninkulman saappaat (Finnish) and seitsmepenikoormasaapad (Estonian),[4] literally 'boots of seven Scandinavian miles'.
  • Japanese scholar Kunio Yanagita listed a tale titled The Thousand-ri Boots from Yamanashi, and wondered about its great similarity to a tale in the Pentamerone with a pair of seven-league boots.[5]

Modern fictionEdit

  • The title character mentions his boots are supposedly seven-league boots in Mud.
  • One League Boots are used by Kay Harker in The Midnight Folk. He takes them from the cupboard of the witch, Mrs. Pouncer, where there are many other magical items.
  • Seven League Boots are a library artifact used several times in The Grimm Legacy, written by Polly Shulman.
  • Seven-league-boots are used in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books by the wizards of Unseen University. It is noted that, as their mode of operation places the user's feet twenty-one miles apart, skipping the required preparations leads to spectacular but tragic incidents.
  • The character Jack is reported to have attempted to use the boots to win the Boston Marathon in Fables (comic).
  • Seven League Boots are used by Princess Addie in The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine.
  • Seven League Boots are used by the protagonist Giannine Bellisario, in the fantasy novel, Heir Apparent. They are used to travel to a dragon's lair that would have originally taken days, but was eventually undertaken in a few hours.
  • Seven League Boots were used in the book Howl's Moving Castle by Sophie in order to travel a great distance to Mrs. Fairfax's house.
  • Seven League Boots appear in all three of the books of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, worn by the mercenary Verroq. In The Amulet of Samarkand, Bartimaeus remarks that the boots were created in Medieval Europe by imprisoning a djinni in each boot who could operate on a theoretical eighth plane. Because of this, normal rules of time and space do not apply to them.
  • Seven League Boots are used by Savant in the Wildstorm comic WildCATS.
  • Seven League Boots were used in an episode of Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates in which Captain Hook steals magical boots from a fairy that allow him to leap great distances and fly in order to make it easier for him to hunt down Peter Pan.
  • Seven Thousand League Boots appear briefly in Lev Grossman's The Magician's Land, one of the folklore treasures created by Mayakovsky at Brakebills South
  • Seven League Boots are one of the magical artifacts used by Loki in Loki: Agent of Asgard. They are apparently able to traverse any surface, including waterfalls, rainbows, and glass.
  • Seven-league moon boots are mentioned in Michael Chabon’s Moonglow: A Novel.


  • Boots of speed are a frequent item in role-playing games and roguelikes. In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, boots of speed are a variation of the famous magical boots. They enable the person wearing them to run very fast. In most cases, as fast as a galloping horse, or a bit slower if the person wearing them is slow to move around. The person wearing them must usually rest for long periods after use. They are sometimes referred to as 7 League Boots.
  • 7 League Boots (or simply "boots", if the item isn't detailed) are a usable item in the game Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen. If used, they transport a player's unit to any freed town in the current map.
  • Seven-League Step are a unique pair of boots from the game Path of Exile which greatly increase the movement speed of the wearer.
  • Nostro's Boots of Striding are a legendary item described in Book 6 of the Dragon Warriors role-playing game, having a similar function to seven-league boots.
  • Seven league boots is an item in the computer game Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM) that reduces the time to traverse wilderness and dungeon squares.
  • Boots of Blinding Speed are a pair of boots in the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind which allow the person wearing them to run at extremely high speeds, but blind the user during use.
  • Ten Pace Boots, also found in Morrowind, increase the player's running speed and let the player fall from great heights without taking damage.

Non fictionalEdit

  • Seven League Boots is a 1935 travelogue by American adventurer Richard Halliburton
  • There is a brand of jumping stilts, a device for jumping and running, named "7Leagues"
  • Rocket boots
  • Song "Seven League Boots" by Rick and Michael Curtis.
  • Song "Seven League Boots" by Zoë Keating (Album "Into The Tress", 2010)


  1. ^ Goethe (1959). Faust, Part Two. Middlesex: Penguin. pp. 216. ISBN 0-14044093-3.
  2. ^ "the definition of seven-league boots".
  3. ^ Jobé, Joseph (1976). Au temps des cochers : histoire illustrée du voyage en voiture attelée du XVe au XXe siècle. Lausanne: Édita-Lazarus. p. 54. ISBN 2-88001-019-5.
  4. ^ Põhjamaade muinasjuttude kuldraamat. Estonia: TEA Kirjastus. 2014. ISBN 9789949243303.
  5. ^ Yanagita, Kunio; Translated by Fanny Hagin Meyer (1986). Yanagita Kunio Guide to the Japanese Folk Tale. Indiana University Press. p. 97. ISBN 0-253-36812-X.

External linksEdit