Riddle: What goes inside boots and outside shoes?




This Conundrum is a little tricky. We all wear shoes or boots, and we should have experience enough to know this answer, but it is tricky because you do not think about the answer when you wear them. We should break down the conundrum into its parts first. Here they are:

  • goes inside boots
  • goes outside of shoes

With these criteria, we can now construct a short list of possible answers based on one of these criteria. Next we should make that list, and then run through the list one at a time to either validate it as a valid answer, or to eliminate it as an invalid one. Here is our list:

  • socks go inside boots
  • laces are outside of shoes
  • my ankles can go inside boots


Our Conundrum is asking us to find something that goes inside boots but outside of shoes. As Humans we have have lots of experience with shoes and boots, but that does not mean that we know the answer. Socks definitely go inside of boots. They are the clothing that prevents your feet from rubbing the inside of your leathery footwear. But that only satisfies one of the two conditions of the riddle. What about the second?

Do socks go on the the outside of shoes? Well not normally, however there is at least one exception. Football players have been known to wrap their long knee-high socks under their shoes. In high-school we used to do that before every game with our one-per-game issued set of knee-high cleet socks. It is more of a fad than a requirement, but it did happen, so it is an exception.

All this being said, exceptions are not the norm. Since socks are not always, or even mostly, put on the outside of shoes, this means that socks is probably not the answer to our Conundrum that we will give to our Riddle Robot Eyezak. We should move on to the other possible Conundrum answers below.


Your laces are the cloth strings that keep your shoes and boots closed. They strap the two sides of your shoes together, preventing it from flying off your foot when you walk. We know for sure that laces are on the outside of your shoes, because they are physically visible. So we can say for sure that one of the two conditions are met for this Conundrum. Let us talk about the other condition before we submit an answer to Eyezak the Riddle Robot.

Do laces go inside your boots? No. Like your shoes, the laces hold both sides of your boots together so that they do not fall off your foot as you walk. They are also clearly visible from the outside of your boots. There is an exception here too though. Some people call those foot braces that encompass your whole foot a “boot,” and many of those have laces. But as a rule, and in the spirit of our Conundrum from Eyezak the Riddle Robot, we can safely say that laces are also on the outside of boots.

Therefore, because laces are actually outside of both shoes and boots, we can say with certainty that laces is not the answer to this Conundrum. Riddle Robot Eyezak does not actually wear shoes, or even actually have feet, but he has met enough Humans that he knows for sure that laces absolutely go outside most footwear. Moving on to the last possible answer.


This Conundrum is about ankles. The picture is of a person's ankles, covered in socks.

Now when you put your foot into your footwear, you can feel it slide on, cozy like. One notable difference is that your entire foot goes into the boot, but only the bottom half of your foot goes into the shoe. We could even say that your foot goes into the shoe up to the ankle, and that the boot goes over the whole foot. Because of this we can clearly see that your ankle would go outside a shoe, but inside a boot.

If you think this is wrong or you know another answer, please put it in the comments. If you still need more information, ask it there as well. We are more than willing to expand this article for clarity if need be. Do not forget to check us out on Google Play Store.

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