The Nazis were jackbooted thugs. So what exactly is a jackboot? It’s a boot without laces that that rises to mid-calf. They started off as cavalry boots that rose to the knee and had armor sewn into the lining of the leather as protection from sword blows. Jaque is French for this type of armor. They were eventually adopted by the infantry. These were shorter with hobnails in the soles to increase their durability. The Germans actually called this type of boot marschstiefel or “marching boot”.