Is it Halachically appropriate to Daven in boots when in a Beis Kenesses?

A great answer should (in addition to being well-sourced) discuss details such as:

  • Is there a problem in terms of clothing which one should wear during Davening?
  • Is there a problem of Kavod for the place in which one is Davening?
  • Would it depend on the season and/or place?
  • If technically allowed, would it be considered a Midas Chassidus of sorts to change into shoes?

(I know that this is related to Is there a halachik problem with wearing shorts while davening?, but there are many differences between them.
My hands are cold in synagogue. May I put them in my pockets? May I wear gloves? likely has some content that would help answer this question, but still different, such as the fact that boots track dirt and leave puddles, and that question was asked because of the cold, this question is in general.)

  • 1
    Similar judaism.stackexchange.com/q/21731/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 15:35
  • Good catch - I missed that one. I still think there are differences though. It's edited in to the question now Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 15:37
  • Rabbi Michael Taubes gave a speech on this about 20 years ago. If you contact him, he will have all the sources and opinions.
    – rosends
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 15:56
  • What type of boots? Work boots? Rain boots? Shtivelach?
    – ezra
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 18:24
  • I was thinking snow/rain boots, but based on the Sevaros in an answer, we might be able to figure out other boots. Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


This article says:

One should not stand in prayer wearing a raincoat, boots and gloves, because that is not the way to stand in front of important people (Mishnah Berurah 91:12). Yet, when it is very cold, it is permissible to pray in a raincoat and gloves, because this does not offend the respect due to prayer. Additionally, in a place where everyone regularly wears boots, one may wear them while praying.

One should not enter a shul when he has mud or dirt on his shoes or clothing. (See O.C. 151:8). So, at the least, it seems that if you have entered muddy or snowy terrain, you should at least remove the dirt or snow before entering the shul area and davening. (The shul is supposed to be treated BETTER than your own home in terms of cleanliness. If you wouldn't want this stuff in your own home, it's a given, that you don't want it in shul.)

  • Thanks for pointing out Peninei Halacha (the article). I had been thinking along those lines but had no source for it, so I really appreciate it. Did you have a source for the Halacha of not entering the Beit Knesset with dirt or that a Beit Knesset should be treated "better than one's own home"? Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 2:05
  • The home part is my comment, but, it's related to the idea of not putting dirt in the shul. When I can, I'll edit the source of not dirtying the shul.
    – DanF
    Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 16:16
  • @רבותמחשבות I edited in the source about not entering the shul with dirt on your clothes or shoes.
    – DanF
    Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 18:41
  • what is the usage of "Raui" or "it is fitting" in that Halacha? Can I enter the Shul without cleaning them off? If I'm late to Davening, should I run in despite this? Also, it seems to be on the same level of appropriate dress out of Kavod/honor for Shul, rather than not getting the Shul dirty, as the same Halacha talks about dirt on any clothing item. (Although I would agree it is inappropriate to track mud in a Shul, and get it dirty, this doesn't source that.) Commented Dec 25, 2017 at 22:58
  • @רבותמחשבות You're asking a pretty detailed question that would delve off-topic. See biu.ac.il/JH/Parasha/eng/shemot/bas.html for a bit of background on the permissibly of barefoot davening. It's possible that the "raui" may be referring to this as well as shoes. Bear in mind that some shuls have dirt floors. It still exists in the Curacao shul, for example.
    – DanF
    Commented Dec 26, 2017 at 0:45

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