Wearing Shoes on Tisha b’Av

Which shoes are included in this prohibition?

Shoes made of leather.

What if only a small part of the shoe is made of leather?

This is also forbidden, whether the leather is found in the sole, the upper part of the shoe or just in the straps.

What if the shoes are imitation leather but look like real leather?

According to some opinions, this is also forbidden because of מראית עין – one may not do an act that gives the impression to others that a prohibition is being done.

May one wear comfortable sports shoes etc.?

According to some opinions, such shoes should not be worn. The reason why we do not wear leather shoes is as an affliction and a discomfort, and therefore such footwear is inappropriate. It is praiseworthy to try to follow this opinion and limit oneself to thin-soled shoes that do not offer such comfort.

May one place a leather insert or foot support into the shoe?

  • If the insert is left in the shoe permanently, then it is considered part of the shoe and is forbidden.
  • If the insert is sometimes removed, it may be used on Tisha b’Av.

What if one is required to wear leather shoes for medical reasons?

Strictly speaking this is permitted. However, since many synthetic materials are available, one should try to obtain an alternative to leather if possible.

Are children allowed to wear leather shoes?

Strictly speaking, children below bar/bas mitzvah are permitted to wear leather shoes. However, it is customary to train children to wear other footwear from the age of two or three.

What is included in the prohibition of marital relations?

In addition to marital relations, all physical contact between husband and wife is forbidden, and the laws of niddah separation should be followed. According to most opinions, these additional restrictions apply only at night, but according to some opinions, they apply also during the day.

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