# 3031 On The Nail


Q. During winter when walking in the icy streets in Canada is often dangerous, can one wear spiked shoes or crampons? Is there not a general prohibition of wearing a sandal hamesumar or a shoes with spikes or nails?
A. Mishna (Shabbos 60a and the Talmud (Beitza 15a), teach that one may not go out on Shabbos and Yom Tov with a spiked sandal. The reason given is that during a religious persecution a large group was hiding in a cave. It happened that the sandal of one of them was reversed, the front of the sandal was in the back, and his footprints appeared like the steps of one leaving the cave. They thought that one of them left and feared that their enemies saw him and were now coming upon them to attack. In their panic, they pushed one another and killed one another in greater numbers than their enemies had killed among them. To commemorate this disaster that resulted from a spiked sandal, they prohibited going out into the public domain with it. The Talmud mentions that the prohibition was established on Shabbos and Yom Tov only because on these occasions there is an assemblage of people.
Rambam (H. Shabbos 19: 2), and Tur (O.H. 301) quote the prohibition mentioned in the Talmud. However, Tur adds that the Talmud describes it in detail and how many spikes this sandal hamesumar carries and adds that it was uncommon in his days and that is why he just mentions it briefly. He maintains that since it is not what the Talmud had in mind, in principle one can use them during Shabbos and Yom Tov. However, since it is already a tradition to avoid them, one should keep it.
Nevertheless, Beis Yosef (ibid.) quoting Rosh and others maintains that we don’t have in our days anything similar to what the Talmud describes, so he omitted completely this Halacha from the Shulchan Aruch, as did Mishna Berura and other Poskim.
Pri Megodim (M’Z 301: 18) also writes that the Shulchan Aruch does not mention spiked sandal since they are not common in our days.
Prisha (ibid. 36) asserts that even the Tur did not recommend abstaining from wearing them, unless they are a bit similar to the original spiked sandal and the spikes on our shoes or boots are mainly for the protection of the footwear and the person using them.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a


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