From the description of the boots of striding and springing:

your speed isn’t reduced if you are encumbered

Two lines from the variant rule on encumbrance (emphasis not mine):

encumbered, which means your speed drops by 10 feet


heavily encumbered, which means your speed drops by 20 feet and you have disadvantage on ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws that use Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution.

Are these both considered "encumbered" for the purposes of the boots, or are they intended to be two separate keywords/statuses, with the boots only affecting the first?

I am leaning towards the latter, as it would make more sense that the boots wouldn't negate the speed reduction of heavily encumbered while still leaving them with disadvantage on rolls. But is there an accepted interpretation, RAW or RAI?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE. Good question! \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 10 at 8:28

The context supports either interpretation

They fall within a section titled Variant: Encumbrance which leans towards the first interpretation but they are bolded like it’s meant to be a singular phrase which leans towards the second.

Ultimately, it’s up to you and it’s unlikely to make a real difference unless one of your players is a Bard who uses a grand piano.


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