Does the mismatch between lunar boot prints and the smooth sole of Neil Armstrong's "space boot" confirm that U.S. astronauts never walked on the moon? No, that's not true: This recirculated hoax is missing context, as Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 crew wore inner pressure space boots with a smooth tread inside "overshoes" that left the rough textured boot prints that are etched on the moon.
The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published on September 2, 2021. It features a screenshot of internet tabs with google searches that display a "Neil Armstrong" space boot and a "moon footprint." The text below these images reads:
something ain't adding up 😳😳
This is what the Facebook post looked like on September 6, 2021:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Sep 6 22:03:45 2021 UTC)
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) 1969 Apollo 11 mission delivered U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin to the moon, where Armstrong and Aldrin were the first humans to land and walk on the moon.
The Extravehicular Activity (EVA) spacesuits they wore include a pair of inner pressure space boots with a smooth tread, as seen in a photo taken by American Astronomer Phil Plait, who has previously addressed a similar claim; concerning the "Apollo Moon Hoax."
However, the EVA suits also include a pair of extravehicular (EV) overshoes with a more textured tread on the bottom that match the footprints on the moon left by Aldrin during the Apollo 11 mission- not Armstrong.
The only reason photos of Armstrong's suit do not include a pair of EV overshoes is because the astronauts had to leave them behind due to a possible weight distribution imbalance that may have been caused by the "lunar rocks and dust" samples they brought back to earth.