Harfoots were the most common type of Hobbit, and in their earliest known history they lived in the lower foothills of the Misty Mountains, in the Vale of Anduin, in an area roughly bounded by the Gladden River in the south and the small forested region where later was the Eagles Eyrie near the High Pass to the north.
They were browner of skin than the other Hobbits, had no beards, and did not wear any footwear. They lived in holes they called Smials, a habit which they long preserved, and were on very friendly terms with the Dwarves, who travelled through the High Pass on the Great Road.
The Harfoots were the first to migrate westward into Arnor, and there the Dúnedain named them Periannath or Halflings, as recorded in Arnorian records around TA 1050. They tended to settle down for long times, and founded numerous villages as far as Weathertop.
By the 1300s of the Third Age, they had reached Bree, which was the westernmost home of any Hobbits for a long while.
The Harfoots were joined between TA 1150 and TA 1300 by the Fallohides and some Stoors. The Harfoots took Fallohides, a bolder race, as their leaders. The Shire was colonized long after this, in TA 1601, mostly by Harfoots.