Field characteristics of crustal extrusion zones include: high-grade metamorphism flanked by lower-grade rocks; broadly coeval flanking shear zones with opposing senses of shear; early ductile fabrics successively overprinted by semi-brittle and brittle structures; and localization of strain to give a more extensive deformation history within the extrusion zone relative to the flanking regions. Crustal extrusion, involving a combination of pure and simple shear, is a regular consequence of bulk orogenic thickening and contraction during continental collision. Extrusion can occur in response to different tectonic settings, and need not necessarily imply a driving force linked to mid-crustal channel flow. In most situations, field criteria alone are unlikely to be sufficient to determine the driving causes of extrusion. This is illustrated with examples from the Nanga Parbat-Haramosh Massif in the Pakistan Himalaya, and the Wing Pond Shear Zone in Newfoundland.