Posts Tagged ‘fashion glossary’

Shoes: A Glossary of Terms

 ShoeGlossary

Crepe, throat, vamp… What does it all mean? Even the most passionate shoe lovers can find footwear lingo challenging at times, so we created this nifty glossary for learning the ins and outs of some lesser-known terms surrounding shoes. If you’re not sure what something means while eyeing those cute shoes in the window or online, we hope this guide provides you with the necessary information to ensure a satisfying purchase each and every time.

Aglet

A cap, usually made out of plastic or metal, that covers the tip of a shoelace.

Almond Toe

A type of shoe tip that features a soft, round shape resembling an almond.

Ankle Wrap

Stylish straps that wrap around the ankle and leg to keep feet connected to the sole of the shoe.

Arch

The upwardly curved area in the bottom-middle of the foot.

Back Seam

Fabric sewn in the back and center of a shoe.

Ball

The area of the foot located between the arch and the big toe.

Block Heel

A large, rectangular-shaped heel, also known as a chunky heel.

Booties

A style of shoe without the upper portion typically found with regular boots.

Breast

The front section of the heel where the arch begins.

Brocade

A silky fabric used to create a unique texture, pattern, and gleam.

Burnished

Leather that has been purposely buffed for a classic appearance.

Canvas

A sturdy, but flexible cloth often found in casual sneakers.

Cap Toe

Decorative leather located at the toe area of a shoe.

Chelsea Boot

An ankle-height boot designed for easily slipping onto the foot.

Clog

A style of shoe with a closed-toe, open back, and platform heel.

Column Heel

A type of high heel that features a thick, cylindrical heel.

Counter

A material used to reinforce the heel of a shoe in order to retain the shape of the upper portion.

Crepe

A strong, yellow type of rubber used in the sole of a shoe.

Cross Trainers

Athletic shoes designed for exercise purposes.

D’orsay

A type of shoe that features openings on one or both sides between the heel and toe areas.

Distressed

An abrasion treatment often used for leather and denim to create a worn appearance.

Espadrille

A shoe style that features straps that wrap around the ankle.

Eyelet

A hole above the tongue of a shoe that holds the shoelace in place.

Faux

An adjective used to define materials that substitute animal products for man-made synthetics.

Feather

The part of a shoe where the sole and upper edge join together.

Finish

A reference to the final processing of the shoe wherein the footwear has been given a particular glossy or polished appearance.

Flats

A shoe style that does not include a raised heel.

Fringe

Vertical strips of fabric typically made from suede.

Full Grain

Authentic leather with little to no marks or blemishes.

Gladiator

Strappy sandals inspired by those worn by gladiators in ancient Rome.

Grommets

The rings around the eyelets where shoelaces are threaded.

Hidden Wedge

A wedge heel that is hidden from the exterior design of the shoe.

Huarache

A sandal or tennis shoe featuring a distinct strap in the back of the heel and sometimes around the ankle.

Insole

The padding on top of the sole.

Instep

The top of the foot between the ankle and ball.

Kiltie

An outer tongue made with fringe that sits above the vamp of a shoe.

Kitten Heel

A small, rounded heel usually about 1 inches in length or less.

Lace Up

A type of shoelace threaded through the eyelets and up around the ankle.

Mary Jane

A strap that goes over the instep of a shoe.

Midsole

The middle layer of a sole for added comfort.

Moc Toe

A shoe design featuring a toe that appears similar to moccasins due to its particular construction.

Monk Strap

A buckled strap used for footwear in lieu of shoelaces.

Mule

A closed-toe shoe with a backless heel.

Napa

Soft, full-grain leather.

Nubuck

High-quality leather that has been treated to create a smoother texture.

Outsole

The exterior sole of a shoe.

Over The Knee

Tall boots that extend beyond the knee.

Overlay

Fabrics attached to a shoe’s materials for extra detail.

Patent

An adjective used to describe something, often leather, as being hard and glossy.

Pebbled Grain

A type of leather that has been treated to create a distinct, grainy texture.

Peep Toe

A shoe style that features a small open-toe.

Piping

Lines of trim used to create contrast in a design.

Platforms

Shoes comprised of a thick sole and high heel.

Pointed Toe Pumps

Closed-toe high heels that create a pointed look around the toes.

Puff

The part of a shoe that provides support and shape for the toe area.

Pumps

Traditional high heel shoes.

Quarter

The back and sides of a shoe.

Ruched

Fabric that has been ruffled.

Scalloped

An effect used to create a wavy look along the upper edges of a shoe.

Sculpted Heel

A heel that is oddly shaped when compared with traditional heels.

Seat

The part of the shoe where the heel of the foot is situated.

Shaft

The part of a boot that surrounds the ankle area.

Single Sole

A high heel with a thin sole for greater shoe flexibility.

Sipes

Small cuts made into the bottom of a rubber sole to improve traction.

Slider

A slip-on, open-toe shoe with a band that straps over the foot just above the toes.

Slingback

A type of shoe that features a strap along the back instead of a traditional enclosure.

Slouched

Boots that create a slouchy effect with natural folds or ruffles around the ankle area.

Snip Toe

A tapered-toe shoe with a flat frontside.

Sole

The bottom, exterior part of a shoe.

Spectator

A shoe style that includes contrasting tones and/or perforations.

Stacked Heel

A heel crafted from multiple layers of leather material.

Tap

A strong piece of leather or metal layered on top of the outer sole’s existing material.

Throat

The part of a shoe that opens at the top.

Tongue

Padding located above the foot and beneath the shoelaces.

T-Strap

A T-shaped pair of straps featuring one strap running vertically along the vamp where it meets a horizontal strap at the ankle.

Vamp

The part of a shoe that covers the top of the foot between the toe and throat.

Vegan

Often referred to in shoe terminology as a descriptor for synthetic materials that do not use any animal products.

Waist

The instep and arch section of the foot.

Wedge

A type of shoe that features a thick, wedge heel that spans the entire bottom length of the shoe.