Shoe Glossary
Aglet
The plastic at the end of a shoelace which makes the lace easier to thread through the holes of the shoe.
Alligator Skin
A reptile hide with wide, boxed markings.
Ankle Strap
A strap that encircles the ankle and is anchored at the top or sides of the shoe.
Antiquing
A leather finish that creates a rubbed-off appearance.
Apron Toe
An overlay on the front of the shoe with distinct edges or stitching.
Arch
The high, curved part of the sole of the foot, located between the ball of the foot and the heel. Also refers to the part of a shoe insole which is meant to provide support for the arch of the foot.
Athleisure Shoe
Athletic-inspired, fashionable footwear meant for casual wear.
Athletic Shoe
Footwear created for performance of a specific sport.
Ball
The padded area of the foot between the arch of the foot and the big toe.
Ballerina Flat
A flat, ballet-style shoe meant for everyday wear.
Balmoral Shoe
A laced "V"-shaped panel across the foot of the shoe.
Bellows Tongue
A shoe tongue that is attached at both the sides and the top of the shoe.
Blucher
Two side flaps of material on a shoe that are joined across the foot with lacing.
Boot
Footwear which covers the entire foot and extends to the height of the anklebone or up to the thigh.
Bootie
A shoe that resembles a boot in style but is not as high.
Break
The crease naturally created across the vamp of the shoe from everyday wear.
Brogue
A heavy, oxford-style shoe featuring perforated detailing.
Buckle
A clasp at the end of fabric or leather that joins one end of the material to the other.
Bucket Handbag
A large, bucket-shaped bag which usually features a zip top or magnetic closure.
Burnish
The process of buffing a shoe surface to create an antiquing effect on the leather.
Calfskin
Soft, supple leather created from the skins of very young cows.
Calluses
A firm, rough patch of skin that develops from irritation.
Cap Toe
An additional piece of leather covering the toe of a shoe and comes in numerous shapes and patterns. Also known as a Tip.
Cemented Construction
The method in which the upper of a shoe is cemented, rather than stitched, to the sole creating a lighter, more flexible shoe.
Chukka Boot
An ankle height boot with laces, that usually has a plain toe.
Circumference
The measurement around the shaft of a boot taken at the widest part.
Clog
A closed toe, open back shoe with a platform sole.
Clutch Handbag
A narrow, handheld bag with front closure and no strap.
Combination Last
A last in which the heel is two sizes smaller in width than the widest part of the shoe, producing a narrow heel and a wide toe box.
Contoured Footbed
An insole that easily molds to the shape of the foot.
Convertible Handbag
A handbag with a wrist or shoulder strap that may be removed or hidden.
Corn
A hard, small formation normally found on the toe usually, caused by friction.
Counter
A stiff piece of material that retains the shape of the shoe's back, placed at the heel of a shoe.
Covered Heel
A heel covered in the same material as the upper construction.
Crepe Rubber
A natural rubber with a crinkled texture, used in shoe soles.
Curing
The prepping of animal hides for the tanning process by applying chemicals.
Cushioning
Padding on the sole of a shoe for added comfort and stabilization.
Demi Boot
A boot style with a shaft that is no taller than the anklebone.
Demi Wedge
A shaped or scooped out wedge heel.
D'Orsay
A style of pump with one or both sides cut away, exposing the arch of the foot.
Drawstring Handbag
Any handbag that is closed with a string or cord when one or both ends are pulled.
Dressing
A shoe finish with the application of polish or gloss.
Driving Moc
A slip-on moccasin that is made perfectly for driving.
Duty Shoe
Footwear for the professionals in the healthcare or service industry.
e Collection (ES term)
Easy Spirit's e collection was introduced in Spring 07 as a fresh line of modern styles using luxurious materials and exclusive cushioning techniques.
E.V.A. (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate)
An easily shaped synthetic material used for outsoles, provides cushioning & adds comfort to the foot.
Elastane
A strong man-made fiber with extraordinary elasticity and stretchability. Also known as Spandex.
Elastic Gore
An elastic gusset inserted into shoes to add stretch.
Embossed Leather
Leather imprinted with a design or exotic skin texture, such as snake, ostrich or croco.
Engineer Boot
It is a work style pull-on boot with top and instep buckled straps. Also referred to as a motorcycle boot.
Envelope Handbag
A flat, envelope-shaped handbag, with or without a strap or handle.
Espadrille
A shoe or sandal with a sole covered by braided rope.
Eyelet
A small hole for lacing, usually rimmed with a metal ring or grommet.
Exclusive! (ES term)
An Easy Spirit term used to denote a particular item that is offered exclusively by Easy Spirit specialty stores, our catalog, and/or easyspirit.com.
Finish
The process of applying polish to create the final appearance of a shoe.
Finishing Room
The place at a shoe factory where the finish of a shoe takes place, including the removal of the last, insertion of the insole, completion of the outsole and final application of polish.
Fisherman Sandal
A type of sandal with woven vertical and horizontal straps, often with a closed toe.
Fitness
Athletic shoes that are designed for active lifestyles and gym-style workouts.
Flat Foot
A condition in which the arch of the foot is lowered or flattened out and the entire foot touches the ground.
Footbed
The inside part of a shoe where the foot rests. Another term for insole.
Forefoot
The front part of the foot, the area between the ball and the toes.
Foxing
A rubber strip that binds the upper and the sole of a shoe. Usually found on canvas sneakers.
Full-Grain Leather
Leather that has a naturally textured surface.
Gait
A particular way or manner of walking.
Galoshes
Rubber boots or overshoes worn to protect the foot or shoes from wet weather.
Gardening Clog
A type of shoe that is usually backless, waterproof, and made of rubber, suited for gardening.
Ghillie
A laced shoe without a tongue.
Girth
A measurement taken around the circumference of a shoe last, most often taken at the ball of the foot.
Goatskin
Leather made from goat hide.
Goodyear Welt
A shoe construction in which a welt, a strip of leather or synthetic, is stitched to the upper and the sole of a shoe, extending the life of the footwear. The outsole is then sewn to the welt resulting a visible seam runs around the perimeter of the shoe.
Gore
An elastic fabric panel inserted into one or both sides of a shoe, provides added comfort and is easier to put on and take off.
Grain
The natural texture of the animal skin surface.
Hammertoe
A deformed toe which is bent down like a claw.
Heel
The back part of the undersurface of the foot, behind and under the ankle. It can also refer to the projection at the back of the shoe that supports the heel cup and comes in contact with the ground.
Heel Breast
The forward-facing surface of a heel.
Heel Height
It is the measurement of a vertical line from the point where the sole meets the heel down to the floor. Heel height is measured in increments of 1/8 of an inch.
Heel Seat
The area of the sole to which the heel is attached.
Heel Spurs
The growths of extra bones on the bottom of the heel bone which are usually painful.
Hidden Gore
An elastic panel that is hidden under the shoe's tongue, used to provide extra comfort.
Hide
The skin of an animal that is processed for making clothing, handbags and footwear.
Hobo Handbag
A soft, rounded bag, with a top zipper and a shoulder strap.
Huarache
A flat heeled, hand woven leather sandal.
Imitation Leather
Any man-made material with a matte or textured finish as to resemble leather.
Injection Molded Construction
An efficient, mass-production method of constructing sole units by injecting melted PVC or similar material into the sole mold.
Inseam
The hidden line of stitching in a welted shoe that attaches the welt, upper, lining and insole to each other.
Insole
The inside lining of the shoe that is underneath the bottom of the foot. Another term for footbed.
Instep
The arched section of the foot between the toes and the ankle, or the part of the shoe which covers that area.
Instep Strap
A strap that extends straight across the instep of the foot.
Jelly Shoes
Shoes made of PVC, a soft, rubbery material.
Kidskin
Leather made from the skin of young goats, which is light, soft and highly porous.
Kiltie
A flap of fringe used decoratively over the vamp or the instep of a shoe.
Kitten Heel
A type of shoe with a short, slender heel that is set forward.
Laces
A string threaded through the eyelets of a shoe used for fastening the shoe.
Last
A metal, wood or plastic form, shaped like a human foot, on which a shoe is constructed.
Lambskin
Leather made from the skin of young sheep.
Lasting
The procedure in which the upper of the shoe is pulled and shaped onto a last.
Leather
The hide of an animal that has been treated and tanned.
Lift
One of the layers of leather which composes the heel of a shoe.
Lining
The leather, fabric or synthetic material used on the inside of a shoe.
Lizard
Leather made from a lizard's skin with a scale-like pattern.
Loafer
A low, step-in shoe without shoelaces or buckles.
Lug Sole
A heavy, rubber sole with deep indentations, which adds traction to the ground.
Lycra®
A stretch material made of synthetic fiber, always blended with other natural or man-made fibers, providing stretch to the resulting fabric.
Mary Jane
A shoe style with a low heel and strap across the instep.
Microfiber
A very fine man-made fiber used to produce soft and lightweight fabric that resembles the look and the feel of natural fiber cloth.
Mid-sole
The part of the sole, between the bottom of the shoe and where the foot rests, typically made with cushioning material.
Moccasin
A slip-on shoe with visible stitching around the perimeter of the toe box, creating a gathered effect.
Monk Strap
A closed-toe shoe with a buckled strap over the instep.
Motion-Control
A design used in athletic shoes to reduce excessive inward rolling of the foot and provide stability.
Motorcycle Boot
Boot with thick, durable sole, made ideally for riding a motorcycle.
Mule
A closed-toe, heeled shoe with open back.
Napa Leather
A version of sheepskin which is remarkably soft and supple.
Negative Heel
A footbed with the heel area lower than the rest of the foot, designed for comfort and more natural foot placement.
Nubuck
Leather whose upper surface has been brushed to create a soft, velvet-like appearance.
Orthotic
An insole designed to support the foot and correct foot problems.
Outsole
The materials that cover the bottom of the shoe, except the heel.
Oxford
A low shoe with laces over the instep.
Patent Leather
Leather made from cattle hide that has been varnished to give a hard and glossy finish.
Pebbled Grain
A leather finish created by embossing leather to create a pebble-like surface.
Penny-Loafer
A low, slip-on shoe with a band over the vamp that has a slit. Pennies are sometimes placed in the slit for good luck
Perforation
Small holes punched into the upper of a shoe, often in decorative pattern or for air circulation.
Pigskin Leather
Leather made from a pig's skin.
Pinking
A decorative detail for shoes, featuring a saw-tooth pattern along the edge.
Piping
A narrow strip of leather that covers or decorates the seam of a shoe.
Pitch
The angle of the back part of the heel where it meets the sole. It is also referred to as the distance between the heel and the front part of shoe that touches the ground
Platform Shoe
A shoe with thick sole under the front part of the foot, and high heel.
Polyurethane (PU)
A flexible and durable man-made material frequently used as a leather alternative or, in its rigid version, as a midsole cushioning material.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
A semi-rigid plastic material that is used as support in outsoles and heel counters. It is also referred to as vinyl.
Pump
Classically a high, medium, or low heeled, totally enclosed shoe. Variations include an open toe or ornament.
Quarter
The rear part of a shoe upper which covers the sides and the heel, and meets at the back seam.
Quarter Strap
One strip of material anchored at the sides of the quarter, with one strip extending across the front and one strip extending across the back.
Quarter Lining
The leather or fabric lining that comes in contact with the side of the foot.
Riding Boot
A boot designed specifically for riding horses. Usually knee-high and with a low heel. The term can also refer to fashion boots that are designed to resemble riding boots.
Rim
The top part of the shoe where the foot enters. Also known as collar or topline.
Ruched
Gathering or pleating of a material with stitching accents.
Saddle Oxford
An oxford-style shoe with contrast colored leather section across the instep.
Safety Shoe
A heavy duty shoe or boot designed specifically for use in industrial settings, usually equipped with protective features, such as a steel toe, waterproof and oil-resistant materials.
Sandal
An open toe and open back shoe with leather or fabric straps across the foot.
Satchel Handbag
A structured handbag with a flat, wide bottom, double handles, and zipper or clasp closure.
Shaft Height
Measurement of the shaft of the boot, which is from the top of the boot to the inside seam where the instep and the sole meet.
Shank
A metal strip extending from the heel to the ball of the foot to strengthen shoe and add support.
Shearling
Sheepskin or lambskin with the wool still in place, often used as a lining material for shoes and boots.
Sheepskin
Skin of a sheep, with or without the wool still intact.
Shoe Horn
A curved metal or synthetic tool used to help slide the foot into a shoe.
Shoe Sizes
The difference between half sizes and full sizes is one-sixth of an inch, while the difference between full sizes is one-third of an inch.
Side Leather
Leather made from the side of cattle hide.
Silicone
A slippery material used to waterproof shoes.
Sipes
Narrow grooves or channels on the outsole of a shoe that help to disperse water and improve traction.
Slide
A step-in shoe, totally backless with an open or closed toe.
Sling-back
An open back shoe with an elasticized or buckled strap going around the upper heel.
Slip-On
A style of footwear which is easily slipped on or off without further adjustment.
Slipper
A flat, casual slip-on, usually worn indoor.
Smooth Leather
Any leather with a smooth surface.
Snakeskin
Leather made from a snake's skin, which has a rough and scaly texture.
Sneaker
An athletic shoe that has a soft, rubber sole.
Sock Lining
The lining that comes in contact with the sole of the foot.
Sole
The outsole, or bottom part of a shoe.
Split Leather
Leather made from the lower layers of a hide that have been split away from the upper.
Stacked Heel
A heel made of leather or leawood covering that gives the appearance of wood.
Stiletto
A very high, slim and tapered heel.
Straight Lasted
A type of last with a straight shaped sole which is used to create a very straight shoe and prevent severe pronation.
Suede
Leather that has been sanded or buffed to create a soft, napped surface.
Synthetic Materials
Man-made materials designed to look or function like leather.
Tanning
A process by which the raw animal hides are converted into finished leather.
Tap
A leather or metal partial sole attached to the existing sole of a shoe.
Tassel
A decorative rope and knot element typically found on the vamp of a shoe.
Thong
A sandal with an asymmetrical "y" strap that passes between the first two toes.
Throat
The opening of a shoe that the foot enters.
Tip
An extra piece of leather that covers the toe of a shoe, which can be in different shapes or patterns. Also known as a cap toe.
Toe Box
A stiff piece of material placed inside the vamp to retain the dome-like shape over the toes. It can take many shapes - flat, high, wide, etc.
Tongue
A flap of material sewn into the vamp under the laces and extends all the way to the opening of a shoe.
Topline
The shape of the opening of the shoe that is close to the toe box.
Trail Runners
Running shoes with increased stability and traction for moderately rough terrain.
Tread
The design of the sole of a shoe, or how a shoe's sole is worn.
Unit Bottom
The bottom of a shoe, which includes the sole, platform heel or wedge, that is made from a rubber or plastic mold.
Upper
The upper includes all the parts of a shoe above the sole that are stitched or cemented together.
Upper Leather
Leather used to make the upper of a shoe.
Vamp
The front center part of a shoe upper covering the toes and part of the foot.
Vulcanized Rubber
A strong and durable rubber that has been processed and converted from its crude state.
Waterproof Leather
Leather that has been applied a surface coat to prevent water penetration.
Wedge Heel
A heel that lies flat to the ground and extends from the shank to the back of the shoe.
Wellington
A rubber, pull-on boot worn for wet weather.
Welt
A strip of leather that is stitched as the binding point between the sole and the upper.
Width
Width is measured at the ball of the foot, in 1/6-inch increments and is often expressed in letters (AA=narrow, B=medium, D=wide, EE=wide/wide)
Wing Tip
A piece of wing-shaped leather stitched over the toe cap of a shoe or boot.
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