Types of Shoes Page 2 - Learn about various shoe styles

Types of Shoes  Types of Clothing   Footwear Terminology

Research the many different shoe categories & styles.

Galesh - A galesh (گالش) is a traditional footwear of Iran. Unlike most galoshes, the "galesh" are always handwoven and with specific fabrics. It is what people in Persia used to wear before the proliferation of the modern shoe, especially in the provinces of northern Iran. Galesh are still made today, but in the category of handicrafts and cultural produce.

Giveh - Giveh, pronounced /gi:ve/ in Persian or /gi:wæ/ in Kurdish, is a kind of soft, comfortable, durable and handwoven-top shoe common in several parts of Iran especially in rural and mountainous areas of Kermanshah Province. The production centers of Giveh are the two provinces of Yazd and Kermanshah in Iran. Giveh is made up of two parts: sole and upper. The sole is usually rubber or leather the upper is woven thread. Before the arrival of rubber industry to the area, Giveh-makers would use a kind of wild-bull leather to make giveh and the upper was of wool or cotton thread. Most rich people would wear them. With the arrival of rubber industry, lower-income people have used rubber in the sole of their givehs.

Glass Slipper - Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper, (French: Cendrillon, ou La petite Pantoufle de Verre, Italian: Cenerentola, German: Aschenputtel) is a folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. Thousands of variants are known throughout the world.  The title character is a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances, that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune. The oldest documented version comes from China, and the oldest European version from Italy. The most popular version was first published by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697, and later by the Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection Grimms' Fairy Tales.

High-heeled footwear - High-heeled footwear (often abbreviated as high heels or simply heels) is footwear that raises the heel of the wearer's foot significantly higher than the toes. When both the heel and the toes are raised equal amounts, as in a platform shoe, it is technically not considered to be a high heel; however, there are also high-heeled platform shoes. High heels tend to give the aesthetic illusion of longer, more slender legs. High heels come in a wide variety of styles, and the heels are found in many different shapes, including stiletto, pump (court shoe), block, tapered, blade, and wedge.  According to high-fashion shoe websites like Jimmy Choo and Gucci, a "low heel" is considered less than 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters), while heels between 2.5 and 3.5 inches (6.4 and 8.9 cm) are considered "mid heels", and anything over that is considered a "high heel". The apparel industry would appear to take a simpler view; the term "high heels" covers heels ranging from 2 to 5 inches (5.1 to 12.7 cm) or more.  Early depictions of high heels could be seen on ancient Egyptian murals, dating back to 3500 BC. These murals would depict Egyptian nobilities wearing heels to set them apart from the lower class, who would normally go barefoot.

Hiking Boots - boots made for hiking trails.

Huarache - Huaraches (derived from Warachi, in Purépecha, indigenous language About this sound wa'ɾatʃe (help·info), singular huarache) are a type of Mexican sandal. Pre-Columbian in origin. Traditional huarache designs vary greatly, but are always very simple. Originally made of all-leather, later early designs included woven string soles and occasionally thin wooden soles. Later more elaborate upper designs were created by saddlers and leather workers. The modern huarache developed from the adoption in the 1930s of rubber soles developed from used rubber car-tires. Modern designs vary in style from a simplistic sandal to a more complex shoe, using both traditional leather as well as more modern synthetic materials. Many shoes claim to be huaraches, but they are still traditionally only considered a huarache if they are handmade, and have a woven-leather form in the upper.

Jazz Shoes - A jazz shoe is a type of shoe worn by dancers. They are used in jazz dance and other styles of dance including acro dance, acrobatic rock'n'roll, and hip hop, and in other activities, such as aerobics.  Jazz shoes are available in a variety of styles, with varying features. They may be high-rise or low-rise, and may be slip-ons or lace-up Oxfords. Split-sole jazz shoes allow enhance shoe flexibility, making it possible to flex the foot more easily. Most have rubber soles, which provide traction and also help to cushion the foot, and some have thicker heels for better shock-absorption. Some have a suede patch under the ball of the foot to facilitate turning.

Jelly shoes - Jelly shoes or jellies are shoes made of PVC plastic. Jelly shoes come in a large variety of brands and colors and the material is frequently infused with glitter. Its name refers to the semi-transparent materials with a jelly-like sheen. The shoes became a fad in the early 1980s, when a pair could frequently be purchased for less than one US dollar. Like many other fashion trends from the 1980s, jellies have been revived a number of times since the late 1990s. Although considered a populist shoe in the 1980s, the jelly shoe has been reinterpreted by a number of high-end fashion designers in the early twenty-first century. The exact origins of the jelly shoes are unclear.

Jumpsoles - Jumpsoles are weighted platforms that attach to your shoes.  Although invented primarily for basketball players, the platforms are now used by athletes in other sports.  Users stand with their heel off the ground and practice jumping for a short time, often no more than 20 minutes.  The exercises, according to Black Belt Magazine, are supposed to "build fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are integral to developing explosive power and quickness".  They can improve the user's vertical leap by 5 inches (13 cm) to 10 inches (25 cm) and build calf and thigh muscles.

Jutti - The jutti (Punjabi: ਜੁੱਤੀ) or Punjabi Jutti (Punjabi: ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਜੁੱਤੀ) is a type of footwear common in North India and neighboring regions.  They are traditionally made up of leather and with extensive embroidery, in real gold and silver thread in olden days, though now with changing times different juti with rubber soles are made available. Besides Punjabi jutti, there are various local styles as well. Today Amritsar and Patiala ("tilla jutti") are important trade centers for handcrafted juttis, from where they are exported all over the world to Punjabi diaspora.  Closely related to mojaris.   Juttis have evolved into several localized design variations, even depending upon the shoemaker. However by large, they have no left or right distinction, and over time take the shape of the foot. They usually have flat sole, and are similar in design for both women and men, except for men they have a sharp extended tip, nokh curved upwards like traditional mustaches, and are also called khussa, and some women juttis have no back part, near the ankle. Even with changing times juttis have remained part of ceremonial attire, especially at weddings, the unembellished juttis are used for everyday use for both men and women in most of Punjab.  Many Punjabi folk songs mention juttis, like Jutti kasuri peri na poori hai rabba sanu turna paiy and Jutti lagdi vairia mere'.

Kitten heel - A kitten heel is a short, slender heel, usually from 3.5 centimeters (1.5 inches) to 4.75 centimeters (1.75 inches) high with a slight curve setting the heel in from the back edge of the shoe. The style was popularized by Audrey Hepburn.

Kolhapuri Chappal - Kolhapuri chappals are Indian hand-crafted leather slippers that are locally tanned using vegetable dyes. Kolhapuri Chappals or Kolhapuris as they are commonly referred to are a style of open-toed, T-strap sandal which originated from Kolhapur, a southern district in the state of Maharashtra.

Kung fu shoe, a type and style of slip-on shoe traditionally worn while practicing kung fu.  The kung fu shoe, also known as a "Tai Chi shoe" or as a "martial arts slipper", is a type and style of cloth slip-on shoe that is traditionally made in China, and was originally worn while practicing kung fu and other martial arts, and also while performing Tai Chi.  Variants of this shoe are now mass-produced for general-purpose wear, and there are several slightly different styles.  These shoes are inexpensive and are available worldwide.

Loafers - Slip-ons are typically low, lace-less shoes. The style most commonly seen, known as a loafer or slippers in American culture, has a moccasin construction.  One of the first designs was introduced in London by Wildsmith Shoes, called the Wildsmith Loafer.  They began as casual shoes, but have increased in popularity to the point of being worn in America with city lounge suits. Another design was introduced as Aurlandskoen (the Aurland Shoe) in Norway (early 20th century).  They are worn in many situations in a variety of colors and designs, often featuring tassels on the front, or metal decorations (example, the Gucci loafer).  A less casual, earlier type of slip-on is made with side gussets (sometimes called a dress loafer).  Made in the same shape as lace-up Oxfords, but lacking the laces, these shoes have elasticated inserts on the side which allow the shoe to be easily removed but remain snug when worn. This cut has its greatest popularity in Britain.

Lotus shoes - Lotus shoes (simplified Chinese: 莲履; traditional Chinese: 蓮履; pinyin: lianlǚ) are footwear that were worn by women in China who had bound feet.  The shoes are cone or sheath-shaped, intended to resemble a lotus bud.  They were delicately constructed from cotton or silk, and small enough to fit in the palm of a hand.   Some designs had heels or wedge-shaped soles. They were made in different styles and colors, and were typically ornately decorated, with embroidered designs of animals or flowers that could continue on the sole of the shoe.  Some designs only fit over the tip of the foot, giving the illusion of a small bound foot when worn under a long skirt.  Though foot binding is no longer practiced, many lotus shoes survive as artifacts in museums or private collections. 

Mary Jane Shoes - Mary Jane is an American term (formerly a registered trademark) for a closed, low-cut shoe with one or more straps across the instep.  Classic Mary Janes for children are typically made of black leather or patent leather, have one thin strap fastened with a buckle or button, a broad and rounded toebox, low heels, and thin outsoles. Among girls, Mary Janes are traditionally worn with pantyhose or socks, and a dress or a skirt and blouse. Among boys (less common), Mary Janes are traditionally worn with socks, short trousers, and a shirt.

Moccasin - A moccasin is an outdoor slipper, made of moose skin or other soft leather, consisting of a sole (made with leather that has not been "worked") and sides made of one piece of leather, stitched together at the top, and sometimes with a vamp (additional panel of leather). The sole is soft and flexible and the upper part often is adorned with embroidery or beading. Though sometimes worn inside, it is chiefly intended for outdoor use, as in exploring wildernesses and running. Historically, it is the footwear of many indigenous peoples of North America; moreover, hunters, traders, and European settlers wore them.

Monk shoe - A monk shoe is a style of shoe with no lacing, closed by a buckle and strap. It is also known as a monk strap, and has been described as the "most advanced" dress shoe.  It is a moderately formal shoe: less formal than a full Oxford (American: Balmoral); but more so than an open Derby (American: Blücher).  A monk shoe is one of the main categories of men's footwear.  It often has a cap toe, is occasionally brogued, and is popular in suede.

Mule (we are not talking about the animal) - Mule, a French word, is a style of shoe that is backless and often closed-toed.  Mules can be any heel height - from flat to high. The style is predominantly a style of women’s footwear.  The term derives from the Ancient Roman mulleus calceus a red or purple shoe worn by the three highest magistrates, although there is little indication of any structural resemblance.

Opanak - Opanak (Bulgarian: цървул, опинок[a]; Macedonian: опинок; Serbian Cyrillic: опанак) are traditional peasant shoes worn in Southeastern Europe (specifically Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia). The attributes of the Opanci (name in plural) are: a construction of leather, lack of laces, durable, and various ending on toes. In Serbia, the design of the horn-like ending on toes indicates the region of origin. The concept, and the word, exists in Romania (as opincă) which is borrowed from Slavic. The Opanci are considered a national symbol of Serbia, and the traditional peasant footwear for people in the Balkan region.  Apparel Search thinks these are very cool looking shoes.

Opinga - Opinga are traditional shoes which are worn by Albanian men throughout Albania, in Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, and in the Arbëresh villages in Italy.  Earliest archaeological evidence for opinga dates back to 5-4th century BC indicating they were an element in Illyrian culture.

Organ shoes - Organ shoes are shoes worn by organists, designed to facilitate playing of the organ pedal keyboard. Also, since organ shoes are worn only at the organ, the use of special footwear avoids picking up grit or grime that could scar or stain the pedal keys. Shoes are not always used, some famous organists like Rhoda Scott play with bare feet.

Orthopaedic footwear - Orthopedic shoes are specially-designed footwear to relieve discomfort associated with many foot and ankle disorders, such as blisters, bunions, calluses and corns, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, or heel spurs. They may also be worn by individuals with diabetes or people with unequal leg length. These shoes typically have a low heel, tend to be wide with a particularly wide toe box, and have a firm heel to provide extra support. Some may also have a removable insole, or orthotic, to provide extra arch support. 

Over-the-knee boot - Over-the-knee boots (or cuissardes, which include thighboots, top boots, hip-boots, and waders) are long boots that fully or partly cover the knee.  This sort of boot was originally created as a man's riding boot in the 15th century, in the latter part of the 20th century, the style was redefined as a fashion boot for women. Over-the-knee boots are also used as a work boot in circumstances requiring additional protection for the legs (e.g. fishing waders).  In modern times, over-the-knee boots are also a style of women’s footwear.  The adoption of over-the-knee boots as a fashion item for women began in the early 1960s. In 1962, Balenciaga's fall collection featured a tall boot by Mancini that just covered the knee and the following year, Yves Saint Laurent's couture collection included thigh-length alligator skin boots by designer Roger Vivier.

Oxford shoe - An Oxford shoe is characterized by shoelace eyelets tabs that are attached under the vamp, a feature termed "closed lacing".  This contrasts with Derbys, or Blüchers, which have shoelace eyelets attached to the top of the vamp. Originally, Oxfords were plain, formal shoes, made of leather but they evolved into a range of styles suitable for both formal and casual wear. Based on function and the dictates of fashion, Oxfords are now made from a variety of materials, including calf leather, patent leather, suede, and canvas. They are normally black or brown, and may be plain or patterned (Brogue).  Oxfords first appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are occasionally called Balmorals after Balmoral Castle. However, the shoes were later named Oxfords after Oxford University. This shoe style didn't appear in the U.S. until the 1800s.  In the U.S. Oxfords are called "Bal-type" as opposed to "Blucher-type". In France, Oxfords are known as Richelieu.

Pampootie - Pampooties are raw-hide shoes, which were formerly made and worn on the Aran Islands of County Galway, Ireland.  They are formed of a single piece of untanned hide folded around the foot and stitched with twine or a leather strap.  Hide from the buttocks was most often used. The hair was usually left and this improved the shoe's grip.  The raw hide is kept flexible by use and the constant damp conditions of Western Ireland. However the shoes are not made to last. They are prone to rot and were usually kept for as little as a month or less.  Pampooties are similar to the Scottish cuaran shoes, and are the precursors to ghillies, Celtic dance shoes. They are also similar in appearance to American moccasins.   Ancient shoes found preserved from Stone Age Europe have a similar design.

Peranakan beaded slippers - Peranakan beaded slippers, also known as kasot manek, literally meaning beaded shoes, is a type of shoe that dates back to the early twentieth century. It refers to beaded slippers worn by a nyonya to complete her Sarong Kebaya outfit, together with chained brooches (kerosang) and a silver belt (tali pendeng). The slippers are made of Peranakan cut beads (manek potong), which are treasured as these beads are no longer available. Vintage kasot manek are intricate and finely stitched, a testimony to the fine workmanship of yesteryears. The intricacy and fine workmanship of a pair of beaded slipper is also a hallmark of highly accomplished Peranakan women, also known as nyonyas, whose skills in embroidery and beadwork are highly valued.  The beaded slippers were either opened face (peep-toe) or covered face.

Performance footwear - Performance footwear is designed to optimize performance, minimize the risk of injuries, and enhance the overall experience for individuals engaged in various physical pursuits. It continues to evolve with advancements in materials, technology, and a deeper understanding of biomechanics to meet the diverse needs of active individuals across different sports and activities.

Peshawari chappal - Peshawari Chappal is a traditional footwear of Pakistan, worn especially by Pashtuns in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. The shoe takes its name from the city of Peshawar, where it originates from, while "chappal" is the local word for flip-flops. Peshawari chappal is worn by men casually or formally, usually with the Shalwar kameez dress. Because of its comfort, it is used in place of sandal or slipper in Pakistan.  It is a semi-closed footwear which consists of two wide strips where both strips are joined with the sole by crossing each other.  The back side has also a strip with a buckle to tie according to the foot size and level of comfort. It is traditionally made with pure leather with its sole often made of truck tyre. It is available in many traditional designs and colors with various variations such as works of golden and silver threads, which give the shoe a more elegant look. Peshawari chappals have become increasingly popular in other parts of Pakistan; even wearing them with jeans has become a fashion trend, especially among urban youth.

Platform shoe - Platform shoes are shoes, boots, or sandals with an obvious thick sole, usually in the range of 3–10 cm (1–4 in). Platform shoes may also be high heels, in which case the heel is raised significantly higher than the ball of the foot. Extreme heights, of both the sole and heel, can be found in footwear such as ballet boots, where the sole may be up to 20 cm (8 in) high, and the heels up to 40 cm (16 in) and more. The sole of a platform shoe can have a continuous uniform thickness, have a wedge, a separate block or a stiletto heel. Apart from the extreme forms of fetish shoes (which are first and foremost not intended for walking in), walking in platform shoes can be cumbersome and clumsy.  This type of shoe may raise the risk of a sprained ankle in addition to raising your height..

Pointed shoe - Throughout the history of footwear, shoes or fashion boots with very long, pointed toes have been favored at various periods and in various cultures or sub-cultures.   These have included:  Crakows or Poulaines - (15th- and 16th-century Europe).  Winklepickers - 1960s to present, Britain and Germany. Mexican pointy boots - 21st-century Mexico and southern United States.

Pointinini - The pointinini (pointed shoe) is a type of shoe popular in Côte d'Ivoire.  They are shoes whose characteristic is that the front part pointed and is slightly bent, available in all the colors and various materials (leather, deer, synthetic fibre).  This fashion strongly developed in Côte d'Ivoire and was quickly exported with Coupé-Décalé and the concept of the "farot" incarnated by JetSet. Ivorian singer Abou Nidal sings about it in "La chaussure qui parle" (The shoe which speaks).  The pointinini is a key component of the "Afrodesign" or modern "Afrostyle". The pointinini is a true phenomenon of style in Africa. The pointinini was not invented by Abou Nidal but finds its origins in the centre of Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, via the science of sapeology (which originates from the word sape i.e. Societe Admirer des Persons Elegant).

Rain Boots - boots manufacturered to be waterproof and appropriate for wear in the rain or wet conditions.

Rocker bottom shoe - A rocker sole shoe or rocker bottom shoe is a shoe which has a thicker-than-normal sole with rounded heel. Such shoes ensure the wearer does not have flat footing along the proximal-distal axis of the foot. The shoes are generically known by a variety of names including round bottom shoes, round/ed sole shoes, and toning shoes, and also by various brand names.  Rocker soles may replace regular soles on any style of footwear. Some rocker bottom shoes are purpose built to reduce the function or replace the lost function of a joint.  For example, a person with a hallux rigidus (stiff big toe) may use a rocker bottom shoe to replace the flexion lost at the metatarsal joint. Rocker bottom shoes are also used to compensate for the lost range of motion, however caused, at the tibiotalar joint (ankle joint).  In such cases, the wearer maintains solid and stable footing while standing, but the rock of the heel assists with the propulsive phase of gait, making walking more natural and less painful to the affected joints. If selecting these shoes with the hopes of some sort of medical benefit, Apparel Search strongly suggests that you first consult with your physician to make sure it is appropriate.  The construction of most varieties of rocker sole shoes mean that the wearer's body weight is shifted behind the ankle and the wearer is required to do more work than would be required in flat-soled shoe to find their center of gravity and remain balanced.  In recent years, heel-to-toe rocker sole shoe for the sports footwear market was popularized by brands such as MBT, Shape Ups and EasyTone.

Ruby slippers (click your heels three times and you’ll understand) - The ruby slippers are the magic pair of shoes worn by Dorothy Gale as played by Judy Garland in the classic 1939 MGM musical movie The Wizard of Oz. Because of their iconic stature, the ruby slippers are now considered among the most treasured and valuable items of film memorabilia.   As is customary for important props, a number of pairs were made for the film, though the exact number is unknown. Five pairs are known to have survived; one pair was stolen in August 2005 and has never been recovered.  In L. Frank Baum's original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), on which the film is based, Dorothy wears Silver Shoes. However, the color of the shoes was changed to red in order to take full advantage of the new Technicolor film process being used in big-budget Hollywood films of that era. Film screenwriter Noel Langley is credited with the idea.

Running Shoes - Running shoes are specialized footwear designed to provide comfort, support, and protection for individuals engaging in running and jogging activities. These shoes are engineered to minimize the impact on the feet, enhance stability, optimize stride efficiency, and reduce the risk of injuries during running exercises. The design and features of running shoes have evolved over the years to cater to various running styles, foot types, and terrains.

Russian boot - Russian boot is the name applied to a style of calf- or knee-length fashion boot for women that was popular in the early part of the 20th Century. Russian boots fell out of favor in the 1930s, but were the inspiration for the high-leg fashion boots that returned to popularity in the 1950s and 60s. Today the term Russian boot is sometimes applied to the style of low heeled boots worn by some folk dancers.  The original Russian boot was the valenki, a flat heeled, wide topped, knee-length boot worn by Russian soldiers. Designed to combat the extremely cold Russian winters, valenki were normally made of thick felt. The boots' uppers were loosely constructed for convenience and comfort, which produced the style's distinctive wrinkling effect around the ankles.  The term was later applied to women’s boots in leather that appeared in the second decade of the 20th Century.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, shoes with high uppers, buttoned or laced and reaching to the lower calves, were common footwear for women. Rising hemlines made longer styles of boots popular, particularly when the alternative was exposure of the leg, which was still considered shocking.  In 1913, Denise Poiret, wife of celebrated French couturier Paul Poiret, caused a sensation in Paris and New York by wearing knee-length boots in wrinkled Morocco leather. Designed by her husband and made by the bottier Favereau, these boots were styled with a low heel and a square toe; she had versions in red, white, green, and yellow.  Russian boots were the inspiration for the modern fashion boot, some of which closely resemble styles that first appeared in the 1920s. The term “Russian boot” is usually applied to the flat-heeled, calf-length boots popular with some traditions of folk dancing, especially those from Eastern Europe.  In 2009, The New York Times reported that the original felt valenki was being reinvented as a fashion item in Russia

Saddle shoe - The saddle shoe is a low-heeled casual Oxford shoe (hence the alternate name "saddle oxford"), characterized by a plain toe and distinctive, saddle-shaped decorative panel placed mid foot. Saddle shoes are typically constructed of leather and are most frequently white with a black saddle, although any color combination is possible.  Saddle shoes are worn by both men and women in a variety of styles ranging from ultra-high platforms to golf cleats.  Some groups identify with this type of shoe irrespective of current fashion trends. Those associated with ska, sometimes known as rudeboys, often wear them in some combinations since both the classic look and the black/white color scheme represent the genre as a whole.

Sandals - Sandals are an open type of footwear, consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by straps passing over the instep and, sometimes, around the ankle. Sandals can also have a heel. While the distinction between sandals and other types of footwear can sometimes be blurry (as in the case of huaraches—the woven leather footwear seen in Mexico, and peep-toe pumps), the common understanding is that a sandal leaves most of the upper part of the foot exposed. People may choose to wear sandals for several reasons, among them comfort in warm weather, economy (sandals tend to require less material than shoes and are usually easier to construct), and as a fashion choice.

Silver Shoes - The Silver Shoes are the magical shoes that appear in L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as heroine Dorothy Gale's transport home.  They are originally owned by the Wicked Witch of the East but passed to Dorothy when her house lands on the Witch.  As gathered from the clues throughout the various books and films, the Silver Shoes will only pass to a new owner if they have physically defeated the previous owner, or the previous owner willingly hands them over.  You may also want to learn about Ruby Slippers.  By the way, if you were silver shoes, they may be anti-microbial.  Silver is said to have anti-microbial properties.

Slip-on shoe - Slip-ons are typically low, lace-less shoes. The style most commonly seen, known as a loafer or slippers in American culture, has a moccasin construction.  One of the first designs was introduced in London by Wildsmith Shoes, called the Wildsmith Loafer.  They began as casual shoes, but have increased in popularity to the point of being worn in America with city lounge suits. Another design was introduced as Aurlandskoen (the Aurland Shoe) in Norway (early 20th century).[2] They are worn in many situations in a variety of colours and designs, often featuring tassels on the front, or metal decorations (the 'Gucci' loafer).  A less casual, earlier type of slip-on is made with side gussets (sometimes called a dress loafer). Made in the same shape as lace-up Oxfords, but lacking the laces, these shoes have elasticated inserts on the side which allow the shoe to be easily removed but remain snug when worn.  This cut has typically had its greatest popularity in Britain.

Slingbacks - Slingbacks are a style of women's shoe characterized by an open back and a strap that goes around the heel or ankle, securing the shoe in place. The front of the shoe can vary in design, including peep-toe, closed-toe, or a more sandal-like appearance. What sets slingbacks apart is the distinctive strap, which gives them a unique and elegant look.

Slipper - Slippers are light shoes which are easy to put on and take off and usually worn indoors.  The following is a partial list of types of slippers:  Slip-on slippers - slippers usually made with a fabric upper layer that encloses the top of the foot and the toes, but leaves the heel open. These are often distributed in expensive hotels, included with the cost of the room.  Slipper boots - slippers meant to look like boots. Often favoured by women, they are typically furry boots with a fleece or soft lining, and a soft rubber sole. Modelled after sheepskin boots, they may be worn outside  Sandal slippers - cushioned sandals with soft rubber or fabric soles, similar to Birkenstock's cushioned sandals.  Moccasin slippers - are often made of a soft leather or pelt. They are often beaded in the style of tribal or indigenous cultures.  Closed slippers - slippers with a heel guard that prevents the foot from sliding out.  Evening slipper, also known as the Prince Albert slipper.  It is made of velvet with leather soles and features a grosgrain bow or the wearer’s initials embroidered in gold.  In India, slippers are generally made of rubber and are called rubber chappals.

Skate shoes - footwear worn by skateboarders.

Sneakers - Sneakers (also known as athletic shoes, tennis shoes, or trainers) are shoes primarily designed for sports or other forms of physical exercise. Sneakers have evolved to be used for casual everyday activities. The term generally describes a type of footwear with a flexible sole made of rubber or synthetic material and an upper part made of leather or synthetic materials. Examples of such shoes include athletic footwear such as: basketball shoes, tennis shoes, cross trainers and other shoes worn for specific sports.  These shoes acquired the nickname 'plimsoll' in the 1870s, derived according to Nicholette Jones' book The Plimsoll Sensation, from the coloured horizontal band joining the upper to the sole, which resembled the Plimsoll line on a ship's hull.  Alternatively, just like the Plimsoll line on a ship, if water got above the line of the rubber sole, the wearer would get wet.  Plimsolls were widely worn by vacationers and also began to be worn by sportsmen on the tennis and croquet courts for their comfort. Special soles with engraved patterns to increase the surface grip of the shoe were developed, and these were ordered in bulk for the use of the British Army. Athletic shoes were increasingly used for leisure and outdoor activities at the turn of the 20th century - plimsolls were even found with the ill-fated Scott Antarctic expedition of 1911. Plimsolls were made compulsory in schools' physical education lessons in the UK.  British company J.W. Foster and Sons designed and produced the first shoes designed for running in 1895; the shoes were spiked to allow for greater traction and speed.  This style of footwear also became prominent in America at the turn of the 20th century, where they were called 'sneakers'.

Snow boots - A snow boot is a type of boot, generally waterproof, or water-resistant. The boot, in almost all cases, has a high side, keeping snow from entering the boot, and a rubber sole, to keep water out. Because of their water-resistant material, snowboots are often used in wet, slushy, or muddy situations. This means not a half inch dusting of snow, of water, but quite deep, heavy wet snow, slush, or mud.  Snowboots are used by people to easily walk in snowy or wet situations, and by children playing in snowy, relatively wet, or muddy lawns, fields, etc. They are also usable for walking in streams in winter, as they are well-insulated, while still waterproof.

Spectator shoe - The spectator shoe (British English: co-respondent shoe) is a style of low-heeled, oxford, semi-brogue or full brogue constructed from two contrasting colors, typically having the toe and heel cap and sometimes the lace panels in a darker color than the main body of the shoe.   This style of shoe dates from the nineteenth century but reached the height of popularity during the 1920s and 1930s.  Common color combinations include a white shoe body with black, brown or tan toe and heel caps, but other colors can be used. The spectator is typically an all leather shoe, but can be constructed using a canvas, mesh or suede body. The spectator was originally constructed of willow calf leather and white buck or reverse calf suede. The white portion was sometimes made from a mesh material, for better ventilation in hot weather.  The saddle shoe, another style of two-tone oxford shoe, can be distinguished from the spectator shoe by noting the saddle shoe's plain toe and distinctive, saddle-shaped decorative panel placed mid foot.

Steel-toe boot - A steel-toe boot (also known as a safety boot, steel-capped boot or safety shoe) is a durable boot or shoe that has a protective reinforcement in the toe which protects the foot from falling objects or compression, usually combined with a mid sole plate to protect against punctures from below.  Although traditionally made of steel, the reinforcement can also be made of a composite material, a plastic such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) or even Aluminum. Steel-toe boots are important in the construction industry and in many industrial settings.  Occupational safety and health legislation or insurance requirements may require the use of such boots in some settings, and may mandate certification of such boots and the display of such certification directly on the boots. The markings on the boot label will indicate the national or international standards that the boot was intended to meet, and identify the level of protection offered for impact, penetration, electric shock, and chemical hazards.  footwear for use in chemical processing or semiconductor manufacturing may also be rated to dissipate static electricity while still protecting the wearer from electric shock.   Safety footwear now comes in many styles, including sneakers and clogs. Some are quite formal, for supervising engineers who must visit sites where protective footwear is mandatory.  Some brands of steel-toe footwear have become fashionable within subcultures such as skinhead, punk, and rivethead. While brands that were previously renowned within the fashion industry have also diversified into the safety footwear market, industrial brands like Caterpillar, Rock Fall and JCB have also issued licenses to produce safety footwear.

T-bar sandal - A T-bar sandal or T-bar shoe (also known in the United Kingdom as "school sandal" or "closed-toe sandal") is a closed, low-cut shoe with two or more straps forming one or more T shapes (one or more straps across the instep passing through a perpendicular, central strap that extends from the vamp).  Classic T-bars for children are typically made of blue or brown leather, have two thin straps forming a single T shape and fastened with a buckle, a broad and rounded toebox pierced with a pattern of holes, a low heel, and a crêpe rubber outsole stitched-down to the upper.  Among boys, T-bars are traditionally worn with socks, short trousers, and a shirt.  First seen in Europe and America in the early 1900s, T-bars became very common among children in the 1950s,[

Tiger-head shoes - Tiger-head shoes (Chinese: 虎头鞋) are an example of traditional Chinese folk handicraft used as footwear for children.  Their name comes from the toe cap, which looks like the head of a tiger. In the North of China, people also call them cat-head shoes.  In Chinese culture, tigers are regarded as auspicious; people embroider the head and the upper of the shoes with tiger or tiger-head patterns, in the hope that their children will become as robust and dynamic as tigers.  Also, the vivid image of tiger-head pattern was thought to expel evil spirits to protect their children from diseases and disasters.  It is a complicated work to make tiger-head shoes, there are many delicate stitch work such as embroidery, or weaving simply on the head of the shoes. The vamp (upper part of the shoe) is mainly colored in red and yellow.

Training Shoes - Training shoes, often referred to as cross-training or workout shoes, are a vital component of an athlete's gear. These shoes are designed to provide support, stability, cushioning, and versatility for a wide range of physical activities and exercises.

Turf Shoe – sports shoes made to provide better traction on grass or artificial grass (turf).  They are similar to cleats but have much smaller studs providing traction.  In fact, they might be too small to actually refer to them as studs.

Tsarouhi - A tsarouhi (Greek: τσαρούχι; plural: τσαρούχια; from Turkish çarık) is a type of shoe, which is typically known nowadays as part of the traditional uniform worn by the Greek guards known as Evzones.  Their origin is obscure and goes back to the Byzantine times, with influences from styles imported by neighbouring tribes, including the Turks. Originally, various types of similar shoes were worn all over the Balkans, but tsarouhia are mainly associated with the Greeks. They were the most common footwear worn by both urban and rural Greeks, mainly men, but also many women.

Turnshoe - A turnshoe is a type of shoe made of leather used during the Middle Ages. It was so named because it was put together inside out, and then was turned right-side-out once finished. This hides the main seam between the sole and vamp (upper) -- prolonging the life of the shoe and inhibiting moisture leaking in through the seam.  In the very beginning, turnshoes consisted of only one piece of leather sewn on only one side. In the late early and the high medieval ages, turnshoes mostly consisted of one sole (cowhide or bovinae) and one piece of vamp (goat or cowhide or caprinae/bovinae). In the late Middle Ages, additional elements were added, like doubled soles.  Turnshoes were displaced by welted shoes in the beginning of the 16th century. Turnshoes were most often made in the home.

Venetian-style shoe - Venetian-style shoes (venetian-style loafers) are mid-heel slippers with an upper or top part that is slightly open to the kick of the foot and the ankle bone. The venetian-style shoe and its lack of ornamentation contrasts with the loafer which may have slotted straps, vamps and even tassels. The term came from Great Britain.  Loafers are "slip-on shoes with a moccasin toe construction and slotted straps stitched across vamps".   A loafer may even be "decorated with metal chains or tassels" (Drummond). A penny-loafer has a "tongue and strap".   By the 20th century, the slip-on loafers were common male footwear. During this period other popular shoes included low, laced oxfords in various leathers, ankle boots, and specialized sport shoes. During the 1950s, the loafer became fashionable.

Vintage Footwear - Vintage footwear comes in many shapes & sizes.  In summary, defined as footwear between 20 to 100 years old.  Visit the vintage shoe term page to learn more.

Wedge shoes - Wedge footwear has a single piece of material that forms both the sole and heel. The combined sole & heel form a wedge shape.

Winklepicker - Winklepickers, or winkle pickers, are a style of shoe or boot worn from the 1950s onward by male and female British rock and roll fans. The feature that gives both the boot and shoe their name is the very sharp and long pointed toe, reminiscent of medieval footwear and approximately the same as the long pointed toes on some women's high-fashion shoes and boots in the late 2000s. The extremely pointed toe was called the winkle picker because in England periwinkle snails, or winkles, are a popular seaside snack which is eaten using a pin or other pointed object to extract the soft parts out of the coiled shell carefully, hence the phrase: "to winkle something out", and based on that, winklepickers became a humorous name for shoes with a very pointed tip. Other countries had other humorous names, e.g. in Norway and Sweden they were called myggjagere/myggjagare, literally "Mosquito Chasers". They are still popular in the raggare and rockabilly subcultures.  In some parts of the U.S. they are called "roach stompers."

Wörishofer - Wörishofer is a type of orthpaedic ladies' sandal made in Bad Wörishofen. They have a cork wedge in the sole which is light and acts as a shock absorber. They were first designed in the 1940s and have been considered practical but ugly. But in 2010, they became fashionable, being worn by celebrities such as Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Their effectiveness as a fashion accessory is due to the confidence with which they are worn — the wearer is indicating that they are so beautiful that they can transcend the frumpiness of the shoe. In this, they are similar to other practical shoes which have been fashionable, including Birkenstocks, crocs, Dr. Martens, Dr. Scholl's and Ugg boots.

If you know of additional types of shoes, please let us know.  We would like to keep this page as complete as possible.

Learn more about shoes in the shoe definitions section.

For more complete definitions with more historical reference and specifics we would suggest you also visit an educational resource such as the Wikipedia website.  They present product images as well as great information about this subject.

Apparel Search Fashion Industry b2b Directory for the clothing industry