Types of Shoes
Types of Shoes Pg. 2  Fashion Terminology  Women's Shoes  Men's Shoes  T Fashion Terms  Vintage Shoes

Do you think you are a shoe expert?  Before you read this page, grab a piece of paper and list out the various types of shoes that you know.  After you finish your list, compare it to the list below and see if you had been able to name them all.  By the way, if you know some shoe styles that we do not have listed, please let us know so we can add your knowledge about footwear to this list of shoes.  Your help with making this list better would be greatly appreciated.

Below you will find shoe styles along with brief definitions.

Adidas Kampung - Adidas Kampung is a generic name for cheap black rubber shoes that are usually made in Malaysia. Being made 100% out of rubber, they are waterproof, easy to dry, and thus ideal for trekking in tropical weather.  They gained attention in the blogosphere when they were featured as having been used by local climbers to win various climbathons such as the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon held in Sabah.  One particular model comes with four yellow stripes and studded soles, and is commonly used by villagers to play football. Its similarities to the famed stripes on Adidas shoes earned it the moniker Adidas Kampung, or the Village Adidas.

Ballet shoe - A ballet shoe, or ballet slipper, is a lightweight shoe designed specifically for ballet dancing. It may be made from soft leather, canvas, or satin, and has flexible, thin soles. Traditionally, women wear pink shoes and men wear white or black shoes. Tan colored slippers—which are unobtrusive and thus give the appearance of dancing barefoot—are worn in modern ballets and sometimes modern dancing by both men and women. Most ballet dancers wear soft ballet slippers for the main part of the ballet class. More advanced female dancers may change into pointe shoes for centre work and performance. Ballet shoes must fit very closely to the foot, for safety and to retain maximum flexibility.

Bast shoe - Bast shoes are shoes made primarily from bast—fiber from the bark of the linden tree or birch tree. They are a kind of basket, woven and fitted to the shape of a foot. Bast shoes are an obsolete traditional footwear of the forest areas of Northern Europe, formerly worn by poorer members of the Finnic peoples, Balts, and East Slavs. They were easy to manufacture, but not durable.

Birkenstock - Birkenstock Orthopädie GmbH & Co. KG is a shoe manufacturer headquartered in Neustadt (Wied), Germany.  The company sells Birkenstock, a German brand of sandals and other shoes notable for their contoured cork and rubber footbeds, which conform somewhat to the shape of their wearers' feet.  Representative products include the two-strap Arizona sandal and the Boston clog.

Blucher shoe - A blucher is a style of shoe similar to a derby. Its vamp is made of a single piece of leather ("one cut").  It is named after the 18th century Prussian general Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. General von Blücher commissioned a boot with side pieces lapped over the front in an effort to provide his troops with improved footwear. This design was adopted by armies across Europe.

Boat shoe - Boat shoes (also known as deck shoes) are typically canvas or leather with non-marking rubber soles designed for use on a boat. A siping pattern is cut into the soles to provide grip on a wet deck; the leather construction, along with application of oil, is designed to repel water; and the stitching is highly durable. Boat shoes are traditionally worn without socks.  Modern boat shoes were invented in 1935 by American Paul A. Sperry of New Haven, Connecticut after noticing his dog's ability to run easily over ice without slipping. Using a knife, he cut siping into his shoes' soles, inspiring a shoe perfect for boating and a company called Sperry Top-Sider. Sperry Top-Siders are still a popular brand of boat shoe today, among many others, including Sebago and Timberland.  Boat shoes are used by sailors, as the name suggests; however, since the 1970s they have become casual footwear in coastal areas of the United States, Canada, Argentina, China, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. Some boat shoes today have traditional white, non-marking soles, though many others today have dark non-marking soles. They usually have a moc-toe (like a moccasin) construction.

Brogan (shoes) - Brogan-like shoes, called "brogues" (from Old Irish "bróc" meaning "shoe"), were made and worn in Scotland and Ireland as early as the 16th century, and the shoe-type probably originated there.  They were used by the Scots and the Irish as work boots for wear in the wet, boggy Scottish and Irish countryside. The word "brogue" is still used in Britain for a style of dress shoe, which may or may not have an ankle high top. Brogans and brogan-like shoes and boots were adopted over time by various countries for wear by their military forces.

Brogue shoe - The Brogue (derived from the Old Irish bróg) is a style of low-heeled shoe or boot traditionally characterised by multiple-piece, sturdy leather uppers with decorative perforations (or "broguing") and serration along the pieces' visible edges.  Modern brogues trace their roots to a rudimentary shoe originating in Ireland that was constructed using untanned hide with perforations, allowing water to drain when crossing wet terrain such as a bog.  Brogues were traditionally considered to be outdoor or country footwear not otherwise appropriate for casual or business occasions, but brogues are now considered appropriate in most contexts.  Brogues are most commonly found in one of four toe cap styles (full or "wingtip", semi-, quarter and longwing) and four closure styles (Oxford, Derby, ghillie, and monk). Today, in addition to their typical form of sturdy leather shoes or boots, brogues may also take the form of business dress shoes, sneakers, high-heeled women's shoes, or any other shoe form that utilises or evokes the multi-piece construction and perforated, serrated piece edges characteristic of brogues.

Brothel creeper - Brothel creeper (sometimes shortened to creeper) is a style of shoe which has thick crepe soles, often in combination with suede uppers. This style of footwear became fashionable in the years following World War II, seeing resurgences of popularity at various times ever since. This style of thick soled shoe was first developed commercially in 1949 by George Cox Limited of Wellingborough, UK, and marketed under the "Hamilton" name, based on George Cox Jr.'s middle name.Initially they came in shades of blue, ranging from pastel shades to electric blue, and were made of suede or polished leather. Later, more extravagant patterned versions were created.

Calceology - Jump to: navigation, search Calceology (from Latin calcei "shoes" and -λογία, -logiā, "-logy") is the study of footwear, especially historical footwear whether as archaeology, shoe fashion history, or otherwise. It is not yet formally recognized as a field of research. Calceology comprises the examination, registration, research and conservation of leather shoe fragments.  A wider definition includes the general study of the ancient footwear, its social and cultural history, technical aspects of pre-industrial shoemaking and associated leather trades, as well as reconstruction of archaeological footwear.

Cantabrian albarcas - A Cantabrian albarca is a rustic wooden shoe in one piece, which has been used particularly by the peasants of Cantabria, northern Spain.  Cantabrian albarcas are similar to other clogs from Europe, but have significant features and different characteristics in terms of woodworking process and in their use.

Chopine - A chopine is a type of women's platform shoe that was popular in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Chopines were originally used as a patten, clog, or overshoe to protect the shoes and dress from mud and street soil. Chopines were popularly worn in Venice by both courtesans and patrician women from ca. 1400–1700. Besides their practical uses, the height of the chopine became a symbolic reference to the cultural and social standing of the wearer; the higher the chopine, the higher the status of the wearer.  High chopines allowed a woman to tower over others.

Cleats or Kleets – Cleats or studs are protrusions on the sole of a shoe, or on an external attachment to a shoe, that provide additional traction on a soft or slippery surface.   Cleats are used for sports such as soccer, football, golf, and other sports.  The style of cleat for various sports varies.  In British English; the term 'studs' is never used to refer to the shoes, which would instead be known as 'football boots', 'rugby boots', and so on.  See cleat blog posts on the fashion blog.  You may also want to learn about turf shoes and indoor soccer shoes.

Climbing shoe - A climbing shoe is a specialized type of footwear designed for rock climbing. Typical climbing shoes have a close fit, little if any padding, and a smooth, sticky rubber sole with an extended rubber rand. Unsuited to walking and hiking, climbing shoes are typically donned at the base of a climb.  Modern climbing shoes use carefully crafted multi-piece patterns to conform very closely to the wearer's feet. Leather is the most common upper material, with other materials such as fabric and synthetic leather also employed. The climbing rubber used for soles was developed specifically for rock-climbing. Climbing shoes manufactured with a downward pointing toe box increase the ability to stand on small holds and pockets at the expense of both comfort and the ability to smear. Approach shoes are hybrids between light-weight hiking shoes and climbing shoes offering some of the qualities of each.

Clog - Clogs are a type of footwear made in part or completely from wood. Clogs are used worldwide and although the form may vary by culture, within a culture the form often remained unchanged for centuries. Traditional clogs remain in use as protective footware in agriculture and in some factories and mines. Although clogs are sometimes negatively associated with cheap and folkloric footwear of farmers and the working class, some types of clogs are considered as fashion wear today, such as Swedish Träskor or Japanese geta. Clogs are also used in several different styles of dance. When worn for dancing an important feature is the sound of the clog against the floor. This is one of the fundamental roots of tap, but with the tap shoes the taps are free to click against each other and produce different sound to clogs.

Court shoe - A court shoe (British English), or pump (American English), is a shoe with a low-cut front and usually without a fastening. However, some have an ankle strap. They are usually worn by women, but are still traditional menswear in some formal situations, where the style is sometimes called an opera slipper or patent pump.

Cowboy Boots - Cowboy boots refer to a specific style of riding boot, historically worn by cowboys. They have a Cuban heel, rounded to pointed toe, high shaft, and, traditionally, no lacing. Cowboy boots are normally made from cowhide leather but are also sometimes made from "exotic" skins such as alligator, snake, ostrich, lizard, eel, elephant, stingray, elk, buffalo, and the like. There are two basic styles of cowboy boots, western (or classic), and roper. The classic style is distinguished by a tall boot shaft, going to at least mid-calf, with an angled "cowboy" heel, usually over one inch high. A slightly lower, still angled, "walking" heel is also common. Although western boots can be customized with a wide variety of toe shapes, the classic design is a narrowed, usually pointed, toe. A newer design, the "roper" style, has a short boot shaft that stops above the ankle but before the middle of the calf, with a very low and squared-off "roper" heel, shaped to the sole of the boot, usually less than one inch high. Roper boots are usually made with rounded toes, but, correlating with style changes in streetwear, styles with a squared toe are seen. The roper style is also manufactured in a lace-up design which often fits better around the ankle and is less likely to slip off, but these two features also create safety issues for riding.

Cross country running shoe - Cross country running shoes are made for both cross country running and long distance running. Season-specific trainers are available for different types of training.  Specialist shops offer advanced fitting services. The feet change shape and swell when running, so a shoe that fit while sitting or walking may not work for running.

Derby shoe - A Derby shoe (also called Gibson) is a style of Men's shoe characterized by quarters with shoelace eyelets that are sewn on top of the vamp.  This construction method, also known as "open lacing", contrasts with that of the Oxfords. In American English the Derby shoe may be referred to as a Blucher, although technically the Blucher is a different design of shoe where only eyelet tabs are sewn onto a single piece vamp.  In modern colloquial English, the Derby shoe may be referred to as "bucks," when the upper is made of buckskin.  The Derby became a popular sporting and hunting boot in the 1850s. By the turn of the 20th century, the Derby had become appropriate for wear in town

Diabetic shoe - Diabetic shoes, sometimes referred to as extra depth, therapeutic shoes or Sugar Shoes, are specially designed shoes, or shoe inserts, intended to reduce the risk of skin breakdown in diabetics with co-existing foot disease. People with diabetic neuropathy in their feet may have a false sense of security as to how much at risk their feet actually are.  An ulcer under the foot can develop in a couple of hours. The primary goal of therapeutic footwear is to prevent complications, which can include strain, ulcers, calluses, or even amputations for patients with diabetes and poor circulation.

Dori shoes - Dori shoes are dance shoes that combine the toe box of a pointe shoe with a dance heel approximately 3 inches ( about 7.5 cm ) in length. These allow the dancer to combine steps from multiple dance styles with classical ballet, by switching balance from standing on the heel to standing en pointe, and vice versa. 

Dress shoe - A dress shoe (U.S. English) is a shoe to be worn at smart casual or more formal events. A dress shoe is typically contrasted to an athletic shoe. Dress shoes are worn by many as their standard daily shoes, and are widely used in dance, for parties, and for special occasions.  Men's dress shoes are most commonly black or brown, usually black (but are available in other colors).  Most men's dress shoes are made of leather, usually entirely, including the outers, lining, and sole, though for more durability at the expense of elegance, many shoes are made with rubber soles. Non-leather men's dress shoes are also available.  Oxfords, monk shoes, derbies, and loafers are the most common dress shoe styles.  Women's dress shoes come in a variety of colors.  They may also match the color of the gown, dress or suit being worn.   Dress shoes for women include pumps, slingbacks, loafers, mules, ballet flats, sandals, and more.  While sandals are usually more casual, there are some sandals that can be worn with dress clothes.

Driving moccasins - A driving moccasin (driving moc) is a contemporary version of the traditional Native American moccasin with the addition of rubber tabs on the sole. The addition of rubber-pad sole adds to the versatility and longevity of the shoe while maintaining the flexibility and comfort of a traditional moccasin.  There are many variations on driving moccasin sole styles varying from manufacturer to manufacturer. The two most common styles are: Rubber-dotted - These have a uniform covering of small, round rubber pads. Separated Pad - These have larger, flat rubber pads separated by only small areas.

Earth shoe - Earth shoes (also known as Kalso Earth Shoes) were an unconventional style of shoe invented in the 1970s in Scandinavia by Danish yoga instructor and shoe designer Anna Kalsø.  Unlike most other shoes, the soles were thick and the heels were thin (Negative Heel Technology), so wearing them one walked heel-downward. The shoes were introduced in the United States in New York City on April 1, 1970, three weeks before the first Earth Day. The shoes surged in popularity and were prominently featured on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and TIME Magazine. Unable to keep up with demand, franchise owners pursued litigation against the United States distributor of Kalso Earth Shoes, and the brand discontinued being sold at retail by the late 1970s. In 2001, Kalso Earth Shoes re-surfaced as the rights to the name, technology and branded properties was purchased by Meynard Designs, Inc.

Elevator shoes - Elevator shoes are shoes that have thickened sections of the insoles (known as shoe lifts) under the heels to make the wearer appear taller, or "elevate" them as the name suggests.  Unlike high-heeled shoes, the component of elevator shoes that increases the wearer's height is inside the shoe, hiding it from observers. An elevator shoe, like the platform shoe's heel, can be made from different soles like plastic, wood, or rubber.  Shoes with thickened soles are also used in cases of orthopedic problems, although the term "elevator shoe" is not usually used for these. Shoe lifts are often sold separately as versions that are small enough to fit inside a regular shoe. These lifts can increase the sole height by 1-2cm in a regular shoe. By contrast, elevator shoes are designed to accommodate a much larger shoe lift of up to 7cm. Combined with the outsole, this can typically increase the wearer's height by up to 10cm.

Espadrille - Espadrilles or espardenyes are normally casual, flat, but sometimes high-heeled shoes originating in the Pyrenees. They usually have a canvas or cotton fabric upper and a flexible sole made of jute rope. The jute rope sole is the defining characteristic of an espadrille; the uppers vary widely in style. In Quebec, however, espadrille is the usual term for running shoes or sneakers. The term espadrille is French and derives from the word in the Occitan language, which comes from espardenya, in Catalan or alpargata in Spanish. In Catalan it meant a type of shoes made with espart, the Catalan name for esparto, a tough, wiry Mediterranean grass used in making rope.  Its name in the Basque region is espartina.  The manufacture of espadrilles is generally more complex than that of sandals. The jute soles are the most critical part. The jute twines are first machine-braided. These braids are then manually formed into the shape of the sole and hydraulically pressed with heat to form the final shape and completed with vertical stitching. These basic soles are then vulcanized underneath. EVA foam or wooden heels are glued in place and more jute braids are wrapped around it to complete the soles. Uppers of different styles are then built on the jute soles to complete the espadrille.

Fashion boot - A fashion boot is a boot worn for reasons of style or fashion (rather than for utilitarian purposes – e.g. not hiking boots, riding boots, rain boots, etc.). The term is usually applied to women’s boots. Fashion boots come in a wide variety of styles, from ankle to thigh-length, and are used for casual, formal, and business attire. Although boots were a popular style of women’s footwear in the Nineteenth Century, they were not recognized as a high fashion item until the 1960s. They became widely popular in the 1970s and have remained a staple of women’s winter wardrobes since then.

Flip-flops - are a type of open-toed footwear sandal, typically worn as a form of casual wear. They consist of a flat sole held loosely on the foot by a Y-shaped commonly rubber strap that passes between the first and second toes and around both sides of the foot. They may also be held to the foot with a single strap over the top of the foot rather than a thong. The name "flip-flop" originated from the sound made by the slapping of the sole, foot and floor when walking.  This style of footwear has been worn by the people of many cultures throughout the world, originating as early as the ancient Egyptians in 1,500 B.C. The modern flip-flop descends from the Japanese zōri, which became popular after World War II when soldiers returning to the United States brought them back. They became popular gender-neutral summer footwear during the 1960s, 1970s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Some varieties have even found their way into more formal attire, especially double-pluggers despite criticism.

More Shoe Styles

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