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Aglet

The closure at the end of a shoelace, typically constructed from plastic in the form of a sheath.

Ankle Boot

A boot with a height no taller than your ankle, when wearing.

Arch

The section of a foot’s sole that is high and curved, situated between the ball and heel or the section of a shoe that provide support for the arch of your foot.

Back seam

A vertical seam spanning the center of the back of any shoe.

Ball

The padded section of your foot between your big toe and arch.

Blucher

A shoe whose vamp and tongue are constructed from one piece of material, laced with overlapping quarter flaps and laced across the top of the foot.

Boat shoe

Moc-toe slip-on construction, usually of either leather or canvas, with a non-slip rubber outsole, traditionally for traction on boats or wet surfaces; Typically features, 360 degree lacing system w/ 2 eyelet closure over top of foot. 

Boot

Full coverage footwear that covers the whole foot and is traditionally worn in colder weather.

Brogue

A shoe designed in an oxford style with perforation and pinked edged detailing.

Buckle

A clasp situated at the end of a strap; made of rectangular ring with a movable tongue to fasten to other end of strap with corresponding hole closure.

Burnish

The process where a shoe is buffed to achieve a worn or antiqued look.

Canvas

A heavy weight weave, usually constructed of cotton, hemp, or linen.

Cap toe

An extra piece of leather used to the cover the toe of a shoe.

Cement construction

A type of shoe construction where the upper is directly bonding to the outsole via strong adhesives.

Chukka

A lace-up ankle height boot, most commonly with a plain toe and minimal decoration.

Circumference

A boot measurement taken at the widest section of the boot shaft

Collar

Also known as a top line, the area of the shoe that is around the opening of the shoe; where your foot enters the shoe.

Counter

The back of the shoe that cradles the heel at the outsole.

Driving Moccasin

Also called a Driving moc. A flexible slip-on shoe with moc-toe construction and a podded grip outsole.

Embossed leather

Leather that has been imprinted with a pattern for decorative purposes.

Espadrille

A shoe or sandal featuring a woven rope covering it’s outsole.

EVA (Ethyl vinyl acetate)

A stiff foam that is molded into shape, typically as midsoles on thong sandals.

Eyelet

Traditional holes used to lace a shoe; often metal or plastic.

Footbed

Also known as an insole. A part of the inside of the shoe that provides additional comfort cushioning and absorb moisture away from the foot.

Foxing

Rubber strips that unite the upper and sole of a sole during the vulcanization process.

Full grain leather

Leather in its original state with the grain still intact.

Gore

Elastic panel that is stitched onto the upper for easy slip-on styles.

Heel

The rear underside of a foot or the part of the shoe that support the back portion of the foot.

Insole

See "Footbed”.

Laces

The cords or strings that are placed through the eyelets to tie the shoe closed.

Lace-up

A shoe featuring lace closures.

Last

A mold or foot form that determines the shape, silhouette, and fit of the shoe, during it’s construction process.

Leather

The hide of an animal prepped for use through a tanning process.

Leather upper

A shoe where the top portion is all leather.

Lining

A layer of material that is sewn into the upper to guard your foot from the rough surfaces of the shoe.

Loafer

A slip-on shoe with moc toe construction, generally without a closure.

Lug outsole

Outsole style, built for durability, featuring treads and non-slip elements for great traction.

Mesh

An open- texture knit material

Midsole

The thin layer of material between the outsole and insole, designed to absorb the shock of walking and running.

Moc toe

A toe decorative element that originated from the traditional moccasin, where two cut ends are sewn together around the toe to create a raised curve.

Monk strap

A blucher-style shoe with a wide strap across the top of the foot featuring a buckle on the outside.

Nubuck

A version of leather with a low nap and velvet feel.

Outsole

The outsole is the bottom of a shoe’s sole and the part most exposed to wear and tear. It is the foundation of the shoe.

Oxford

A low shoe with laces over the top of the shoe.

Penny loafer

A slip-on shoe featuring a strip of material over the top of the foot. Typically, features a slot, where traditionally pennies are kept for good luck.

Perforation (Perfs)

Small holes, used for decorative purposes.

Plain toe

Shoe without any decorative features on the toe.

Quarter

The portion of the shoe that includes the heel and back side panels.

Rubber

A natural material derived from rubber tree plants used for higher traction in outsoles.

Sandal

An open-toed, open back shoe that is ideal for warm climates.

Shaft

A boot measurement taken from mid-arch, up the inside of the boot to the top of the shaft of the boot.

Slide

A type of sandal with a wide band across the foot and no toe post.

Slip-on

A shoe that’s worn by sliding the foot into it.

Stitch down construction

Construction where the upper is stitched directly to the insole board, which is then, cemented to the outsole.

Suede

Leather that has been buffed on its flesh side to raise the nap.

Thong

A sandal held to the foot with a V-strap attached between the big and second toe, as well as on the sides.

Tongue

A piece of material attached at the vamp, extending under the laces between the laces and foot.

Tread

The design of the bottom of the shoe on the soleplate, typically designed to increase traction.

Upper

The top of the shoe that includes all stitched parts of the shoe.

Vamp

The front, top part of the shoe.

Vulcanized rubber

The process of curing rubber with heat and pressure

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