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.
A cap, usually made out of plastic or metal, that covers the tip of a shoelace.
A type of shoe tip that features a soft, round shape resembling an almond.
Stylish straps that wrap around the ankle and leg to keep feet connected to the sole of the shoe.
The upwardly curved area in the bottom-middle of the foot.
Fabric sewn in the back and center of a shoe.
The area of the foot located between the arch and the big toe.
A large, rectangular-shaped heel, also known as a chunky heel.
A style of shoe without the upper portion typically found with regular boots.
The front section of the heel where the arch begins.
A silky fabric used to create a unique texture, pattern, and gleam.
Leather that has been purposely buffed for a classic appearance.
A sturdy, but flexible cloth often found in casual sneakers.
Decorative leather located at the toe area of a shoe.
An ankle-height boot designed for easily slipping onto the foot.
A style of shoe with a closed-toe, open back, and platform heel.
A type of high heel that features a thick, cylindrical heel.
A material used to reinforce the heel of a shoe in order to retain the shape of the upper portion.
A strong, yellow type of rubber used in the sole of a shoe.
Athletic shoes designed for exercise purposes.
A type of shoe that features openings on one or both sides between the heel and toe areas.
An abrasion treatment often used for leather and denim to create a worn appearance.
A shoe style that features straps that wrap around the ankle.
A hole above the tongue of a shoe that holds the shoelace in place.
An adjective used to define materials that substitute animal products for man-made synthetics.
The part of a shoe where the sole and upper edge join together.
A reference to the final processing of the shoe wherein the footwear has been given a particular glossy or polished appearance.
A shoe style that does not include a raised heel.
Vertical strips of fabric typically made from suede.
Authentic leather with little to no marks or blemishes.
Strappy sandals inspired by those worn by gladiators in ancient Rome.
The rings around the eyelets where shoelaces are threaded.
A wedge heel that is hidden from the exterior design of the shoe.
A sandal or tennis shoe featuring a distinct strap in the back of the heel and sometimes around the ankle.
The padding on top of the sole.
The top of the foot between the ankle and ball.
An outer tongue made with fringe that sits above the vamp of a shoe.
A small, rounded heel usually about 1 inches in length or less.
A type of shoelace threaded through the eyelets and up around the ankle.
A strap that goes over the instep of a shoe.
The middle layer of a sole for added comfort.
A shoe design featuring a toe that appears similar to moccasins due to its particular construction.
A buckled strap used for footwear in lieu of shoelaces.
A closed-toe shoe with a backless heel.
Soft, full-grain leather.
High-quality leather that has been treated to create a smoother texture.
The exterior sole of a shoe.
OVER THE KNEE
Tall boots that extend beyond the knee.
Fabrics attached to a shoe’s materials for extra detail.
An adjective used to describe something, often leather, as being hard and glossy.
A type of leather that has been treated to create a distinct, grainy texture.
A shoe style that features a small open-toe.
Lines of trim used to create contrast in a design.
Shoes comprised of a thick sole and high heel.
POINTED TOE PUMPS
Closed-toe high heels that create a pointed look around the toes.
The part of a shoe that provides support and shape for the toe area.
Traditional high heel shoes.
The back and sides of a shoe.
Fabric that has been ruffled.
An effect used to create a wavy look along the upper edges of a shoe.
A heel that is oddly shaped when compared with traditional heels.
The part of the shoe where the heel of the foot is situated.
The part of a boot that surrounds the ankle area.
A high heel with a thin sole for greater shoe flexibility.
Small cuts made into the bottom of a rubber sole to improve traction.
A slip-on, open-toe shoe with a band that straps over the foot just above the toes.
A type of shoe that features a strap along the back instead of a traditional enclosure.
Boots that create a slouchy effect with natural folds or ruffles around the ankle area.
A tapered-toe shoe with a flat frontside.
The bottom, exterior part of a shoe.
A shoe style that includes contrasting tones and/or perforations.
A heel crafted from multiple layers of leather material.
A strong piece of leather or metal layered on top of the outer sole’s existing material.
The part of a shoe that opens at the top.
Padding located above the foot and beneath the shoelaces.
A T-shaped pair of straps featuring one strap running vertically along the vamp where it meets a horizontal strap at the ankle.
The part of a shoe that covers the top of the foot between the toe and throat.
Often referred to in shoe terminology as a descriptor for synthetic materials that do not use any animal products.
The instep and arch section of the foot.
A type of shoe that features a thick, wedge heel that spans the entire bottom length of the shoe.
Everyone loves a good statement piece, but not everyone knows how to really make them pop. A general rule of thumb for anyone who wants to wear statement jewelry that actually makes a statement is to make sure all other accessories are simple and minimalistic. In doing so, this allows bold pieces to stand out without getting lost in the mishmash of trying too hard. The key to making it work lies in combining one (maybe two) eye-catching accessories with a totally effortless outfit.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important “do’s and don’ts” of wearingstatement jewelry:
DO wear statement necklaces like chokers or gemstones with tops that show off your neck, such as an off-the-shoulder top or a solid plunge-neck dress. In the case of extra-long necklaces like pendant chains or layered pearls, a solid color tee or form-fitting midi dress is all you really need.
DON’T combine statement necklaces with busy or flashy patterns. It is also best to avoid anything where a top’s fabric is already accentuating the neck such as halters or embellished collars.
DO feel free to layer multiple necklaces together for creating extra dimension.
DON’T select too many chunky pieces. Let chunky pieces be the statement while allowing thinner necklaces to be complementary in comparison.
DO color-coordinate statement jewelry with outfits that feature prints. Find a balance between the print and jewelry to ensure one piece is never overpowering the other. For example, a predominantly blue geometric dress would look more alluring with solid color jewelry featuring a cool hue that fits into the overall color scheme.
DON’T aim for stark contrast when pairing statement jewelry with outfits that include heavy graphics or patterns. Contrast works best with solid or colorblocked neutrals, in which case, colorful jewelry can be an awesome addition for that particular scenario.
DO keep in mind jewelry proportions and sizes. Wear big earrings, but only with smaller necklaces. Vice versa, large necklaces usually call for smaller earrings.
DON’T combine statement earrings with accessories that distract from their beauty, as other people’s attention will be naturally drawn to the face when socializing. If your earrings are making the statement, it’s important to avoid letting other pieces overshadow them.
DO remember to wear your hair in a style that allows for showcasing memorable pieces. After all, what good are diamond earrings if nobody can see them? It’s easy to up the elegance with a cute updo that allows your stones to shine and sparkle.
DON’T forget to check the weather. Whether it’s a wildly windy day or perhaps you’re just going for a cruise in the back of a convertible, having twists and tangles of hair stuck in your jewelry is never a good time.
DO take a holistic approach to building an outfit around statement jewelry. Always be sure to accessorize carefully in a way that is integrative, so each piece plays off the other, while allowing the primary statement to stand out the brightest.
DON’T wear too many crazy things at once. Outlandish fashion is fun, but ultimately works best with subtle pairings. We usually recommend wearing only one crazy thing per outfit.
DO take risks from time to time. For formal events, opt for something a little extravagant or even avant-garde. This type of statement jewelry can be a great icebreaker or conversation starter for meeting new people. Just let the piece do the talking and keep everything else simple and sophisticated.
DON’T be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it’s easy to shy away from standing out because it feels more comfortable or familiar just blending in. The purpose of statement jewelry is to be noticed, which can be an excellent opportunity for opening new doors you may have previously never thought possible.
Want to show off your beautiful baubles? Share your favorite statement jewelry looks using the hashtag #MySoleSociety on social media!
You may have heard of ‘faux leather’, a material that mimics the look of leather without harming any animals. However, the up and coming phrase these days seems to be “vegan” leather. While these leathers may sound different, the reality is faux leather and vegan leather are actually the same thing.
What is vegan leather exactly? Going beyond the understanding that vegan leather is a substitute for animal leather, more often than not, vegan leather is created with polymers like polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These synthetic leathers can be found in a wide variety of fashions from shoes to handbags to jackets and almost everything in between. When shopping for vegan leather, try to buy fashions made from PU instead of PVC, as PU is a bit friendlier toward the environment because it’s more biodegradable.
The benefits of vegan leather are a big-win for animal rights activists. Authentic leather is produced using animal rawhides and skins. According to PETA (The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), billions of animals are killed specifically for textile manufacturing purposes every single year.1 While counter-arguments sometimes state that vegan leathers can be environmentally harsh, real leather is not fully biodegradable either. Just ask an archaeologist, and they will tell you they still find animal leathers that are thousands of years old.
Even if animal rights don’t particularly suit the causes you typically support, vegan leather also has the benefit of versatility. It can be created to suit many styles ranging from matte to shiny finishes. It’s also easy to care for; simply soften with a dab of vinyl conditioner and a dry cloth then you’re done! Leading designers around the globe have built entire collections around vegan leather because it’s incredibly fashion-forward. At Sole Society, some of our favorite clutches and handbags are built using beautiful vegan leather, too.
And yes, we are aware that there is some controversy surrounding vegan leather, but we also believe that having multiple selections allows for greater sustainability. An excess of one thing (such as only leather or only vegan leather) can have a much larger impact on our precious environment, so having different styles to choose from is always a good thing in our book!
In pursuit of the perfect sunnies? Finding the right sunglasses to match your facial features is easy as long as you know what sunglass-shape to look for. Check out some of our Sole Society favorites.
Square facial structures have a strong jawline and are comparative in width on both sides of the face from top to bottom. To contrast a square-shape face, we recommend wearing round sunglasses.
People with round faces have a round chin in addition to a wide facial structure around the cheeks and forehead. Most often, round faces work best with square or wayfarer-style frames.
Those who have oval faces often have the most choices because round and square sunglasses are both complementary to this shape. Don’t be afraid to try out cateye styles or something unusually sophisticated (just be sure to avoid giant-sized sunglasses and you’re good to go).
The heart-shape face is characterized by a narrow chin, broad forehead, and distinctive cheekbones. Think: Reese Witherspoon. It’s best to opt for oval or aviator-style sunnies when looking for the perfect match.
Off-the-shoulder was trending in a big way this summer and don’t expect it to stop. This fall's hottest sweaters feature a one-shoulder look.
A fur vest can take a regular T-shirt and transform it into a cutting-edge look. The texture these fun pieces will add to your outfit is not to be missed.
LONG SLEEVE DRESSES
Long sleeve dresses are an essential for infusing a flirty vibe into your autumn looks. Choose one with a bold pattern and pair it with some suede over-the-knee boots.
It’s time to let your skirt be the star of your look. Unmissable pieces with pretty pleats and swinging fringe will turn up the volume on your style.
Shop The Look: Livy Booties and Marlena Clutch
We're thrilled to introduce The Tastemaker Series – a new feature happening over the next couple months with insider style tips from your favorite fashion bloggers, editors and more. First up: Meet Lindsey Calla of Saucy Glossie, the mega-stylish NYC-based blogger and TV host. From her go-to Starbucks drink to style inspiration, we discuss it all with Lindsey after the jump. Plus, check out her must-haves right here.
Shop The Look: Livvy Booties
Who would you say is your number one fashion inspiration?
I really admire Tory Burch and Georgina Chapman. Not only do I admire their take on style, but they are smart business women and entrepreneurs.
Instagram or Twitter?
Last TV binge watch?
Game of Thrones
Go-to Starbucks order? Chai Tea Latte with Soy Milk
Shop The Look: Bryer Bag
What made you decide to start blogging?
I come from a background of working in magazines and I noticed a huge shift into digital content. The content was fresh, fast, unique and really creative and I wanted to be a part of that movement.
How would you describe your style?
It's evolved recently from really feminine and polished to a more elevated sporty.
What are some of your current fashion obsessions?
I'm really loving the fashion meets fitness movement. It's great to be able to have pieces that are both functional and can play many different roles in my wardrobe. I'm also loving metallic temporary tattoos to mix in with my jewelry and any kind of resort wear.
Shop The Look: Wynn Heels, Gold Band Ring Set and Tassel Lariat Necklace
Heels or Flats?
A good pair of heels goes a long way for the legs!
What do you love about Sole Society?
I've been a huge fan from the get-go. The quality and price point are both amazing and the shoes and accessories are on trend but also classic. I find myself going back to wear old pairs from different seasons!
Shop The Look: Wynn Heels
True success is creating your own definition, then living that.
Our Chief Creative Officer Talitha spills what she l-o-v-e-s this month:
"Why not be truly yourself? No second guessing allowed. The spring into summer transition is the perfect time to throw caution to the wind. Time to really think outside the box and have fun. Here are three of my new rules/style tips to live by."
"Why not sport rings on every finger? I can't enough of this turquoise and silver combo."
"Why not wear stripes with stripes? It's so unexpected yet fresh."