STYLE

Shoes: A Glossary of Terms

ShoeGlossary

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.

AGLET

A cap, usually made out of plastic or metal, that covers the tip of a shoelace.

ALMOND TOE

A type of shoe tip that features a soft, round shape resembling an almond.

ANKLE WRAP

Stylish straps that wrap around the ankle and leg to keep feet connected to the sole of the shoe.

ARCH

The upwardly curved area in the bottom-middle of the foot.

BACK SEAM

Fabric sewn in the back and center of a shoe.

BALL

The area of the foot located between the arch and the big toe.

BLOCK HEEL

A large, rectangular-shaped heel, also known as a chunky heel.

BOOTIES

A style of shoe without the upper portion typically found with regular boots.

BREAST

The front section of the heel where the arch begins.

BROCADE

A silky fabric used to create a unique texture, pattern, and gleam.

BURNISHED

Leather that has been purposely buffed for a classic appearance.

CANVAS

A sturdy, but flexible cloth often found in casual sneakers.

CAP TOE

Decorative leather located at the toe area of a shoe.

CHELSEA BOOT

An ankle-height boot designed for easily slipping onto the foot.

CLOG

A style of shoe with a closed-toe, open back, and platform heel.

COLUMN HEEL

A type of high heel that features a thick, cylindrical heel.

COUNTER

A material used to reinforce the heel of a shoe in order to retain the shape of the upper portion.

CREPE

A strong, yellow type of rubber used in the sole of a shoe.

CROSS TRAINERS

Athletic shoes designed for exercise purposes.

D’ORSAY

A type of shoe that features openings on one or both sides between the heel and toe areas.

DISTRESSED

An abrasion treatment often used for leather and denim to create a worn appearance.

ESPADRILLE

A shoe style that features straps that wrap around the ankle.

EYELET

A hole above the tongue of a shoe that holds the shoelace in place.

FAUX

An adjective used to define materials that substitute animal products for man-made synthetics.

FEATHER

The part of a shoe where the sole and upper edge join together.

FINISH

A reference to the final processing of the shoe wherein the footwear has been given a particular glossy or polished appearance.

FLATS

A shoe style that does not include a raised heel.

FRINGE

Vertical strips of fabric typically made from suede.

FULL GRAIN

Authentic leather with little to no marks or blemishes.

GLADIATOR

Strappy sandals inspired by those worn by gladiators in ancient Rome.

GROMMETS

The rings around the eyelets where shoelaces are threaded.

HIDDEN WEDGE

A wedge heel that is hidden from the exterior design of the shoe.

HUARACHE

A sandal or tennis shoe featuring a distinct strap in the back of the heel and sometimes around the ankle.

INSOLE

The padding on top of the sole.

INSTEP

The top of the foot between the ankle and ball.

KILTIE

An outer tongue made with fringe that sits above the vamp of a shoe.

KITTEN HEEL

A small, rounded heel usually about 1 inches in length or less.

LACE UP

A type of shoelace threaded through the eyelets and up around the ankle.

MARY JANE

A strap that goes over the instep of a shoe.

MIDSOLE

The middle layer of a sole for added comfort.

MOC TOE

A shoe design featuring a toe that appears similar to moccasins due to its particular construction.

MONK STRAP

A buckled strap used for footwear in lieu of shoelaces.

MULE

A closed-toe shoe with a backless heel.

NAPA

Soft, full-grain leather.

NUBUCK

High-quality leather that has been treated to create a smoother texture.

OUTSOLE

The exterior sole of a shoe.

OVER THE KNEE

Tall boots that extend beyond the knee.

OVERLAY

Fabrics attached to a shoe’s materials for extra detail.

PATENT

An adjective used to describe something, often leather, as being hard and glossy.

PEBBLED GRAIN

A type of leather that has been treated to create a distinct, grainy texture.

PEEP TOE

A shoe style that features a small open-toe.

PIPING

Lines of trim used to create contrast in a design.

PLATFORMS

Shoes comprised of a thick sole and high heel.

POINTED TOE PUMPS

Closed-toe high heels that create a pointed look around the toes.

PUFF

The part of a shoe that provides support and shape for the toe area.

PUMPS

Traditional high heel shoes.

QUARTER

The back and sides of a shoe.

RUCHED

Fabric that has been ruffled.

SCALLOPED

An effect used to create a wavy look along the upper edges of a shoe.

SCULPTED HEEL

A heel that is oddly shaped when compared with traditional heels.

SEAT

The part of the shoe where the heel of the foot is situated.

SHAFT

The part of a boot that surrounds the ankle area.

SINGLE SOLE

A high heel with a thin sole for greater shoe flexibility.

SIPES

Small cuts made into the bottom of a rubber sole to improve traction.

SLIDER

A slip-on, open-toe shoe with a band that straps over the foot just above the toes.

SLINGBACK

A type of shoe that features a strap along the back instead of a traditional enclosure.

SLOUCHED

Boots that create a slouchy effect with natural folds or ruffles around the ankle area.

SNIP TOE

A tapered-toe shoe with a flat frontside.

SOLE

The bottom, exterior part of a shoe.

SPECTATOR

A shoe style that includes contrasting tones and/or perforations.

STACKED HEEL

A heel crafted from multiple layers of leather material.

TAP

A strong piece of leather or metal layered on top of the outer sole’s existing material.

THROAT

The part of a shoe that opens at the top.

TONGUE

Padding located above the foot and beneath the shoelaces.

T-STRAP

A T-shaped pair of straps featuring one strap running vertically along the vamp where it meets a horizontal strap at the ankle.

VAMP

The part of a shoe that covers the top of the foot between the toe and throat.

VEGAN

Often referred to in shoe terminology as a descriptor for synthetic materials that do not use any animal products.

WAIST

The instep and arch section of the foot.

WEDGE

A type of shoe that features a thick, wedge heel that spans the entire bottom length of the shoe.

WHAT'S IN

The Spring Six

Here's a few tips to keep you on-trend this spring.

 



01. Create color
Accent your ensemble with bright and bold hues.
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02. Wrap it
Customize your look with versatile lace-up heels.
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03. Stay low
Mix comfort and height with sandals featuring a mini block heel.
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04. Lighten up
Opt for pastel-colored crossbody bags and satchels.


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05. Get crafty
Adorn yourself with handcrafted jewelry.


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06. Dress delicately
Fill your spring wardrobe with pretty lace pieces.


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WHAT WE'RE LOVING

How to wear summer shoe trends into fall

Summer may be winding down, but we’re not ready to let go of the stylish trends it brought us. So, we picked out our favorite of-the-moment silhouettes with the most seasonal staying power.

Shop Sequoia Lace Up Heeled Sandal

 
Lace-ups are a great way to add texture and a feminine twist to your look. For fall, choose suede styles that feature spicy or earthy colors.
 

Shop Freyaa Lace Up Wedge Sandal

Shop Sequoia Lace Up Heeled Sandal

Shop Rosalie Lace Up Mid Heel

Shop Ferris Block Heel Sandal

 
We love block heels for their blend of height and stability. Prepare for the cooling weather with covered silhouettes.
 

Shop Ferris Block Heel Sandal

Shop Delilah Fringe Heeled Sandal

Shop Jagger Block Heel Sandal
 
Shop Tiia Studded T-Strap Heel

 
A pointed toe has the power to polish any ensemble. Make your fall outfits standout with flats and heels featuring shimmering details and bold colors.
 

Shop Tiia Studded T-Strap Heel

Shop Cammila Pointed Toe Smoking Slipper

Shop Jenn d'Orsay Pump
 
Shop Sahara Platform Wedge Sandal

 
Wedges are a staple usually reserved for spring and summer, but this year they will pair perfectly with the flared jeans and retro dresses you’ll be wearing all fall.
 

Shop Colette Platform Wedge Sandal

Shop Landry Wedge Sandal

Shop Sahara Platform Wedge Sandal
WHAT WE'RE LOVING

5 Reasons to PUMP Up Your Wardrobe

Among the ins and outs of countless footwear trends, there is one style that has stood the test of time—pumps—and for good reason. A great pair of pumps can dress up denim or polish a cocktail dress, and they’re fit for any setting from the office to happy hour. Buying a pair isn’t just a purchase, it’s an investment for days when you need a classic silhouette to add height to your look. So, here are our top 5 reasons why your closet should be stocked full of pumps.

A classic pair never fails
Neutral pumps are your best friend for days on the go. They will never go out of style, so you know you'll always have a staple pair of heels to grab for last-minute events or rushed weekday mornings.
JENN, $79.95

JENN, $79.95



Dress up your casual attire
A pretty pair of pumps with fun details can put a fashion-forward spin on laid-back looks: Denim becomes instantly sophisticated and sundresses transform into evening wear.
MADELINE, $79.95

MADELINE, $79.95



Turn up the texture
A boost of texture can bring intrigue to a basic look. Adding bright and bold pumps is quick way to make any simple outfit pop.
DESI, ON SALE $34.98

DESI, ON SALE $34.98



Add feminine flair
With the menswear trend in full swing, pumps are a great tool for adding a girly touch to styles like boyfriend jeans and button ups. Try a pair with flirty scallops or sparkling studs.
CORALIE, ON SALE $48.72

CORALIE, ON SALE $48.72



Wear them year-round
Pumps work no matter the season. Opt for an open construction for spring and summer and transition to a more covered silhouette in the colder months.
AYLA, ON SALE $44.97

AYLA, ON SALE $44.97



Shop our favorite pumps on sale now! >
SPONSORED

5 Street Style-Perfect Shoes For Winter & Beyond

We're two weeks into the new year, which means one thing: New shoes! From work to weekend, you need heels and flats that you can wear now in the chillier months and later (like, spring later). Plus, discover genius ways to style each pair thanks to ultra-stylish bloggers and Instagrammers.


 

1Kaydan Leopard works as a neutral when styled with a rich red velvet OR Team the dark red suede pair with skinny jeans.

 

121515-Outbrain-Kaydan

 

2Eri The brilliant blue suede + Gem covered toe = Pure outfit bliss from charming skirts to casual jeans.

 

121515-Outbrain-Eri

 

3Cammila Fun printed skirts. Off-duty denim. This glitter-covered flat always looks incredible and light catching.

 

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4Calder Create a legs-for-days look when you couple together this suede pump with black or denim skinny jeans.

 

121515-Outbrain-Calder

 

5Paden Make this glamorous suede and mirrored strappy heel look casual with camo pants or relaxed with a sweater dress.

 

121515-Outbrain-Paden

Shop The Look

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Shop Kayden SHop Eri Shop Cammila Shop Calder Shop Paden
JUST LANDED

3 Must-Own Shoes & 3 Dreamy Destinations

 

 

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Get The Look: Shop Meika Espadrille Wedges 

 

 

Pining for a vacation? Us too, and our new spring arrivals were inspired by our bucket list destinations. From island hopping in Turks & Caicos to exploring the outdoor markets of Istanbul, we're 100% bitten by the travel bug. Case in point: Our Meika Espadrille Wedges. The sun-drenched stripes and braided jute wedge reminds us of the cotton candy ocean sunset. Yup, officially a Caribbean paradise in a sandal.

 

 

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Get The Look: Shop Mara D'Orsay Flats 

 

 

We were particularly inspired by the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo when designing the Mara D’Orsay. The lush 12-acre land was the ultimate muse when it came to crafting these comfy two pieces flats covered in blooming hibiscus flowers.

 

 

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Get The Look: Shop France Pumps 

 

 

Old-world glamour with a new-world sensibility is how we'd describe Istanbul. The richly textured print on our France Pumps is reminiscent of something you'd find in the outdoor textile and garment markets. Caution: Daydreaming about reading at a Turkish cafe in this pair and a sundress may occur.

 

 

Want more paradise-inspired prints? Set your sights right here.
DON'T MISS IT

Pop Up Shop Starts Tomorrow

Pop Up Shop

 

Here's what you can expect: Our best selling shoes, bags and accessories at seriously discounted prices. But hurry, the best finds won't last long! RSVP right here. 

 

Here's a sneak peek of the setup a.k.a. the calm before the storm.


 

 

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JUST LANDED

Shoes Glorious Shoes

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You're about to create serious shoe envy with any of these brand new pairs. From studded heels to camo smoking slippers, our latest assortment adds instant personality to ANY ensemble. We're envisioning them with cutoffs,  sundresses, rompers and so much more.

 

Clockwise from left: Shop Jenn Mid Heels; Shop Anneke Mid Heels; Shop Harla Loafers; Shop Anastassi Flats.
DON'T MISS IT

May #MySoleSociety InstaLoves

 

#MySoleSociety has officially begun! You've already started showing off your phenomenal @SoleSociety style and here's our picks from the month (along with links to shop to styles they're wearing).

 

Want to be featured in next month's roundup? Just mention #MySoleSociety @SoleSociety and we’ll show our favorites.

 

 

@extrapetite

 

 

Loving how @ExtrapPetite styled the Milan reversible tote and Danna wedges.

 

 

@nickiebagai

 

 

@NickieBagai teamed her Bettie heels with a striped sundress and straw hat while taking a park stroll.

 

 

@stylecusp

 

 

@StyleCusp balanced out her citrus orange pants with a neutral blazer and the Iris laser cut tote.

 

 

@sukimuberg

 

 

@SukiMulberg's can't-go-wrong off duty outfit: Grey skinnies + Pagan sandals = Wardrobe winner.

 

 

@thesteelemaiden

 

@TheSteeleMaiden masters city chic with the Korie flat clutch and Mandee lace up heels.
JUST LANDED

Black And White Must-Owns

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What's black, white and right all over? These new warm weather-ready shoes and one polka-dotted bag. It's an easy way to inject the classic pairing into any outfit and adds an optic punch. Talk about opposites attract!

 

From left: Cody Crossbody; Zuzana Flats; Hally T-Straps; Kaarina Gladiators