Online Designer Shoes Glossary

Online Designer Shoes – Terms and Glossary

Our online designer shoes glossary will help you to find answers to questions like this: “What is the difference between Mules and Clogs? Here, you will find a good overview of the most common shoe terms and definitions, so you can talk fashion like a pro!

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Usually made of plastic or metal, an aglet protects the end of a shoelace, by preventing the laces from fraying, making it easy to put through the eyelets.Aglets - Online Designer Shoe Glossary

Ankle Strap Shoes

The ankle strap can be elasticized or buckled around the ankle and can be in the form of a single or several straps. A variety of pumps, sandals and heels come in this style. A variation to the ankle strap shoe, is an ankle wrap shoe, where ribbons, strings or other materials are wrapped around the ankle and tied.Alexander McQueen's embroidered ankle strap shoe at 2nd Take

Ballerina Flats

Also known as dolly shoes, they have a flat or thin heel or sometimes there is no appearance of a heel at all. It mostly shows the top of the foot with a closed toe style, often like a slipper effect. They have ribbons that can be tied around the foot, which can be adjusted to your shoe size.Miu Miu woven ballerinas - stylish online designer shoes at 2nd Take


Binding is the channel around the upper part of the shoe, through which the drawstring runs. The drawstring inside the binding is then pulled tight to secure the shoe to the foot.

Boot Shaft

This is the part of the boot which covers the leg.

Boot Shaft Height

The measurement of the boot shaft height follows the inside boot seam and is measured from where the shaft meets the sole of the boot to the top of the shaft.

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Boot Shaft Circumference

The circumference is measured around the widest part of the shaft of the boot.

Boot Goring

This is the elastic fabric part of a boot or shoe, it’s either used on both sides of a boot or shoe or only on one side. Goring is used to make boots and shoes easier to put on and take off.


Pull-On Boots

Pull-on boots have no laces or zippers, but often have tabs and or goring to help get them on or off.

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Zipper Boots

Boots that have zips on the seams, sides, back or around the whole boot.


Lace-Up Boots

These boots laces are decorative, but also make the boot a bit more adjustable. These boots are popular and easy to pull on and off.

Box Liner

A term that applies to the material that lines the inside of the box part of the shoe.

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Clogs have platform type heels with thick, solid soles and they have open backs and closed toes. The soles of clogs can be made of a variety of materials, but originally they were made of wood. Clogs are sometimes referred to as mules but the difference is that a mule’s heel can be from stilettos to kitten heels.


The counter of a shoe is at the heel of a shoe and is often used to stiffen the back of the shoe and to give it structure.

D’Orsay Pump

The D’Orsay pump reveals the arch of the foot. The sides are cut away and the vamp of the shoe is cut away close to the toe box.

Online Designer Shoe Terms and Glossary


They are normally casual shoes and are made from cotton or canvas fabric and soles made from rope or rubber material, forming a very comfortable look and feel.


Eyelets are made of metal or plastic and cover the edges of holes in shoes or clothing, for laces to be threaded through.


This is also known as insoles, inner soles or innersole. This forms the inside bottom part of the shoe, under the soles of one’s foot.

French Heels

French Heels are shoes with a medium high and curved heel, they are also known as Louis Heels, Curved Heels or Pompadour Heels. They originate from the 17th century when King Louis XIV of France wanted to increase his height and had shoes with a slight heel made.


Also known as boat shoes, Dickerson’s or overshoes and are like a rubber boot that is designed to slip over the shoe to protect the shoes from rain or mud and are worn over the footwear. They are usually made from plastic or rubber and are similar to rain boots. They can be made from a variety of materials ranging from stiff to flexible, clear to colourful.


The girth is usually measured at the ball of the foot at the widest part of the foot.

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It is an elasticized piece of fabric that is used to join pieces of a shoe together, giving it a flexible opening.


The shoe heel is used to improve the balance of the shoe and it comes in a wide range of heights, styles and shapes which can be used for decorative purposes.

Heel Breast

The heel breast is the forward facing side of the heel when the shoe is worn and might be a different color than the rest of the heel.


These are Mexican type of sandals that have traditionally hand woven leather uppers and leather soles. Nowadays, they are made from a variety of materials, colours and styles including high heels and flip flops.



The insole is the inside part of the shoe that runs underneath the foot sole. The insole is sometimes referred to as footbed or innersole and can often be removed, cleaned and replaced.

Kitten Heels

A thin-based low heel classified as stiletto and high heels because it flaunts seductiveness. This feminine heel shape can be found on a variety of women’s shoes.


The last is the mold used to construct a point shoe.


The lining is part of the upper inside of the shoe and can be made from a variety of materials. Generally it is found at the heel, the sides and top of the shoe and covers the inside seams. Special linings can have different purposes like keeping the foot dry or giving extra padding.


Loafers don’t have laces or zips they are simply designed just to slip onto your foot. Loafers are available for men, women and children and have generally flat or low heels, but there are high-heeled loafers, too.

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There are different varieties of loafers such as:

Penny Loafers
Kiltie Loafers (loafers with tassels or fringes)
Moc Loafers (overcast stitching, similar to traditional moccasins)

Penny Loafers

Kiltie Loafers (loafers with tassels or fringe)

Moc Loafers (overcast stitching, similar to traditional moccasins)

Loafers are available for men, women and children and have generally flat or low heels, but there are high-heeled loafers, too.We have a great variety of online designer shoes available.

Low Profile

Is a point shoe box with a general flat shape with little space between the outer sole and the vamp.

Mary Janes

These shoes are usually based on the school shoes design and are now worn by girls and women alike.They come in a variety of styles and heel heights, but are characterized by the strap or straps over the middle of the foot and traditionally they have a short and rounded toe box and a flat heel.


A mule is a backless shoe with a closed toe. Mules range from sporty (mule sneakers) to elegant and everything in between and their heels can be high or low.

Ombre Shoes

These shoes have components of dark and light shades often half and half on a shoe which fades from one colour to another.


The outsole or sole of a shoe is the bottom part of the shoe, which makes direct contact with the ground and can be made from a variety of materials.


Overshoes, also referred to as galoshes are worn over regular shoes or boots to protect them. Available for women, men and kids they usually are waterproof. There are also overshoes for certain purposes, for example visitors to laboratories, factories, certain wards in hospitals might be asked to wear them.

Oxford Shoes

Oxford shoes traditionally are men’s dress shoes, but can also be worn by women. They can come in the form of high heels or sneakers, as long as they come with laces.

Online Designer Shoes Terms and GLossary

Peep Toes

The opening of a peep toe shoe is generally rounded and only shows part of the toes, but not all toes. Peep toes can be formed in a variety of shoes such as high heels, pumps, boots or any other dress shoe.


Platform Shoes

The part of the sole underneath the ball of foot defines a platform shoe – the heel is secondary. They always have thick soles underneath the front part of the foot, but the heel can vary from stiletto heels to wedge heels.


Pronation is the inward rotation of the ankle so that more weight is on the ball of the foot than on the outside of the foot.


The classic form of a pump has a closed low-cut front which is closer to the toes than to the top of the foot with a seamless vamp without laces, ties, buckles or straps. Variations to the classic pump include Mary Jane straps, ankle straps and T-Straps. Pumps can have a variety of heels, open toes, square toes, peep toes, pointy toes, almond toes or round toes.


Covering the back, sides and upper of the shoe, the quater is sometimes a completely separate part, which is sewn to the vamp of the shoe.


The shank gives structure to the shoe and runs between the heel and the out-sole underneath the arch of the foot, supporting it.

Shoe Covers

Shoe covers are disposable loose fitting plastic bags which are pulled over boots or shoes to protect them from being damaged or for hygienic purposes.


Shoelaces are laced through the eyelets of a shoe to tie the sides of the shoe together as it helps in adjusting how tightly the shoe is worn. Shoelaces can be made from various materials such as cotton and leather.

Shoe Lasts

Shoe lasts also known as cobbler’s last or shoemaker’s last are usually made from wood or plastic and are the foot shaped forms shoemakers use to make and shape a shoe. Shoe lasts can also be custom made to fit a particular foot.

Slide Sandals

Slide sandals or slides are shoes with open toes and backs with single or more straps. They don’t have a back ankle or toe strap and the band can be made of a variety of materials and designs. Slide sandals can have low or high heels and can be casual, dressy or athletic in style.




Slingbacks have an open back and a strap wrapping around the back of the foot, connecting the sides or vamp of the shoe. Slingbacks can have high or low heels, open or closed toes and can be casual or dressy.

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The sole or outsole of a shoe is the bottom part of the shoe, which makes direct contact with the ground and can be made from a variety of materials.



Spats are fashion accessories and are worn over the shoe throat and often cover the ankle and are designed to alter the look of the shoe. The fastening strap of a spat wraps beneath the shoe, between the heel and the ball of the foot. Spats are worn for protection or decoration.

Spectator Shoes

Spectator shoes are made with two or more different colours or materials. The classic colour combination for spectator shoes is black and white. The current definition of spectator shoes is broader and they can now be of any two colours, and any two materials, even if it is of the same colour.

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Stacked Heels

Stacked heels are designed to appear as thin two tone layers of wood, that have been alternated and stacked up to create a flat, wedge or high heel.


A spiked like heel shoe that has a pointy thin high heel, higher than most heels creating a very elegant, sultry look.


This is the top opening of the shoe where your foot fits into.


The toe box protects and covers your toes they also come in a multitude of shapes and styles.


Mostly shoes with laces have tongues as it stops the foot from rubbing against the laces. It’s mostly situated in the top center of the shoe.

Top Lift

The top lift contrary to its name is found at the bottom part of a shoe’s heel.

T-Strap Shoes

A T-Strap shoe has a strap running vertically up the top of the foot, towards the ankle of the wearer. The strap connects the toe part of the shoe with the thought part, closer to the ankle. A shoe can have more than one T-Strap and they can feature on various shoe types.


The upper covers the toes, top and sides of the foot as well as the heel and it is attached to the outsole of a shoe. Various materials can be used and it can be made from one piece or more stitched together. Parts of the upper can be the lining, back, vamp, back, tongue or quarter.


The vamp can cover any top part of the foot between the toes and the ankle, where there isn’t a lot of coverage on top of the foot. The part that covers the top of the toes, might also be referred to as the vamp.

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Water Shoes

Water shoes can be worn in water and protects your feet from rocks or shells and are made with a quick-drying upper material.


A Wedge heel runs under the foot, from the back to the middle or front. Wedge heels can range from high to low with its “triangular” shape, and the length of the heel, that makes it as a wedge.

Wingtip Shoes

The toe cap of wingtip shoes comes to a point in the centre and spreads out toward the sides of the shoes. These “curved” shapes resemble wings and are sometimes (but not always) perforated with small holes around the edges. The material does not have to be two toned, in order to be considered wingtips,

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