Glossary

Adelaide Boot: A side-laced cloth ankle boot with a small heel, named after the Queen Consort of William IV.

Albert Slipper: Slipper with the vamp extending upwards to form a tongue which rests on the instep.

Alpargata: A Spanish shoe with a rope sole and canvas upper. Laces are threaded through the top edge of the shoe, crossed, and tied around the ankle.

Ankle Strap Shoe: A shoe fastened by a strap buckled around the ankle. The strap can be either of the bracelet type, passing through a loop at the back of the shoe, or two straps, one on either side, crossing in front or back of the foot, and buckling around the ankle.

Apron Front: A boot or shoe with an oval-ended apron on the top front. Derived from the moccasin.

Arctic Boots: 1) waterproof rubber boots worn over regular shoes. Usually with zipper closing. Popular in 1940’s, and revived in 1970’s. 2) Over the shoe boots introduced in the late 19th century. Made of fabric and lined with rubber, this boot had moulded rubber soles and fastened at the front with a series of metal hooks and slotted fasteners. Also known as galoshes.

Babydoll Shoes: Low-heeled shoes with wide rounded toes, sometimes with straps around the ankles. Similar to the Mary Jane shoe. Popular for women in the late 1940’s and revived in the 1960’s.

Ballerina Shoe: A soft, low shoe with a thin sole and flat heel, sometimes with a drawstring throat. Inspired by shoe worn by ballet dancers and popular in the 1940’s for schoolgirls.

Balmoral boot: A closed front ankle boot with a galosh.

Bar shoe: A shoe with straps to button or buckle over the instep.

Bellows Tongue: A pleated tongue stitched in on each side under the lace holes.

Birkenstocks: A brand name that came to describe one of their products - the Arizona, an open sandal with two wide leather straps across the top of the foot. Birkenstock now has hundreds of colours and styles available.

Blucher: Open tab front lace boot with a straight side seam. Originally made with the quarters in one piece with no back seam.

Boating Shoe: Canvas shoe similar to a tennis shoe, but made with a non-skid rubber sole for walking on slippery decks. Also called the deck shoe.

Body Boot: A woman’s long, tight fitting boot, reaching to the thigh. Introduced in late 1960’s.

Bottom: The under part of the shoe.

Brogue: A laced shoe with many sections, which are punched and serrated around the edges.

Buskins: Calf length boots which laced up the front, resembling a laced half boot.

Carriage Boot: Women’s fur-trimmed boot for winter. Made of fabric or leather, and worn over other shoes to keep feet warm in unheated carriages or automobiles in early 20th century.

Chain Loafer: A moccasin type slip-on shoe with a low heel, trimmed with metal links over the instep. Popular in mid and late 1960’s.

Chelsea Boot: An ankle boot with a triangular elastic insert on both sides. Popularized by the Beatles in the early 1960s, causing this boot to be eventually known as the Beatle boot.

Chopine: A shoe with a raised sole, worn first by the courtesans of Venice during the Renaissance and quickly spreading to the rest of Europe. They were worn over a slipper shoe, giving height to the wearer. Chopines were made of wood, and reached heights of up to 30 inches.

Coburg Boot: A half boot with side slits that soon developed into the side-lacing boot. Also known as the Oxonian.

Colonial Shoe: Medium heeled slip-on shoe with a stiffened tongue over the instep. Frequently decorated with a large ornamental buckle. Worn in 17th and 18th centuries, and revived often.

Chukka Boots: An ankle high boot for men and boys, laced with two sets of eyelets and made of unlined sueded cowhide with thick crepe-rubber soles. Originally worn by polo players, but adopted for general wear in the 1950’s.

Clogs: Footwear made either completely of wood, or having a wooden sole to which a leather, rubber, or cloth covering may be attached. Until the end of the 18th century, clogs were what the majority of people wore on their feet, as they were inexpensive and protective.

Colonial Shoe: medium heeled slip-on shoe with a stiffened tongue over the instep. Frequently decorated with a large ornamental buckle. Worn in 17th and 18th centuries, and revived often.

Combat Boots: Ankle-high laced boots worn by the United States armed forces and adopted by other countries and for street wear. Made of waterproof leather.

Construction Boot: A laced boot of heavy leather with a heavy rubber sole, reaching to the ankle or just above.

Co-respondent: Two-toned oxfords made of coloured leather. Also known as spectator shoes.

Counter: A piece of stiffening material between the upper’s outside and the lining at the back of the shoe.

Cowboy Boot: High-heeled, mid calf-high boot, usually for men. Can be highly ornate, often in two tones.

Creedmore Boot: Calf high laced work boot with two buckled straps at the top. Popular during late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Creole Shoe: Heavy work shoe with elastic side gores. Worn by men in early 20th century.

Cromwell Shoe: A shoe inspired by the fashions of the 17th century Puritans. These had a high tabbed front and a buckle and enjoyed popularity from 1885-1900.

Cuban heel: A fairly straight sided heel.

D’Orsay Shoe: A pump with a closed heel and toe, cut down to the sole at the sides leaving the shank bare.

Derby: A boot or shoe with the eyelet tabs stitched on top of the vamp. Similar to the blucher or gibson.

Desert Boot: A type of chukka boot introduced in the 1960’s. Made primarily of suede cowhide or calfskin, usually lined. Laced through eyelets, with a rubber sole and heel.

Doc Martens: A brand name for boots and shoes that became popular street wear for sub-culture groups in the late 70s. By the end of the century, they were available in hundreds of colours and styles.

Domed Sole: A sole that is rounded up at the sides.

Elevators: Man’s shoe with extra wedges inside the heels to give the wearer added height. Popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Engineer Boot: Man’s straight-sided boot with a low heel and strap across the instep. Some have a leather or elastic gusset at the top on the outer sides.

Escaffignons: Flat, light shoes which were slashed at the top. Also known as eschapins.

Espadrille: French canvas shoe with a rope sole. The toe and vamp are cut in one piece and seamed to the quarter at the sides. May have laces around the throat which are wrapped around ankle. Similar to the Spanish alpargata.

Evening Slipper: Delicate shoe worn with evening clothes. Women’s styles include pumps or sandals. Men usually wear a patent leather pump.

Flat: Any shoe with broad low heels. Worn by women and children for school or general wear.

Floats: Similar to chukka boot, but having a thick crepe sole and thick pile lining. Worn mainly by men and boys in early 1960’s.

Galosh: 1) an overshoe 2) an extension of the vamp wings seamed at the back. (see Balmoral)

Gambado: A rigid waterproof casing worn over riding boots to protect the expensive leather.

Ganymede Sandal: An open toed sandal derived from an ancient Greek style, with vertical straps coming from the sole up the legs, crossed at intervals.

Geta: A high platform shoes worn by Japanese women. The styles varied from the very ornate geta worn by the highest class of geisha, to simple undecorated wooden geta worn by the lower-class.

Gibson Shoe: A boot similar to the Derby, but with wide laces.

Ghillies: A shoe of Scottish origin with the lacings through loops instead of eyelets.

Gladiator Sandal: Flat sandal with several wide cross straps holding the sole to the foot, with one wide strap around the ankle.

Go-go Boots: Boots of ankle or calf-height with a space-age look and a comfortable heel, making them ideal for dancing for long periods of time. Adopted by teen dancers and seen on dance television shows, the boots were named after the go-go dancers who wore them. It is said that Nancy Sinatra's song "These Boots were made for Walking" also aided in popularizing the boots.

Granny Boots: A women’s boot laced up the front in imitation of the high-topped shoes of 19th century.

Grecian Sandal: Low cut flat sandals with ribbons that crossed and tied around the ankle.

Half Boot: A low boot, extending just above the ankle.

Heel Breast: The front edge of the heel of a shoe.

Heel: The raised part of the shoe under the heel of the foot.

Hessian Boot: A man's knee high boot cut with a "V" in the front introduced into England from the German state of Hesse in the 19th century. Also called Souvaroffs.

Huarache: Mexican sandal consisting of closely woven leather thong forming vamp, with a sling back and flat heel.

Hush Puppies: Trade name for casual oxford or slip-on shoes with suede leather uppers and crepe soles.

Italian Heel: A heel formed by the arch of the shoe angling down, making the heel wide at the top and narrow at the ground.

Jockey Boots: A high leather riding boot.

Jodhpur Boot: An ankle high boot fastened with one buckle at the side, worn for horseback riding and later adopted for popular wear.

Jungle Boot: A type of combat boot used by the United States Army in the Vietnam War. Made with a heavy steel shank and tiny drainage holes in sides and heel.

Kiltie Shoe: A shoe with a fringed tongue folded over front of the shoe, covering the laces. Adapted from a Scottish golf shoe.

Latchet: The top fronts of the quarters extended into straps.

Loafers: Slip on shoes with a moccasin toe construction and slotted straps stitched across vamps. Can be decorated with metal chains or tassels.

Louis Heel: A heel with the breast covered with a downward extension of the sole.

Mary-Jane: Child’s low heeled slipper made of patent leather with a blunt toe and one strap over the instep, buckled or buttoned at the centre or side.

Moccasin: A shoe made of one piece of material drawn up and around the foot. Served as a basic foot covering for people in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Today describes the popular shoe that retains the one-piece wraparound leather construction but may have added a separate hard sole.

Monk Shoe: A shoe with the quarters extending over the tongue, usually fastened with a strap and buckle.

Mousers: Women’s leather stocking-pants reaching to waist with attached chunky shoes made of shiny wet-look leather. Introduced in late 1960’s.

Mule: A backless shoe for indoors or out.

Open-shank sandal: A sandal shaped like a D'Orsay Pump with a strap around the ankle or over the instep.

Open-shank Shoe: Women’s shoe with closed toe and heel, but open on sides down to sole.

Open-toed Shoe: Women’s shoe with the toe section cut out.

Opera Pump: A plain, undecorated women’s pump with a medium to high heel. Cut from a single piece of leather or fabric.

Oxford: A closed tab lace shoe, with eyelet tabs stitched under the vamp.

Pantofle: A soft shoe or slipper.

Patten: An overshoe with a raised sole to elevate the wearer off of the dirty streets. The sole was wooden, with a leather vamp that tied over the foot with latchets. For the wealthy, it was fashionable to have a matching shoe and patten. They were fashionable during the gothic period, but continued to be worn during later periods as a necessity.

Penny Loafers: Loafers with a slash in the strap across each vamp, into which a coin may be inserted.

Platform Shoe: Shoes with a thick mid-sole, made of cork, wood, or leather and covered with the same material as the upper. Popular for women in the 1940’s, revived in the 1960’s and 70’s, and again in the 1990’s for both men and women.

Poulaine: Men's shoes with ridiculously long toes, which were stuffed to hold their shape. Worn prior to the Renaissance period.

Pumps: 1) Since mid 16th century, a soft, flat shoe with thin soles for men and women. 2) Closed slip on shoe with low cut rounded throat and medium to high heels.

Quarter Lining: A lining for the rear part of a shoe upper.

Quarter: The area of a shoe covering the sides and back of the foot.

Rain Boot: Lightweight plastic or rubber stretch galoshes that may be folded and carried in the purse.

Richelieu: A womens boot, coming to the ankle, laced or fastened with three buttons. Also known as the Oxford.

Riding Boots: A boot reaching up to the knee, made of high-quality leather. Worn with breeches for horseback riding.

Rubber Boots: A moulded rubber waterproof boot, with or without insulated lining. Worn over the shoe or in place of it for protection against rain or shoe. Popular for children.

Rubbers: Low cut rubber shoes to pull over regular shoes for protection against water.

Sabot: A heavy work shoe worn by European peasants, especially in France and the Low Countries. The sabot was shaped from a single piece of wood.

Saddle Oxford: Oxford with plain, rounded toe, usually made of white buck calf with brown or black smooth leather section across laced portion.

Sandal: Believed to be the world’s first crafted foot covering, the sandal was the basic footwear of ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece and Rome. A firm sole protects the soles of the feet, while minimal uppers allow air to circulate freely. In the 20th century, the sandal was reintroduced in North America and Europe for fashion footwear.

Shank: The area including the ball and instep of the foot, where the body’s weight falls when the foot is in motion.

Shells: A very low cut pump for women with shallow sides set on low or flat heels.

Side-gore Shoe: Slip on shoes with triangular insertions of elastic at the sides.

Sling Back: A shoe with a strap around the back of the ankle in place of the quarters.

Sling Pump: Pump with an open back, held on the heel by a slender strap, sometimes buckled at the side.

Sling-back Shoe: Any shoe or sandal with an open back and a strap around the heel or the foot to hold it in place.

Slip On: Shoe with no fastening which slips onto the foot easily.

Slipper: A soft and lightweight covering into which the foot is easily slipped. Worn indoors by men and women.

Sneakers: Canvas oxford with rubber soles. Used for athletics and general sportswear.

Sole: A shoe’s bottom or ground contact piece of material.

Spanish Heel: A high thin heel with a curved breast.

Spats: Short for spatterdash, a cloth or leather gaiter covering the shoe upper and the ankle and fastening under the shoe with a strap.

Squaw Boot: A boot falling just below the knee made of buckskin with a fringed turned down cuff, soft sole, and no heel. Worn by Native American women and popular with young people in the 1960’s,

Stadium Boot: A calf-high fur or pile lined boot worn over shoes. Popular for football games in the 1950’s.

Stiletto Heel: A thin heel, usually with a metal support down the centre.

Straights: Shoes made symmetrically, for either foot, with no distinction between left and right.

Tap Shoe: Any shoe with metal plates at tip of toe and back edge of heel to increase sound. Men’s style is usually patent leather pump or oxford, while women’s style is usually patent leather pump with a ribbon instep tie or buckle.

Thong: A flat, often heel-less sandal held to the foot by narrow strips of leather, plastic or fabric coming up between first and second toes and attached at either side.

Toe Cap: A reinforcing or decorative layer at the toe of the shoe.

Toe Spring: The elevation of the undersurface of the sole at the toe to give a slight rocker effect to the shoe. The amount of toe spring, which is built into the last, depends on the shoe style, sole thickness, and heel height.

Tongue: An extension of the shoe vamp beneath the lacing.

Top Boot: A high boot usually having its upper part made of a different material or with leather of a contrasting color or texture.

Top lift: The layer of a shoe heel that actually meets the ground.

T-Strap Sandal: A sandal with a strap coming up from the vamp to join a second strap across the instep, forming a T shape.

Upper: The part of the shoe covering the top of the foot.

Vamp: The forward part of a shoe upper that comes over the toe and is attached to the sole.

V-Strap Sandal: A sandal with a strap around the heel, attached to the sole by vertical straps at sides, and then meeting at the centre front of the vamp forming a V.

Waders: Rubber boots for fishing, made of rubber or lightweight flexible vinyl pressed to cotton jersey. Waders come in three heights, mid-calf, to the hip, or chest high with suspenders over the shoulders.

Wedge Heel: A heel extending under the waist of the shoe to the forepart.

Wellington Boot: A man’s boot usually made of water repellent leather with oak-tanned soles and rubber heels. The Wellington may have a bootstrap.

Welt: A narrow strip of leather stitched to the shoe between the upper and the sole.

Wing Tip: Oxford with appliquéd leather on the toe, reinforcing and decoration the tip.

Winkle Pickers: British slang for exaggeratedly pointed shoes worn in the early 1950’s.