Glossary of terms

Glossário

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Alligator Skin

A reptile hide featuring a wide, boxed print, coming from the Alligator. Alligator skin has long been the most prestigious type of exotic leather. Known for its range of size and clean scales, alligator skin can be used for anything from small leather goods to furniture, and is most commonly found on shoes, belts, handbags and watchstraps.

Alligator Skin

Anaconda Skins

Anaconda skin was commercialized when the State of California stopped permitting the trade of python skin products. Over time, the fuller body and the larger scale pattern of the anaconda skin relative to python skin, generated a market for them in their own right. Anaconda skin is now commonly used for handbags, men's belts and small leather goods.

Anaconda Skins

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Ball

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

Ball

Balmorals

Also Known as Oxfords Balmorals (or 'Bals') are typically ankle-high, front-laced shoes, wherein the bottom of the shoe's lacing is sewn to the front of the shoes throat, creating a closed 'V' shape at the bottom of the lacing. When tied, the Balmoral's tongue is completely concealed, except for its tip. It is said that this style received its name and popularity after Prince Albert was seen wearing such a shoe during an extended holiday at the Balmoral castle.

Balmorals

Bicycle Toe

A type of toe characterized by two stitched straight line accents, so named because of their similarity to professional bicycling shoe detailing.

Bicycle Toe

Blucher

A shoe with two side panels or "quarters" which are laced together over the tongue. The lacing is 'open-throat' (not stitched together at the bottom) and allows for more adjustment or 'give' around the instep than 'closed-throat' 'Oxford 'V'-shaped lacing. Also known as Derby or Gibson.

Blucher

Boot

Any shoe that comes above the ankle. Boots can be formal or casual, and are often quite utilitarian in their design and are associated with certain trades or leisure activites -- such as steel-toe construction boots, or motorcycle boots.

Boot

Brogue

Also Known as Wingtips - A 'heavy' balmoral, or oxford-style shoe that flaunts ample 'pinking' (perforations or zig-zag detailing) and 'perforations' in order to accentuate the look of the shoe's seams.

Brogue

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Cushioning

Padding on the insole or outsole of a shoe for added comfort and stabilization.

Cushioning

Cap toe

A type of toe style with a full toe overlay and a straight stitching line across the top part of the toe, often seen in dress shoes

Cap toe

Circumference

The measurement around the shaft of a boot taken at the widest part near the top of the boot shaft.

Circumference

Croc embossed

Leather that has been embossed or stamped in a pattern simulating crocodile skin

Croc embossed

Covered Heel

A heel covered in the same material as the upper construction.

Covered Heel

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Finish

The process by which the final appearance of a shoe is created. The finish can include the application of polish to create a high-gloss finish, or a contrasting polish to create a rub-off finish like "antiquing".

Finish

Faux Leather

Man-made, non-animal material, usually polyurethane, used to simulate real leather

Faux Leather

Fisherman Sandal

Type of sandal with woven or stitched vertical and horizontal straps, often with a closed toe.

Fisherman Sandal

Foxing

A strip of rubber joining the upper and sole of a shoe. Typically found on canvas sneakers.

Foxing

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Gibson

A shoe with two side panels or "quarters" which are laced together over the tongue. The lacing is 'open-throat' (not stitched together at the bottom) and allows for more adjustment or 'give' around the instep than 'closed-throat' 'Oxford' 'V'-shaped lacing. Also known as Derby or Blucher

Gibson

Gore

An elastic panel stitched into either side of a shoe’s vamp in order to make it more comfortable and easier to put on and take off.

Gore

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Huarache

A flat sandal or shoe with a woven leather upper.

Huarache

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Lasting

The process of pulling and shaping a shoe on a last.

Lasting

Loafers

Also referred to as Moccasins, they are slip-on shoes noted for their comfort. The shoe's construction tends to be simple and 'roomy', and are constructed completely without fasteners.

Loafers

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Medallion

The ornamental details that are created by 'perforating,' or brogueing, the toes of dress shoes in varied, but always symmetrical designs.

Medallion

Moc Toe

A type of toe design with a seam and stitching details, originally seen in moccasins.

Moc Toe

Motorcycle Boot

Boots ideal for riding a motorcycle, often with thick, durable soles.

Motorcycle Boot

Mule

A closed toe shoe with no back.

Mule

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Nubuck

A grain leather that has been slightly brushed on the surface to create a very fine velvet-like appearance. A superior brushing technique than that which is used for suede, the texture of Nubuck is finer than suede because the natural grain pattern is left intact.

Nubuck

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Patent Leather

Fine grain leather is specially treated with polyurethane to create an exceptionally glossy finish, especially suitable for evening wear. Patent leather can also be used in conjunction with other leather to produce eye catching results.

Patent Leather

Penny

A slip on styled shoe with a slit over the instep.

Penny

Piping

A decorative, narrow strip of leather that typically follows the seam of a shoe.

Piping

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Shoe horn

A curved metal or synthetic device used to aid in slipping the foot into a shoe.

Shoe horn

Slip on

A style of footwear which is simply slipped on to the foot, with no further adjustment, it covers the whole instep.

Slip on

Slipper

A flat shoe that is easily slipped on, usually meant for indoor wear and lined for comfort and warmth.

Slipper

Sole

The very bottom of the shoe that contacts the ground

Sole

Sole Leather

Any heavy leather (usually cattle-hide), used for the soles of shoes.

Sole Leather

Spectator

A low-heeled, oxford, semi-brogue or full brogue constructed from two contrasting colors.

Spectator

Split-Toe

A style that features two pieces of leather joined together at the vamp and welt of the shoe; see Algonquin toe.

Split-Toe

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Textured Bumper

Padded shoe texture for impact absorbing.

Textured Bumper

Thong Sandal

Any sandal that has material that fits between the toes, especially the big and second toes.

Thong Sandal

Tip

An additional piece of leather covering the toe of a shoe. May be in several different shapes or patterns. Also known as a Cap.

Tip

Toe-box

A stiff piece of material placed inside the vamp to retain the dome-like shape over the toes. It can take many shapes, flat, high, wide, etc

Toe-box

Top Lift

The part of the heel that touches the ground. Often made of rubber or a combination of leather and rubber.

Top Lift

Tread

May refer to the design of a shoe's sole or the way in which a shoe's sole is worn.

Tread

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Upper

Various assembled parts of shoe tops including foxing, quarters, vamp, toe cap, backstay, tongue and saddle.

Upper

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Vachetta Leather

A type of soft cow leather

Vachetta Leather

Vamp

The front part of a shoe upper that covers the toes and part of the foot.

Vamp

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Wholecut

The Wholecut is a variant of the Oxford style in which the upper is one single piece of leather.

Wholecut

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