Glossary of Shoe Types, Materials, and Construction
The cap that covers the tips of laces or drawstrings, keeping the threads from fraying or unraveling.
A shoe style which features a softly rounded, tapered pointed toe.
Strip or strips of material that wrap around the ankle or leg to both secure footwear to the foot and add a decorative dimension to the shoe.
The curved area of a shoe sole between the ball and the heel, which is sometimes padded to provide extra support.
Fashion sportswear that is inspired by both athletic and leisure elements.
The area of a shoe sole between the toes and the arch.
A soft, slipper like, closed toe shoe with no heel height, modeled after the shoes worn by ballet dancers.
A thick, sturdy heel on a shoe, often square- or rectangular-shaped.
A flat shoe designed with a rubber sole that offers good traction on slippery boat decks, often made from leather or canvas.
Footwear which covers the entire foot and extends to the height of the anklebone or up to the thigh. Shop Steve Madden's boots!
A shoe that resembles a boot in style but does not have a shaft. Shop Steve Madden's booties and ankle boots!
Footwear which covers the entire foot and extends to the height of the anklebone or up to the thigh.
A type of textured fabric that features raised portions, often in an ornate design or pattern.
A low-heeled shoe featuring decorative perforations and serrated details along multiple pieces.
A fastener that secures two straps to each other by allowing one strap to pass through a fitting, attached to the other strap.
Leather with a unique antiqued look created with a buffing technique.
A thick, heavy cloth that is woven from materials like cotton, flax, hemp or linen.
A decorative layer of leather adorning and reinforcing the toe of certain dress shoes, often highlighted by a line of decorative stitching.
A type of pull-on ankle-height boot featuring elastic gussets.
A type of round-toe, ankle-height boot laced with either two or three eyelets, often made from leather or suede.
A thick, rectangular-shaped heel on a shoe or boot.
The measurement around the shaft of a boot/bootie taken at the widest part near the top of the boot/bootie shaft.
A platform-heeled shoe featuring a closed toe and open back.
A narrow, handheld bag with no strap.
Strategically placed, contrasting, yet complimentary, bold and bright colors.
A high heel that resembles the look of a column.
Lace up multipurpose boots originally designed for the military.
A handbag with multiple handles and straps, usually two handles and one longer strap, which can be worn in a number of ways like over the shoulder, on the arm, or across the body.
A style of relaxed but polished casual fashion that is appropriate for business occasions.
A boot with a chunky, moderately high slanted heel, usually pointed toe, and decorative stitching or tooling, extending to mid-calf.
A sole made from natural rubber that's characterized by its creamy yellow color and heavy feel.
A natural rubber with crinkled texture, used in shoe soles.
Material that has been pressed to resemble the look and texture of crocodile skin.
Leather printed to resemble the look of crocodile skin.
Athletic shoes designed to accommodate a number of different types of movement and workouts.
A handbag or bag that features a long strap, which allows the bag to be worn over the shoulder and across the body.
A style of shoe featuring sides which have been cut close to the sole.
Leather, the look of which has been artificially aged by means of light abrasion, or other treatment so that it no longer looks new and smooth.
A moccasin-inspired shoe with rubber tabs on the sole.
A stretchy elastic panel on a shoe, often used to aid in the ease of slip-on styles.
A thin purse, styled to resemble the shape of an envelope you might use to mail a letter or card. Styles range in size from small clutches to large shoulder bags.
A shoe or sandal that has a woven rope or similar material covering the wedge or sole.
Ethylene vinyl acetate.
A bag for a formal event like a cocktail party, wedding, or gala. Evening bags come in a variety of styles like clutches, envelope bags, and embellished handbags.
A hole in leather or fabric occasionally reinforced by metal, plastic, or stitching.
A type of material used on a shoe
A leather-like fabric which, though man-made, resembles tanned animal hide.
The surface texture or patina of a material.
An open-design sandal featuring an ankle strap, a center strap that runs from the toe to the ankle, and a number of side straps.
Shoes that do not have any heel height.
A flat sandal which is held to the foot solely by a strap that runs over and between the toes.
The inner part of a shoe that makes contact with the bottom of a foot. This may also be called the shoe's insole or inner sole.
Suede fabric that is cut into strips to create movement.
Leather that has not been buffed, snuffed, or sanded.
Waterproof footwear designed to be worn over other shoes or boots in wet weather.
Designed to resemble the shoes worn by ancient Roman fighters, gladiators are open Shop Steve Madden's gladiator sandals!
The metal or plastic rings used to reinforce eyelets.
Measurement taken on a vertical line that extends from the bottom surface of the sole to the floor.
A protective piece of metal or plastic found at the bottom of a heel.
A distinctive fabric pattern in which columns of parallel lines sloping in one direction, but columns of parallel lines sloping in the opposite direction.
A wedge-shaped heel hidden inside a boot or shoe.
A slouchy single-strapped shoulder bag that forms a crescent-shaped curve between the ends of the strap.
An oversized, often crescent.
A distinctive fabric pattern that consists of contrasting, notched squares to form a sort of zigzag checked appearance.
A flat-heeled slip-on sandal with an upper characterized by woven leather strips.
The inner part of a shoe that touches the bottom of the foot, often referred to as an inner sole or footbed.
The arched upper part of the center of the foot located between the toes and ankle.
A low-heeled stiletto shoe, often between 1 and 2 inches in heel height.
A string threaded through the eyelets of a shoe used for fastening the shoe.
The hide of an animal that has been treated and tanned.
The bulk of the exterior of the shoe, everything except the sole and interior, made of leather rather than man-made materials.
The material inside a shoe or handbag, often different from the material which comprises the outside of the item.
A low, step-in shoe without shoelaces or buckles.
A heavy-duty thick rubber outer sole, typically found on work boots or hiking boots.
Similar to an oxford shoe (a low shoe with laces over the instep.)
Not made from an animal.
A shoe with a strap across the instep that is attached with elastic, Velcro, or buckle.
A material characterized by an interlaced, loosely woven, or knit fabric or plastic.
A very fine, lightweight synthetic fiber that often has water-repellent properties.
The shock-absorbing layer between the inner sole and outer sole of a shoe.
(See combat boots)
The rounded toe of a shoe or boot that resembles a moccasin shoe via a seam that runs around the top of the toe cap.
A slip-on shoe with visible stitching around the perimeter of the toe box, creating a gathered effect.
A strap that features one or more buckles, which is used to close a laceless dress shoe.
(see motorcycle boots)
Associated with motorcyclists, motorcycle boots are heavy boots with a low heel and range from ankle to knee height.
A shoe or sandal characterized by a closed, or nearly closed, toe and a backless heel of any height.
Full-grain leather characterized by a super-soft and supple, lightweight feel.
Durable top-grain leather characterized by a velvet-like feel that is created from sanding or buffing on its outer surface.
The exterior part of a shoe, excluding the sole, made of a durable high-quality cow hide which has been treated to give it a suede or velvet-like texture.
A color that resembles tan or pale beige. Shop Steve Madden's nude shoes!
Commonly referred to as the sole, a shoe's outsole is the bottom part of a shoe, which contacts the ground with each step.
Boots featuring high shafts that are designed to hit above the knee. May be flat or heeled.
Pieces of material that are bonded or stitched to a shoe's upper, either for decoration or to add structure to the shoe.
A low shoe with laces over the instep.
Various materials can be used to create a varnished hard and glossy finish.
Leather featuring a coating that creates a glossy, shiny look.
Textured leather that has been embossed or pressed to create a unique grain pattern.
A shoe with a narrow opening in the front that exposes the toes.
A high heel shoe with a thick sole under the front part of the foot.
An enclosed shoe with a heel of any height, the front end of which tapers into a point. Shop Steve Madden's pointy pumps!
A synthetic plastic material that is often used to make the soles of shoes.
The natural inward rotation of the foot with each step.
The back and sides of a shoe's upper, located behind the vamp and over the heel.
A durable, easily woven fiber made from raffia strands which are made from a type of palm tree located in Madagascar and East Africa.
Style paying homage to the past.
Boots designed for the purpose of riding horses. Styles typically include a low heel and knee-high shaft. The term may also describe fashion boots that resemble riding boots in style. Shop Steve Madden's riding boots!
Fabric that has been gathered into tight ruffles or folds.
A low-heeled Oxford-style shoe that is characterized by a saddle-shaped mid-foot panel.
An exposed shoe style that includes an open toe and open back. Slips on and is held in place with leather or fabric straps across the foot. Shop Steve Madden's sandals!
A flat-bottomed purse characterized by rigid self-supporting material, two short handles, and a hardware closure.
A border or edge featuring semicircles.
A heel molded or crafted in an unusual, curved or cutout shape.
The upper portion of a boot that covers the ankle and sometimes the leg.
Measurement from the arch of a boot to the top of the boot shaft.
Material that features a clipped fur surface on one side and a suede surface on the other side. Shearling is often made from sheepskin or synthetic fibers.
An enclosed high-heel shoe with a very thin sole (no platform).
A technique designed to improve the traction of a shoe or boot, featuring thin slits cut out of the footwear's rubber sole.
An open-toe, backless slip-on sandal featuring a strap or straps at its center top.
A backless shoe that is held in place with a strap at the back of the foot. The strap is typically elastic or buckled for adjustment.
On A shoe which can go onto the foot without use of a lace or strap, and therefore theoretically possible to be put on without use of the hands.
A flat, casual shoe that slips on and is typically meant for use indoors. May be lined for added comfort.
Not rigid, and thus dragged down by gravity. Slouched boots, for example, fold or wrinkle as they appear to slide down the leg.
Material that has been pressed to resemble the look and texture of snake skin.
Leather made from the hide of a snake.
A rubber-soled casual shoe made of soft, often man-made, materials, and used often for casual wear and sporting events. Show Steve Madden's sneakers for women!
A style of toe box, typically found in western boots, featuring a snipped or blunted shape that is tapered but flat at the front.
The thin piece of fabric or material that rests on top of the insole of a piece of footwear.
The outsole, or bottom part of a shoe.
A shoe featuring two or more contrasting materials or colors, perforated details and pinked edges.
A heel comprised of many layers of leather, laid one on top of another, in order to resemble a wood-grain appearance.
Part of a work boot or shoe designed to protect the toes with a steel cap.
A very thin, very high heeled shoe, the heel of which tapers nearly to a point where it comes into contact with the ground.
The measurement taken from the top, or center, of a handbag strap to the top of a handbag.
An open shoe comprised of multiple straps that secure the foot to the sole.
Decorative metal (or plastic) knobs or points, that stick out from the surface of the decorated item.
Treated leather that comprises a soft, napped surface.
Materials which are man-made and not naturally produced.
Something that is custom-made or fitted to create a neat look.
A knotted rope ornamental piece typically found on a shoe vamp.
A casual, soft-soled lace-up shoe designed for tennis, often made of canvas or leather.
A sandal that passes between the big toe and second toe with a v-strap that connects to the sandal sole at both sides of the foot.
A strip of material that is attached to the vamp and runs under the laces of a shoe.
A large, flat, rectangular bag with two handles.
A shoe featuring a vertical strap running from the toe or vamp, which is connected to a horizontal strap running across the ankle, coming together to create a "T" shape.
A type of material characterized by a diagonal weave.
Boot featuring bottom portions that are crafted from a plastic or rubber mold.
All parts of a shoe above the sole that are stitched together.
Lens that is able to black light with a relatively long wavelength, able to penetrate the deep layers of the skin.
The portion of a shoe's upper covering the front top of the foot.
A fabric of silk, nylon, acetate, rayon, etc., sometimes having a cotton backing, with a thick, soft pile formed of loops of the warp thread either cut at the outer end or left uncut.
A flat, folding pocketbook, especially one large enough to hold paper money, credit cards, driver's license, etc., and sometimes having a compartment for coins.
A triangular, wedge-shaped heel that runs along the entire length of the foot. Shop Steve Madden's wedges!
The strip of material that unites a shoe's sole to the upper, often made of rubber, plastic, or leather.
Boots designed with extra material or stretch at the shaft to accommodate wider calves.
A pointed toe cap shoe with a perforated brogue that spreads to the shoe's sides, resembling the look of wings.
Boots designed for keeping feet warm in cold and wet winter weather conditions, often featuring extra lining and anti-slip treads.
Footwear designed to protect the feet of a worker, often featuring a lace-up closure and steel toe box.
A small handbag featuring a single bracelet-style strap that can be affixed around the wrist, which is sometimes used as an alternative for a wallet or makeup bag.