Shoe Wiki

I have started this shoe-wiki with the intention, that everybody, who loves and cares about shoes,  is invited to contribute to this shoe wiki – let’s make it big.

Please, leave your suggestions in the comment box on the bottom of this page.

Before you all start with your suggestions, let me explain here a few ideas about this wiki. In this shoe wiki I have focused around the shoe-making terms, but I left out the shoe-making-tool section of it, because I don’t think it’s of any use to all none-shoe-makers and the shoe-makers itself don’t need any wiki for that.

Shoe machinery is also been left out, for obvious reasons and I don’t think, that it’s necessary to include them.

Further I left out most of the regional shoe types, except those who are still having a fashionable influence of today’s footwear, but I’m certainly open to include more of them, if you guys like it!

Finally, many kinds of sports shoes I haven’t included. For most of the sports we have today special shoes, like Golf shoes, Ice-Skating shoes, Football shoes etc., which are pretty self explaining, but having certain special features, which needs lots of explanations and even images, which I think is again not the main idea of this shoe wiki, but again, I’m open for your opinions. Exemptions are again these types of sports shoes, who are having a fashionable influence of today’s shoe world and I hope, that we can find some more sport shoes for this wiki with your support.

  • Adhesives. Mainly Latex, Dendrite, Rubber Solution and  Polyethylene been used in shoe industry.
  • Adjustment. The fastening by which the shoe is adjusted to the foot, such as button, strap and buckle, webbing or lacing.
  • Ago. Term for cemented shoes.
  • Anatomic. Referring to the conformity of the shoe to the natural shape of the foot.
  • Apron. Center shoe part of the vamp, also called plug.
  • Arch. The bony framework of the foot between the heel and the toes. The “broken arch” is a settling of this part of the foot due to a yielding of the muscles and ligaments. An “arch-support” is a mechanical contrivance placed in the shoe beneath the arch of the foot to keep it in its natural position. The term arch is used also for the corresponding portion of the shoe bottom.
  • Assembling. Putting together the various parts of the shoe as they come from separate departments of the factory.
  • Athletic Footwear. Sports shoes, today mostly in canvas-types of material and light weight EVA soles.
  • Avarka. Closed toe sandal from Spain.
  • Backstay or Backstrap. A strip of leather covering and strengthening the back seam of a shoe on the outside.
  • Bal. An abbreviation of Balmoral, the original English name for the shoe. A front-laced shoe of medium height, as distinguished from shoes adjusted by other fastenings, and also from other patterns of shoes, such as Blucher or Oxford.
    Ball. The fleshy part of the foot back of the toes or the corresponding part of the shoe or of the last.
  • Ballerina. Low heel court shoe.
  • Balmoral. American term for Oxford classic shoe.
  • Beading. Folding in the skived edges of the upper leather; or making an impression by a wheel around the sole of the shoe above the heel. Frequently called “seat wheeling.” Sometimes referring to the beads placed on the vamps of women’s slippers.
  • Beating Out. The term used for leveling the bottom of the shoe.
  • Bellows Tongue. A wide folding tongue sewed to the sides of the top for the purpose of making it water tight, as in the case of heavy shoes for working or tramping.
  • Belting. That part of bark tanned cowhide used for belts or machinery belts.
  • Bench-Made. Applying to shoes made by hand at the cobbler’s bench.
  • Bend. The main or best portion of a side of leather.
  • Bespoke Shoe-Making. Term for customized shoes.
  • Basketball. Ankle high athletic shoe.
  • Blake sewed. Shoe construction where the sole, the upper and the insole been stitched together on the inside part of the shoe and not through a welt or rand.
  • Blacking the Edge. Dyeing the edge of the sole or welt after the shoe has passed through the making room.
  • Blind Eyelet. An eyelet inserted on the inner side of the eyelet facing, the hole on the outer side being left raw-edged.
  • Block Heel. Square, chunky looking heel.
  • Blocking. The cutting of a sole into rough or approximate shape, suitable for rounding. Also Shaping the vamp into suitable form for the use of the pattern.
  • Blucher. The name of a high shoe or half boot originated by Field Marshall Blucher of the Prussian Army in the time of the first Napoleon. Its distinguishing feature is the extension of the quarters forward to lace across the tongue.
  • Boat Shoe. Moccasin type with rubber sole.
  • Bottom Filling. The filler for the low space in the bottom, between outer and inner sole, in the fore part of the shoe, as ground cork or tarred felt.
  • Bottom Finishing. The final polishing processes applied to the bottom of a completed shoe.
  • Bottom Scouring. Sandpapering the parts of the sole in front of the heel.
  • Box. A reinforcement placed in the toe of a shoe to preserve its shape, made of leather. Today mainly in synthetics. Called also “box toe.”
  • Braiding. Leather woven technique.
  • Brogan. A heavy pegged or nailed work shoe of medium height.
  • Brogue. Classic gents shoe with perforations and wing cap.
  • Broken Arch. (See Arch).
  • Brushing. Finishing the edge, heel, or bottom with a polishing brush.
  • Buckle. Shoe fastening accessory.
  • Buffing. Scouring off the outer or grain side of leather. See bottom scouring.
  • Burnishing. Glazing process for shoe finish to achieve extra shine.
  • Button. The use of the button as a shoe fastening.
  • Button Fly. The strip of leather in the front of the top of a button shoe having the button holes.
  • Cabaretta. A tanned sheepskin of superior quality and finish.
  • Calfskin. Skins of neat cattle, up to fifteen pounds weight. For trade convenience such are called ‘calfskin,” those weighing from fifteen to twenty-five pounds, “kips,” and all above twenty-five pounds are called hides. Calfskin makes a strong pliable leather highly susceptible to polish leather finish.
  • California. Shoe construction where the upper and insole edges are seamed together and a mudguard is been overlaid. Very light and flexible construction.
  • Carton. The pasteboard box in which each pair of shoes is packed
  • Channel. A slanting cut around the edge of the sole for convenience in stitching the top to the bottom of the shoe. The lip of the channel or the raised portion is cemented down after the stitching so as to reserve the stitch from immediate wear. Channeling means preparing the channel for the stitch.
  • Channel- Stitched. The soles fastened to the uppers by stitches which are concealed in the channel.
  • Channel -Turning. Raising the lip of sole leather, or channel, so that the stitching can be done beneath it.
  • Chelsea boot. Ankle boot with big elastic quarter.
  • Chrome-tanned. Tanned by the use of bichromate of potash and muriatic acid.
  • Chukka boot. Other term for Desert boot.
  • Clicking. Cutting the uppers of shoes by a machine with clicking knives, bended to upper-components shape.
  • Closing On. Stitching the lining and outside together at the top, wrong side out, also called “stitch and turn”.
  • Collar. A narrow strip of leather stitched around the outside of the shoe at the top-line, padded with (collar-foam).
  • Colonial. A woman’s low shoe with wide tongue
    and ornamental buckle.
  • Combination Last. One having an instep of different width from that of the ball. Also a last that will allow both low and high shoes to be made upon it.
  • Congress Gaiter. A shoe having rubber goring for adjustment at the ankles.
  • Counter. The stiffening in the back or heel part of a shoe to support the heel and prevent the shoe from running over, usually made of leather, leather-board or synthetics.
  • Creasing Vamp. Making hollow grooves or wrinkles across the front of the vamp.
  • Cowboy Boot. Full leather boot with decoration stitching in the leg part. Today mainly fashion boot.
  • Crampons. Metal spikes used in ice and snow.
  • Crimping. Shaping any part of the upper to conform to the last.
  • Cushion Sole. An elastic or padded inner sole.
  • Custom-Made. Made by hand to special order and measurement.
  • Cut-off Vamp. One cut off at the tip and stitched to the toe cap, not extending under the tip beyond the tip stitching.
  • Cut-out. Perforated leather with holes.
  • Cutting. Cutting by hand the different shoe components.
  • Desert boot. Ankle high and lacing shoe.
  • Derby. The classic shoe. The quarters are stitched on the vamp with the derby-lock stitch.
  • Diabetic Shoe. Special soft and protected shoe for diabetic patients.
  • Dicing or Dinking. Cutting soles or other parts of the shoe with machine and die.
  • Direct Injection. Shoe construction where shoe upper is been directly injected into shoe sole machine.
  • Dom Pedro. A heavy single-buckle shoe with bellows tongue, usually of a cheap grade.
  • Dressing. A process for restoring the finish of the upper. Also used for the materials for cleaning and polishing the shoe.
  • Driver. Moccasin type with special high rubber tap at the heel.
  • Edge Setting. Finishing and polishing the edge of the shoe.
  • Edge Trimming. Cutting the edge of the shoe smoothly to conform to the shape of the last.
  • Elastic. Stretch material to fasten or giving comfort at instep.
  • Embossing. Stamping or carving figures and trademarks on leather.
  • Espadrille. Soft, light weight shoe with the typical jute woven sole.
  • Eyelet. A small ring of metal set in the lacing hole.
  • Fabric. A general term for the cloths used in shoe making, like “Inner-Linings”.
  • Facing. The leather used around the top of the shoe and down the eyelet row, inside.
  • Fair Stitch. The stitching sometimes run around the edge of the sole to give the McKay the appearance
    of the welt.
  • Feather. The bottom line of the last, where the upper part meets the sole surface.
  • Filler. Filling materials like cork or synthetics have been used for filling between lasted upper and insole.
    Also in the shoe-finish. Applying a shoe-finish “filler” to the upper leather.
  • Flats. Term for low heel shoes, usually sandals or ballerinas.
  • Flexible. Shoe construction, where the upper is stretched towards the sole edge and been stitched together with insole and sole. Usually the sole is been channeled.
  • Flip-Flops. Open strap sandal, today mainly in synthetics with EVA sole.
  • Findings. The small parts or accessories of a shoe, practically everything except leather and lining, such as laces, polishes, cement, nails, brushes, thread, and numerous other incidental articles used in the making and care of shoes. Also called “Grinderies”.
  • Finish. Polishing, buffing, or other final treatment of the soles of shoes.
  • Fisherman Sandals. Gents sandals with heavy leather and made with big cutting straps.
  • Fitting. The selection and adjustment of ready made shoes to the foot of the wearer.
  • Foams. Used for padding of upper parts or insole.
  • Footbed. Anatomic formed insole.
  • Foxing. That part of the upper extending from the sole to the lacing or adjustment in front, and to about the height of the counter in the back, being the full length of the upper. More simply, the lower part of the quarter.
  • French Size. Shoe size system used mainly in Europe, also called Paris Point. One PP is 6mm long.
  • Geta. Japanese wooden clog.
  • Goodyear Welt. The method of stitching the upper with a leather strap called welt to the insole, forming a channel which is been filled up. After the sole is been attached to insole plus welt and been sewed together. Usually the sole is been channeled before.
  • Gore-Tex. Synthetic material (membrane) to prevent water penetration into the shoe.
  • Grading. The sorting of leathers for uniform, thickness and qualities.
  • Haferl. Shoe from south Germany with famous side lacing in the quarters.
  • Half-Sole. Half of a complete sole used under the front part of the out sole.
  • Hammering. Treating shoe with hammer for flattening purpose.
  • Heat-Blowing. Removing of small wrinkles with hot air.
  • Heat-Setting. Running lasted uppers through heat chamber to stabilize shape of the last.
  • Heel. The leather or other material attached to the back part of the sole to give a desired height above the ground. The chief varieties are named after their style or shape. Heels are made in layers or lifts of leather, wood or in synthetics like abs.
  • Heel-breast of the heel is its front face.
  • Heel-Cover. In women’s shoes heels are often covered with the same material as the upper.
  • Heel-pitch. Height of shoe last under the foot seat.
  • Heel -Scouring. Sandpapering the outside surface of the heel.
  • Heel -Seat. The rounded part of the sole on which the heel is fastened. Heel seat nailing consists
    in nailing this part of the sole; heel seat trimming, smoothing this part.
  • Heel- Shaving. Shaping the heel by shaving off the surplus leather.
  • High-Heels. Heels over 5 inch are considered as high heels.
  • Hiking Boots. Heavy footwear for tracking.
  • Huarache. Famous sandal from Mexico. Mostly leather woven and hand-stitched.
  • Inner linings. Today mainly used from woven cotton materials, to strengthen the upper leather and preventing it from over stretch.
  • Insole. The inner sole of a shoe, which is first placed upon the last. The inner soles are attached to both the upper and the out sole.
  • Inspecting. Examining shoes for imperfections.
  • Instep. High (instep) point of shoe.
  • Ironing Uppers. Smoothing the upper with a hot iron.
  • Jelly. Shoes made from PVC.
  • Joint. Girth at the joints. The shoe width depends on this measurement.
  • Klompen. Dutch term for wood clog.
  • Lace. A string of leather or fabric used in adjusting and holding the shoe to the foot.
  • Lace Stay. A strip of leather reinforcing the eyelet holes.
  • Last The wooden, metal or plastic form upon which the shoe is constructed, and which gives the shoe its distinctive shape.
  • Lasting. Stretching the upper tightly over and making it conform to the last. Assembling and pulling over the parts of the upper on the last.
  • Lift. A single thickness of the material used as the final part of the heel.
  • Lining. The inside part of the upper, made of fabric (for boots) or of thin, light-weight leather.
  • Loafer. Other term for Slippers. Shoe without laces.
  • Louis Heel. Named after King Louis XIV.
  • Low-cut. A general term applying to such low shoes as pump slipper or moccasin.
  • Main Form. Last copy taken in two dimensional form.
  • Marking. Upper parts been marked for stitching guidance.
  • McKay Sewed. A mode of shoe making named after the inventor. After the upper is lasted upon the inner sole the last is removed and the outer sole is attached by a thread passing directly through the upper and inner sole. The out sole is generally channeled and the lining is put over the inner seam, on the inside of the shoe
  • Measurement. Taking the dimensions of the foot for custom made shoes. The chief points of measurement are, the ball of the foot-joints, the waist, the instep, short-and long-heel, ankle and knee , as well the total length.
  • Mid-Sole: Sole layer between insole and sole.
  • Moccasin. Traditionally worn by the native Indians. Today fashion shoe, where the upper leather is directly on the sole without insole and on top of the moccasin the vamp and plug are stitched by hand.
  • Mondopoint. Shoe size system, taking the actual shoe length and width of the joints in consideration.
  • Monk. Shoe with strap across the facings.
  • Milled. Soft leather with crumpled look.
  • Mudguard. Leather strap used for upper rand.
  • Mule. Other term for clog.
  • Mukluk. Warm boot, traditionally warn in Antarctica, today fashion boot.
  • Molding. Shaping the sole to conform to the bottom of the last.
  • Nappa. Soft and smooth upper leather, usually of finest quality.
  • Needle. Shoe needles been used for machines as well for hand stitching.
  • Nubuk. Full grain leather with fine nap and touch.
  • Opanka. Shoe construction where the shoe upper is directly stitched to the outer sole.
  • Orthoses. Medical term for footbed.
  • Oxford. A low-cut lacing shoe. This style is said to have been first worn in Oxford,
  • England, over three hundred years ago.
  • Pasting. Applying glue to upper and/or sole.
  • Pattens. Wood sandals from the mid age in Europe.
  • Pattern. Metal or cardboard model or form by which any part of the shoe upper is cut.
  • Pegging. Attaching the outer sole with pegs.
  • Perforating. Making decorative holes around upper parts.
  • Paduka. Indian wood sandal with platform and toe knob.
  • Platform. Elevated sole design. Often times only at the toe section of the shoe – the platform shoe.
  • Pointe Shoe. Classical ballet shoe, doesn’t have insole and only a soft suede sole.
  • Pressing. Applying a flat-press to heels and soles.
  • Pulling Lasts. Removing lasts from shoes.
  • Pulling Over. Drawing the upper over the last and tacking it into position.
  • Pump or Court Shoe. A shoe cut below the instep and having no fastening.
  • Quarter. The rear part of the upper when a full vamp is not used, the side part of the shoe.
  • Rand. A strip of sole leather made thin on one edge and placed around between the heel and
    the sole, to fill empty space and balance the heel.
  • Re-lasting. Putting lasts in shoes from which the original lasts have been drawn.
  • Repairing. Any cobbling work.
  • Rolling. Passing leather between rolls to make it firm and durable. Also, polishing shoe bottoms
    on a roll bearing a brush.
  • Rubber Cement. A powerful, quick-drying solution of rubber, often used in leather shoe making and shoe repairing.
  • Rubber Shoes. Footwear in considerable variety from the sandal to the hip length boot.
  • San Crispino. Shoe construction, where the upper is directly stitched to the insole on the outside of the last.
  • Sabot. Or called Clog. Front closed and back open sandal-type.
  • Sacceto. Shoe construction where the lining forms a sack (sacceto) and the upper is pulled over a last, similar to a moccasin and the upper leather is lasted like in a ago construction.
  • Safety Shoe. Shoe with steel toe-cap and steel mid-plate for protection.
  • Sample. In the shoe trade a single shoe to show the character of an entire lot. As a rule samples are made up by factories twice a year, in the spring and fall, and carried by the traveling salesmen on their routes. Shoes are then made in the factory from the orders received upon each sample.
  • Sandal. An open shoe on the toes and heel.
  • Scoring. Roughing the leather for increasing the paste bounding.
  • Shank. A strip of metal or other material used between the inner and outer sole, between the heel and the ball, to stiffen the sole of the shoe.
  • Shanking Out. Thinning and smoothing the shank part of the shoe, if the shank is in leather.
  • Shoe laces. Available in different cottons or in leather.
  • Size. The length measure of the shoe on standard widths. The length is expressed by numbers the widths by letters. American and English sizes vary by one-third of an inch. The American size system runs from to 13 1, and then starts over again at 1. The infants’ size runs from to 5; children’s from 5 to 11; misses’, from 11 J to 13J and then to 2 in the second series; women’s, from 2| to 8; little men’s, from 8 to 13§; youths’, from 1 to 2; boys’, from 2J to 5J, and men’s from 6 to 12.
  • Skiving. Cutting sole leather to a uniform thickness. Shaving upper leather, especially, to a thin edge, in the cutting or stitching department. Uppers been skived to following edges: raw-, folding- under-layer edges.
  • Slingback. Sandal with back strap fastening.
  • Slip-on boot. Boot without openings like zipper or laces.
  • Slipper. A name for low cut footwear without special means of fastening to the foot.
  • Slugging. Driving slugs, or short nails, in heels.
  • Spikes. Accessory for sticking with sole to ground for better gripe.
  • Splitting: Splitting of thick leather to a more thin substance.
  • Sneaker. A rubber-soled canvas or leather shoe for out-door wear.
  • Sock Lining. The lining which covers the insole.
  • Soft Tips. Having no box toe under the tip.
  • Soles. Polyethylene, Rubber, EVA and leather are mainly been used in today’s shoe industry.
  • Sole Leather. The pieces of heavy leather, mainly, from neat animals and used in the soles of shoes.
  • Sole Laying. The preliminary process of attaching the out-sole in position for stitching or pressing.
  • Sole Marking. Marking the edge of the sole on the upper for scoring guideline
  • Sorting. The process of arranging out-soles or upper leather by grades.
  • Split. A layer of a hide which has been cut into thicknesses.
  • Spring. The deviation from a straight line at the toe or arch of a shoe.
  • Stamping. Putting size and width on the inside of the shoe, or the name on the bottom.
  • Stay. A piece of leather used to strengthen a part or seam.
  • Strobel. Shoe construction, where upper and insole are stitched together with a Strobel machine. Almost all types of athletic footwear is been produced with this construction.
  • Stitch down. Other term for San Crispino.
  • Stitching. By machine or by hand.
  • Stitch Separating. Marking indentations between stitches to make the stitching conspicuous.
  • Stud. Shoe Accessories.
  • Style. The shape, model, or material determined by standards in use or in fashion, or by forms which manufacturers desire to put upon the market. A particular pattern or design, applying to the shoe as a whole or to any part which may be given special distinction.
  • Suede. Splitt leather with hairy surface .
  • Tanning. Converting hides and skins into leather.
  • Tap. An outer half-sole.
  • Tassel. Leather decoration accessories.
  • Tempering. Softening leather in water.
  • Thread. Shoe threads are usually of following widths: 20/3, 40/3 and 60/2. For hand stitching F6, F8 and F10 are most common. Smaller number indicates thicker threat.
  • Tip. The toe piece stitched to the outside of the vamp.
  • Tongue. A narrow piece of leather placed beneath the lacing or other fastening of a shoe.
  • Top. The part of the upper above the vamp.
  • Top Facing. The leather or band of cloth around the inside of the shoe top.
  • Top Lift. The outer piece of leather in the heel.
  • Top Line. The top part of the quarter. A top line can be raw edge, folded, seemed or binded.
  • Trainer. Athletic shoes.
  • Treeing. Shaping the shoe with a shoe-tree.
  • Trimming Cutting. Cutting stays, facings, and other small parts of the shoe upper.
  • Turned Shoe. Fine shoe with flexible sole, where the upper is stitched to the sole wrong side
    out, the shoe being then turned right side out.
  • Uggs. Australian and New Zealand sheepskin warm boots.
  • Upper. A collective term for the parts above the sole and heel of a shoe.
  • Vamp. The front or lower part of the upper. A “cut-off” vamp extends only to the tip. A “whole vamp” extends to heel without a seam. The vamp is the most important part of the upper and should be made of the best leather.
  • Vamping. Sewing the vamps to the top.
  • Veldschoen. Turn shoe where the shoe upper is been lasted to the outside and directly stitched to the insole.
  • Vulcanized. Shoe upper is directly vulcanized with rubber sole.
  • Waist. Volume measurement point, located at half distance between the joints and the instep.
  • Wedge. Triangle shaped heel.
  • Wedges. Shoes with wedge heel.
  • Welt. A narrow strip of leather sewed or attached to the upper and insole, having the edge of the welt extending outward so that the outsole can be attached or sewed on it.
  • Welt Beating. Flattening out the welt, after sewing.
  • Wheeling. Running a corrugated wheel around the edge or bottom of a shoe, to give finish or to imitate stitching or does marking for stitching.
  • Width. More properly called the girth of the ball, waist and instep of the foot or last. Widths vary in the series of sizes.

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