The 10 Shoe Vocabulary Words You Should Know & Probably Don’t


We here at Styleite really love shoes, but we’re embarrassed to admit our footwear vocabulary is lacking. Sure, we know all the normal to mid-level stuff (like what a wingtip is and what crepe soles entail), but there is so much more to learn! Allow us to school you on 10 important shoe-related terms, with a little help from Nine West.

1. Aglet – The plastic at the end of a shoelace which makes the lace easier to thread through the holes of the shoe.

2. D’Orsay – A style of pump with one or both sides cut away, exposing the arch of the foot.

3. Footbed – The inside part of a shoe where the foot rests. Another term for insole.

4. Foxing – A rubber strip that binds the upper and the sole of a shoe. Usually found on canvas sneakers.

5. Gore – An elastic fabric panel inserted into one or both sides of a shoe, provides added comfort and is easier to put on and take off.

6. Last – A metal, wood or plastic form, shaped like a human foot, on which a shoe is constructed.

7. Rim – The top part of the shoe where the foot enters. Also known as collar or topline.

8, 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.

9. Vamp – The front center part of a shoe upper covering the toes and part of the foot.

10. Welt – A strip of leather that is stitched as the binding point between the sole and the upper.

And now you know. Class dismissed!

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