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Base London - Shoes glossary
Category: Hobbies and Crafts > Shoes
Date & country: 31/12/2010, UK
Words: 77


Aglet
The plastic sheath at the end of a shoelace that makes the lace easier to thread through the eyelet holes of the shoe

Apron Toe
An Apron Toe refers to a shoe with a large overlay of leather over the front and is stitched in a way to make it visible like a kind of apron.

Balmorals
The term Balmoral refers to the way an Oxford style shoe ties up. The lace opening of a Balmoral is sewn together so the area opens in a v-shape and is not as easy to adjust as a Bulcher.

Base London
Great British shoe brand, established 1995.

Bluchers
The term Bluchers refers to the way a Derby style shoe ties up. The lace fastening is open ended and symmetrical and therefore more adjustable than the Balmoral fastening.

Boot
A boot is any sort of footwear that comes up to the ankle or beyond.

Brogueing
Brogueing or perforations refers to the punched holes in shoes that make an ordinary shoe look more elaborate. Originally thought to have started in Scotland where the holes allowed water to drain out of the shoes, but nowadays is used just as a decoration and to highlight.

Brogues
A dress shoe that has small hole punch detailing. Generally the more holes the less dressy it is.

Burnish
The process of buffing a shoe to achieve an antiqued effect to the leather.

Cap Toes
Shoes with a D shaped cap at the toe.

Cap-Toe oxfords
Similar to an Oxford but distinguishable by a leather toecap.

Cemented Construction
Construction designed using cementing/gluing rather than stitching the shoe upper to the sole.

Chelsea Boot
Usually ankle high boot with pull on style and elasticated side panels.

Chukka boot
Ankle-high boot with a plain round toe and laces.

Counter
The counter is a rigid piece of material inserted between the lining and upper in a shoe or boot in order to retain the shape.

Deck Shoes
Otherwise referred to as boat shoes, these have a very nautical theme

Derbys
A Derby is made by laying the toe cap and the quarter (middle section) over the vamp.

Distressed Leather
Rubbed, weathered and scratched leather, used to produce a worn appearance.

Driver
A shoe that's sole typically go up the back of the heel to protect the shoe leather from the movement typical of driving a car.

Engineer Boot
Work style pull on boot characterised by straps around instep and top of leg cuff.

Espadrille
Any shoe that has a rope or rope look trim, usually in the sole area and often made from canvas.

Eyelet
A hole through which a lace is threaded; may be reinforced with a grommet or metal ring.

Flip Flop
A thong style sandal with lightweight foam sole or sometimes leather.

Footbed
The insole of the shoe, where the foot rests

Full Grain Leather
Leather that shoes the natural texture or grain.

Gait
Your walking style/movement.

Gibson
A classic lace-up style in which the quarters are laid over the vamp and drawn together by a lace. Also known as a Derby.

Gimping
Crocodile teeth or saw tooth style cutting, for decoration.

Grain
The surface texture of leather, which will be different depending on which animal the leather is taken from.

Heel Breast
The front surface of the shoe heel

Hybrids
Combining elements of casual and formal styling. Typically a smart upper sitting on a soft casual sole.

Insole
The part of the shoe that the foot sits on, can be cushioned for extra comfort.

Instep
The part of your foot between the toes and the ankle.

Jodhpur Boot
Also known as a Chelsea Boot (see above).

Kiltie
A fringed, decorative tongue over the vamp of a shoe usually sported by golfers.

Kinky Boots
Usually PVC or patent leather, high heeled fetish wear. Or/ a British film highlighting the plight of the UK footwear industry in Northampton and the true story of one enterprising manufacturer.

Knee High
Usually female style of boot up to the knee.

Last
Originally made from wood, but now more commonly crafted out of plastic, a block that forms the shape of the inside of the shoe and on which all shoe designs begin.

Leather
Leather is the skin or hide of any animal, bird, fish or reptile.

Lining
The material used to line the shoe.

Loafers
A simple slip-on, necessary for everyone's wardrobe

Moc Toe
Shoe or boot with seam detail at the toe, originally seen in moccasins.

Moccasin
Probably the first type of shoe. Slip on style and distinctive stitching usually in a soft leather.

Monk Straps
So-called as they resemble footwear worn by monks, these dress shoes are identifiable by a side buckle fastening.

Nubuck
Leather that has been sanded for a smooth texture.

Outsole
The bottom of the shoe that touches the ground as you walk.

Oxfords
A plain lace up dress shoe, ideal for business or evening wear.

Patent
Mirror like leather finish resulting from being coated in plastic.

Penny Loafer
A Loafer style with a slit over the instep where traditionally a penny or other coin is placed for good luck.

Perforation
Perforations or brogueing refers to the holes in shoes that make an ordinary shoe look more elaborate. Originally thought to have started in Scotland where the holes allowed water to drain out of the shoes, but nowadays is used just as a decoration and to highlight.

Pinking
A style detail which gives a distinctive sawtooth edge.

Quarter Panel
The side panels of the shoe from heel to toe.

Rim
The part of the shoe where the foot goes in. Can also be referred to as the topline or collar.

Sandals
Many variations depending on materials and straps, the most typical being a flip-flop or thong sandal.

SATRA
SATRA is the British organisation that is the world's foremost research and services centre for the footwear industry. SATRA has 1,100 members including Base London.

Shank
A wooden or metal component that strengthens the waist of the shoe.

Shoe Horn
A curved piece of metal or plastic to help slip your foot into a shoe. If you need a Base London shoe horn just email.

Slip-on
A style of shoe that needs nothing to secure to the foot, just slip it on.

Sole
Also known as the outsole, the very bottom of the shoe which touches the ground when walking.

Spectators
Spectators is a term which traditionally refers to shoes made with two or more contrasting colour leathers. 1920's inspired, dressy/flamboyant.

Stitchdown
Stitchdown construction indicates that the bottom edge of the shoe upper is folded outward and stitched to the sole or insole.

Strobel
The term "Strobel Lasted" refers to shoes which have been designed and constructed with a thin material acting as a sock liner stitched along its edges.

Suede
Leather that has been sanded down to give a rougher fluffy look.

Tassel Loafers
A slip on with decorative tassel hanging, a very dandy style

Thong Sandals
A sandal with a toe post that fits between the toes to secure it to the foot.

Throat
Also known as the top line or collar of the shoe, the part where your foot enters.

Toe Puff
A stiffening piece of material, inserted between the upper fabric and the lining to help maintain the toe shape.

Tongue
The piece of leather that lies behind the laces.

Top Piece
Top piece is the very bottom of the heel where it touches the ground. Usually made of synthetic materials as this is one of the hardest wearing areas of a shoe or boot.

Upper
The complete top piece of the shoe.

Vamp
The front centre of the shoe's upper.

Waist
The waist is the centre section of the shoe between the ball of the foot and the instep.

Welt
A welt is a strip of leather sewn onto the insole of a boot or shoe to which sole is sewn.

Whipstitch
Whipstitch also known as overcast stitching is a type of sewing stitch used for binding seams.

Wing Tips
Identified by the w shape similar to a bird wings

Zip
Device sometimes used to secure boots.

Zori
A type of traditional Japanese footwear similar to a slipper/thong sandal.