This article is about footwear. For other uses, see.
"Insole" redirects here. For other uses, see.Museum display of shoes
A shoe is an item of intended to protect and comfort the human foot while the wearer is doing various activities. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration and. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function. Additionally, fashion has often dictated many design elements, such as whether shoes have very high heels or flat ones. Contemporary footwear in the 2010s varies widely in style, complexity and cost. Basic sandals may consist of only a thin sole and simple strap and be sold for a low cost. High fashion shoes made by famous designers may be made of expensive materials, use complex construction and sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars a pair. Some shoes are designed for specific purposes, such as designed specifically for or.
Traditionally, shoes have been made from leather, wood or, but in the 2010s, they are increasingly made from,, and other -derived materials. Though the human foot is adapted to varied terrain and climate conditions, it is still vulnerable to environmental hazards such as sharp rocks and temperature extremes, which shoes protect against. Some shoes are worn as safety equipment, such as steel-soled boots which are required on construction sites.
The earliest known shoes are sagebrush bark from approximately 7000 or 8000 BC, found in the in the state of in 1938. The world's, made from a single piece of cowhide laced with a leather cord along seams at the front and back, was found in the in in 2008 and is believed to date to 3500 BC.'s shoes, dating to 3300 BC, featured brown bearskin bases, deerskin side panels, and a bark-string net, which pulled tight around the foot. The was discovered in August 2006. Archaeologists estimate that the leather shoe was made between 1800 and 1100 BC, making it the oldest article of clothing discovered in Scandinavia.
It is thought that shoes may have been used long before this, but because the materials used were highly perishable, it is difficult to find evidence of the earliest footwear. By studying the bones of the smaller toes (as opposed to the big toe), it was observed that their thickness decreased approximately 40,000 to 26,000 years ago. This led to deduce that wearing shoes resulted in less bone growth, resulting in shorter, thinner toes. These earliest designs were very simple in design, often mere "foot bags" of leather to protect the feet from rocks, debris, and cold. They were more commonly found in colder climates.
Many early natives in wore a similar fila type of footwear, known as the. These are tight-fitting, soft-soled shoes typically made out of leather or hides. Many moccasins were also decorated with various beads and other adornments. Moccasins were not designed to be waterproof, and in wet weather and warm summer months, most went.
As civilizations began to develop, thong sandals (the precursors of the modern ) were worn. This practice dates back to pictures of them in murals from 4000 BC. One pair found in Europe was made of leaves and to be approximately 1,500 years old. They were also worn in during the first century of the Common Era. Thong sandals were worn by many civilizations and made from a wide variety of materials. Ancient Egyptian sandals were made from papyrus and palm leaves. The of Africa made them out of. In India they were made from wood. In China and Japan, rice straw was used. The leaves of the plant were used to make for sandals in South America while the natives of Mexico used the plant.
While thong sandals were commonly worn, many people in ancient times, such as the, and, saw little need for footwear, and most of the time, preferred being barefoot. The Egyptians and Hindus made some use of ornamental footwear, such as a soleless sandal known as a "Cleopatra", which did not provide any practical protection for the foot. The ancient Greeks largely viewed footwear as self-indulgent, unaesthetic and unnecessary. Shoes were primarily worn in the theater, as a means of increasing stature, and many preferred to go barefoot. Athletes in the participated barefoot – and naked. Even the and heroes were primarily depicted barefoot, the warriors fought battles in bare feet and conquered his vast empire with barefoot armies. The runners of are also believed to have run barefoot., the first, ran from to in less than 36 hours. After the, he ran straight from the battlefield to Athens to inform the Athenians of the news.Footwear of Roman soldiers (reconstruction)
The, who eventually conquered the Greeks and adopted many aspects of their culture, did not adopt the Greek perception of footwear and clothing. was seen as a sign of power, and footwear was seen as a necessity of living in a civilized world, although the slaves and paupers usually went barefoot. Roman soldiers were issued with (left and right shoe different) footwear. There are references to shoes being worn in the.
Middle Ages and Early Modern period
A common casual shoe in the during the Middle Ages was the. This is a sandal with braided jute soles and a fabric upper portion, and often includes fabric laces that tie around the ankle. The term is and comes from the grass. The shoe originated in the region of as early as the 13th century, and was commonly worn by in the farming communities in the area.
Many medieval shoes were made using the method of construction, in which the upper was turned flesh side out, and was lasted onto the sole and joined to the edge by a seam. The shoe was then turned inside-out so that the grain was outside. Some shoes were developed with toggled flaps or to tighten the leather around the foot for a better fit. Surviving medieval turnshoes often fit the foot closely, with the right and left shoe being mirror images. Around 1500, the turnshoe method was largely replaced by the welted rand method (where the uppers are sewn to a much stiffer sole and the shoe cannot be turned inside-out). The turnshoe method is still used for some dance and specialty shoes.
By the 15th Century, became popular by both men and women in. These are commonly seen as the predecessor of the modern, while the poor and lower classes in Europe, as well as slaves in the New World, were barefoot. In the 15th century, the was in. This style of shoe is named because it is thought to have originated in, the capitol of. The style is characterized by the point of the shoe, known as the "polaine", which often was supported by a tied to the knee to prevent the point getting in the way while walking. Also during the 15th century, were created in, and were usually 7-8 inches (17.7-20.3 cm) high. These shoes became popular in and throughout Europe, as a revealing wealth and social standing. During the 16th century, royalty started wearing high-heeled shoes to make them look taller or larger than life, such as or. By 1580, even men wore them, and a person with authority or wealth was often referred to as, "well-heeled".
Eventually the modern shoe, with a sewn-on sole, was devised. Since the 17th century, most leather shoes have used a sewn-on sole. This remains the standard for finer-quality dress shoes today. Until around 1800, welted rand shoes were commonly made without differentiation for the left or right foot. Such shoes are now referred to as "straights". Only gradually did the modern foot-specific shoe become standard.
Industrial eraA shoemaker in the, from The Book of English Trades, 1821.
Shoemaking became more commercialized in the mid-18th century, as it expanded as a. Large began to stock footwear, made by many small manufacturers from the area.
Until the 19th century, shoemaking was a traditional handicraft, but by the century's end, the process had been almost completely mechanized, with production occurring in large factories. Despite the obvious economic gains of, the factory system produced shoes without the individual differentiation that the traditional shoemaker was able to provide.
The first steps towards mechanisation were taken during the by the engineer,. He developed machinery for the mass-production of boots for the soldiers of the. In 1812 he devised a scheme for making nailed-boot-making machinery that automatically fastened soles to uppers by means of metallic pins or nails. With the support of the, the shoes were manufactured, and, due to their strength, cheapness, and durability, were introduced for the use of the army. In the same year, the use of screws and staples was patented by. Brunel's system was described by as a visitor to his factory in as follows:By the late 19th century, the shoemaking industry had migrated to the factory and was increasingly mechanized. Pictured, the bottoming room of the B. F. Spinney & Co. factory in, 1872. "In another building I was shown his manufactory of shoes, which, like the other, is full of ingenuity, and, in regard to subdivision of labour, brings this fabric on a level with the oft-admired manufactory of pins. Every step in it is effected by the most elegant and precise machinery; while, as each operation is performed by one hand, so each shoe passes through twenty-five hands, who complete from the hide, as supplied by the currier, a hundred pairs of strong and well-finished shoes per day. All the details are performed by the ingenious application of the mechanic powers; and all the parts are characterised by precision, uniformity, and accuracy. As each man performs but one step in the process, which implies no knowledge of what is done by those who go before or follow him, so the persons employed are not shoemakers, but wounded soldiers, who are able to learn their respective duties in a few hours. The contract at which these shoes are delivered to Government is 6s. 6d. per pair, being at least 2s. less than what was paid previously for an unequal and cobbled article."
However, when the war ended in 1815, became much cheaper, and the demand for military equipment subsided. As a consequence, Brunel's system was no longer profitable and it soon ceased business.
Similar exigencies at the time of the stimulated a renewed interest in methods of mechanization and mass-production, which proved longer lasting. A shoemaker in, Tomas Crick, patented the design for a riveting machine in 1853. His machine used an iron plate to push iron rivets into the sole. The process greatly increased the speed and efficiency of production. He also introduced the use of for hardening leather and cutting-machines, in the mid-1850s.Advertisement in an 1896 issue of for "The Regal".
The sewing machine was introduced in 1846, and provided an alternative method for the mechanization of shoemaking. By the late 1850s, the industry was beginning to shift towards the modern factory, mainly in the US and areas of England. A shoe stitching machine was invented by the American Lyman Blake in 1856 and perfected by 1864. Entering into partnership with McKay, his device became known as the McKay stitching machine and was quickly adopted by manufacturers throughout. As bottlenecks opened up in the production line due to these innovations, more and more of the manufacturing stages, such as pegging and finishing, became automated. By the 1890s, the process of mechanisation was largely complete.
Since the mid-20th Century, advances in rubber, plastics, synthetic cloth, and industrial adhesives have allowed manufacturers to create shoes that stray considerably from traditional crafting techniques. Leather, which had been the primary material in earlier styles, has remained standard in expensive dress shoes, but athletic shoes often have little or no real leather. Soles, which were once laboriously hand-stitched on, are now more often machine stitched or simply glued on. Many of these newer materials, such as rubber and plastics, have made shoes less biodegradable. It is estimated that most mass-produced shoes require 1000 years to degrade in a. In the late 2000s, some shoemakers picked up on the issue and began to produce shoes made entirely from, such as the.
In 2007, the global shoe industry had an overall market of 107.4 billion, in terms of, and is expected to grow to 2.9 billion by the end of 2012. Shoe manufacturers in the account for 63% of production, 40.5% of global exports and 55% of industry revenue. However, many manufacturers in dominate the higher-priced, higher value-added end of the market.
Culture and folklore
As an integral part of human culture and civilization, shoes have found their way into our culture, folklore, and art. A popular 18th century is. This story tells about an old woman living in a shoe with a lot of children. In 1948,, a shoe salesman in, built an actual house shaped like a as a form of advertisement. The was rented to newlyweds and the elderly until his death in 1962. Since then, it has served as an parlor, a, and a. It still stands today and is a popular roadside attraction.
Shoes also play an important role in the and. In the adaption of the, a pair of red ruby slippers play a key role in the plot. The 1985 comedy features an eccentric man wearing one normal business shoe and one red shoe that becomes central to the plot.
Athletic sneaker collection has also existed as a part of urban subculture in the United States for several decades. Recent decades have seen this trend spread to European nations such as the. A is a person who owns multiple pairs of shoes as a form of collection and fashion. A contributor to the growth of sneaker collecting is the continued worldwide popularity of the line of sneakers designed by for star.
In the 's, the shoe is used to symbolize something that is worthless or of little value. In the, the act of removing one's shoes symbolizes servitude. regarded the act of removing their shoes as a mark of reverence when approaching a sacred person or place. In the, was instructed to remove his shoes before approaching the burning bush:
Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy ground ().
The removal of the shoe also symbolizes the act of giving up a legal right. In custom, the widow removed the shoe of her late husband's brother to symbolize that he had abandoned his duty. In custom, the removal of one's shoe also symbolized the dissolution of marriage.
In, showing the sole of one's shoe is considered an insult, and to and hit someone with it is considered an even greater insult. Shoes are considered to be dirty as they frequently touch the ground, and are associated with the lowest part of the body — the. As such, shoes are forbidden in, and it is also considered unmannerly to cross the legs and display the soles of one's shoes to someone when talking to them. This insult was demonstrated in, first when 's statue was toppled in 2003, Iraqis gathered around it and struck the statue with their shoes. Secondly, in 2008, President had a shoe thrown at him by a journalist as a statement against the war that was brought to Iraq and the lives that it has cost. More generally, or shoeing, showing the sole of one's shoe or using shoes to are forms of protest in many parts of the world. Incidents where shoes were thrown at political figures have taken place in,,,,,, the, the, and most notably the.
Empty shoes may also symbolize death. In culture, empty shoes are the equivalent of the American funeral wreath. For example, empty shoes placed outside of a Greek home would tell others that the family's son has died in battle. At an observation memorializing the 10th anniversary of the, 3,000 pairs of empty shoes were used to recognize those killed. The is a memorial in,. Conceived by film director, he created it on the east bank of the with sculptor to honor the Jews who were killed by fascist militiamen in Budapest during. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. The memorial represents their shoes left behind on the bank.
See also: andDiagram of a typical dress shoe. Note that the area labeled as the "Lace guard" is sometimes considered part of the quarter and sometimes part of the vamp.
The basic anatomy of a shoe is recognizable, regardless of the specific style of footwear.
All shoes have a sole, which is the bottom of a shoe, in contact with the ground. Soles can be made from a variety of materials, although most modern shoes have soles made from,, or (PVC) compounds. Soles can be simple — a single material in a single layer — or they can be complex, with multiple structures or layers and materials. When various layers are used, soles may consist of an insole, midsole, and an outsole.
The insole is the interior bottom of a shoe, which sits directly beneath the foot under the footbed (also known as sock liner). The purpose of insole is to attach to the lasting margin of the upper, which is wrapped around the during the closing of the shoe during the lasting operation. Insoles are usually made of cellulosic paper board or synthetic non woven insole board. Many shoes have removable and replaceable footbeds. Extra cushioning is often added for comfort (to control the shape, moisture, or smell of the shoe) or health reasons (to help deal with differences in the natural shape of the foot or positioning of the foot during standing or walking).
The outsole is the layer in direct contact with the ground. Dress shoes often have leather or resin rubber outsoles; casual or work-oriented shoes have outsoles made of natural rubber or a synthetic material like polyurethane. The outsole may comprise a single piece, or may be an assembly of separate pieces, often of different materials. On some shoes, the heel of the sole has a rubber plate for durability and traction, while the front is leather for style. Specialized shoes will often have modifications on this design: athletic or so called cleated shoes like soccer, rugby, baseball and golf shoes have spikes embedded in the outsole to improve traction.
The midsole' is the layer in between the outsole and the insole, typically there for shock absorption. Some types of shoes, like running shoes, have additional material for shock absorption, usually beneath the heel of the foot, where one puts the most pressure down. Some shoes may not have a midsole at all.
The is the bottom rear part of a shoe. Its function is to support the heel of the foot. They are often made of the same material as the sole of the shoe. This part can be high for fashion or to make the person look taller, or flat for a more practical and comfortable use. On some shoes the inner forward point of the heel is chiselled off, a feature known as a "gentleman's corner". This piece of design is intended to alleviate the problem of the points catching the bottom of trousers and was first observed in the 1930s. A heel is the projection at the back of a shoe which rests below the. The shoe heel is used to improve the balance of the shoe, increase the height of the wearer, alter posture or other decorative purposes. Sometimes raised, the is common to a form of shoe often worn by women, but sometimes by men too. See also.
The upper helps hold the shoe onto the foot. In the simplest cases, such as sandals or flip-flops, this may be nothing more than a few straps for holding the sole in place. Closed footwear, such as boots, trainers and most men's shoes, will have a more complex upper. This part is often decorated or is made in a certain style to look attractive. The upper is connected to the sole by a strip of leather, rubber, or plastic that is stitched between it and the sole, known as a.Cutaway view of a typical shoe.
Most uppers have a mechanism, such as laces, straps with buckles, zippers, elastic, velcro straps, buttons, or snaps, for tightening the upper on the foot. Uppers with laces usually have a tongue that helps seal the laced opening and protect the foot from abrasion by the laces. Uppers with laces also have eyelets or hooks to make it easier to tighten and loosen the laces and to prevent the lace from tearing through the upper material. An is the protective wrapping on the end of the lace.
The vamp is the front part of the shoe, starting behind the toe, extending around the eyelets and tongue and towards back part of the shoe.
The medial is the part of the shoe closest to a person's center of symmetry, and the lateral is on the opposite side, away from their center of symmetry. This can be in reference to either the outsole or the vamp. Most shoes have on the upper, connecting the medial and lateral parts after one puts their shoes on and aiding in keeping their shoes on their feet. In 1968, introduced the first pair of sneakers with straps in lieu of shoelaces, and these became popular by the 1980s, especially among children and the elderly.
The toe box is the part that covers and protects the toes. People with toe deformities, or individuals who experience toe swelling (such as ) usually require a larger toe box.
There are a wide variety of different types of shoes. Most types of shoes are designed for specific activities. For example, are typically designed for work or heavy outdoor use. are designed for particular sports such as running, walking, or other sports. Some shoes are designed to be worn at more occasions, and others are designed for casual wear. There are also a wide variety of shoes designed for different types of dancing. Orthopedic shoes are special types of footwear designed for individuals with particular foot problems or special needs. Other animals, such as and, may also wear special shoes to protect their feet as well.
Depending on the activity for which they are designed, some types of footwear may fit into multiple categories. For example, are considered boots, but may also be worn in more formal occasions and used as. incorporate many of the protective features of boots, but also provide the extra flexibility and comfort of many. are considered casual footwear, but have also been worn in formal occasions, such as visits to the.
AthleticA pair of athletic running shoes
are specifically designed to be worn for participating in various sports. Since between the foot and the ground is an important force in most sports, modern athletic shoes are designed to maximize this force, and materials, such as, are used. Although, for some activities such as or, sliding is desirable, so shoes designed for these activities often have lower coefficients of friction. The earliest athletic shoes date back to the mid 19th century were — shoes with metal on the soles to provide increased friction during running. They were developed by J.W. Foster & Sons, which later become known as. By the end of the 19th century, also manufactured these shoes as well. started selling shoes with track spikes in them for and in 1925. Spikes were eventually added to shoes for and in the 20th century. also use shoes with small metal spikes on their soles to prevent slipping during their swing.
The earliest rubber-soled athletic shoes date back to 1876 in the, when the New Liverpool Rubber Company made, or sandshoes, designed for the sport of. Similar rubber-soled shoes were made in 1892 in the by Humphrey O'Sullivan, based on 's technology. The was founded the same year and produced rubber-soled and heeled shoes under a variety of brand names, which were later consolidated in 1916 under the name,. These shoes became known as, "sneakers", because the rubber sole allowed the wearer to sneak up on another person. In 1964, the founding of by and of the introduced many new improvements common in modern running shoes, such as rubber waffle soles, breathable uppers, and cushioning in the mid-sole and heel. During the 1970s, the expertise of also became important in athletic shoe design, to implement new design features based on how feet reacted to specific actions, such as running, jumping, or side-to-side movement. Athletic shoes for women were also designed for their specific physiological differences.A pair of Converse All-Stars
Shoes specific to the sport of were developed by, and are popularly known as. These shoes, first sold in 1917, are double-layer shoes with rubber soles and toe caps, and a high heel (known as a "high top") for added support. In 1969, Taylor was inducted into the in recognition of this development, and in the 1970s, other shoe manufacturers, such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and others began imitating this style of athletic shoe. In April 1985, Nike introduced its own brand of basketball shoe which would become popular in its own right, the, named after the then-rookie basketball player,. The Air Jordan line of shoes sold 0 million in their first year.
As became popular by the late 20th and early 21st fila basketball shoes 2011 2018 century, many modern shoe manufacturers have recently designed footwear that mimic this experience, maintaining optimum flexibility and natural walking while also providing some degree of protection. Termed as, their purpose is to allow one's feet and legs to feel more subtly the impacts and forces involved in running, allowing finer adjustments in running style. Some of these shoes include the,, and 's Kinvara and Hattori. Mexican are also very simple running shoes, similar to the shoes worn by the people of northern Mexico, who are known for their distance running abilities. are also very light and flexible shoes that are designed to mimic bare feet while providing additional traction and protection.
Many athletic shoes are designed with specific features for specific activities. One of these includes, which have metal or plastic wheels on the bottom specific for the sport of roller skating. Similarly, have a metal blade attached to the bottom for locomotion across. have also been designed to provide a comfortable, flexible and durable shoe for the sport of. are rubber-soled, tight-fitting shoes designed to fit in the small cracks and crevices for. are similarly designed with rubber soles and a tight fit, but also are equipped with a metal or plastic cleat to interface with, as well as a stiff sole to maximize power transfer and support the foot.
A boot is a special type of shoe which covers the and the and extends up the, sometimes as far as the or even the. Most boots have a that is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the, even if the two are made of one piece. They are typically made of leather or rubber, although they may be made from a variety of different materials. Boots are worn both for their functionality — protecting the foot and leg from water, snow, mud or hazards or providing additional ankle support for strenuous activities — as well as for reasons of style and.
are a specific style of which combines function with fashion. They became popular among in the during the 19th century. Traditional cowboy boots have a, rounded to pointed toe, high shaft, and, traditionally, no lacing. They are normally made from cowhide but may be made from more exotic skins such as,, or skins.
are designed to provide extra ankle and arch support, as well as extra padding for comfort during. They are constructed to provide comfort for miles of walking over rough terrains, and protect the hiker's feet against water, mud, rocks, and other wilderness obstacles. These boots support the ankle to avoid twisting but do not restrict the ankle's movement too much. They are fairly stiff to support the foot. A properly fitted and/or friction-reducing patches applied to troublesome areas ensures protection against and other discomforts associated with long hikes on rugged terrain.
During or weather, are worn to keep the foot warm and dry. They are typically made of or other material, have multiple layers of insulation, and a high heel to keep snow out. Boots may also be attached to to increase the distribution of weight over a larger for walking in. are a specialized snow boot which are used in or and designed to provide a way to attach the skier to his/her using. The ski/boot/binding combination is used to effectively transmit control inputs from the skier's legs to the snow. are another specialized boot with a metal blade attached to the bottom which is used to propel the wearer across a sheet of. are similar to ice skates but with a set of three to four wheels in lieu of the blade, which are designed to mimic ice skating on solid surfaces such as wood or concrete.
Boots are designed to withstand heavy wear to protect the wearer and provide good traction. They are generally made from sturdy leather uppers and non-leather outsoles. They may be used for of the or, as well as for protection in industrial settings such as and. Protective features may include and soles or guards.
Dress and casual
are characterized by smooth and supple leather uppers, leather soles, and narrow sleek figure. Casual shoes are characterized by sturdy leather uppers, non-leather outsoles, and wide profile.
Some designs of dress shoes can be worn by either gender. The majority of dress shoes have an upper covering, commonly made of leather, enclosing most of the lower foot, but not covering the ankles. This upper part of the shoe is often made without apertures or openings, but may also be made with openings or even itself consist of a series of straps, e.g. an open toe featured in women's shoes. Shoes with uppers made high to cover the ankles are also available; a shoe with the upper rising above the ankle is usually considered a boot but certain styles may be referred to as high-topped shoes or. Usually, a high-topped shoe is secured by laces or zippers, although some styles have elastic inserts to ease slipping the shoe on.
Men'sThis male dress shoe, known as a, is distinguished by its open lacing.
Men's shoes can be categorized by how they are closed:
- (also referred as "Balmorals"): the vamp has a V-shaped slit to which the laces are attached; also known as "closed lacing". The word "Oxford" is sometimes used by American clothing companies to market shoes that are not Balmorals, such as Blüchers.
- : the laces are tied to two pieces of leather independently attached to the vamp; also known as "open lacing" and is a step down in dressiness. If the laces are not independently attached to the vamp, the shoe is known as a. This name is, in American English, often used about derbys.
- : a buckle and strap instead of lacing
- : There are no lacings or fastenings. The popular are part of this category, as well as less popular styles, such as elastic-sided shoes.
Men's shoes can also be decorated in various ways:
- Plain-toes: have a sleek appearance and no extra decorations on the vamp.
- Cap-toes: has an extra layer of leather that "caps" the toe.
- (American: wing-tips): The toe of the shoe is covered with a perforated panel, the wing-tip, which extends down either side of the shoe. Brogues can be found in both balmoral and blucher styles, but are considered slightly less formal.
Formal high-end men's shoes are manufactured by several companies around the world, most notably in England, France, Italy, and America. Notable British brands include: English Shoes (est. 1873), (est. 1849), (est. 1890), and Crockett & Jones (est. 1879). Both John Lobb and Edward Green offer products. In between the world wars, men's footwear received significant innovation and design, led by and in London's West End. The most notable French product is made by. of Italy was a major influence on men's shoe design in the 1960s–1980s until they returned to the larger proportions of its forebears, the welt-constructed Anglo-American dress shoe originally created in. Another well-known Italian company is. The remaining elite American companies are and. Alden, located in New England, specializes in genuine shell cordovan leather from the only remaining horse tannery in America (Chicago) and is completely manufactured in America, whereas Allen Edmonds, of Wisconsin, is a larger company that outsources some of its production.
Women'sHigh heel sandals
There is a large variety of shoes available for women, in addition to most of the men's styles being more accepted as unisex. Some broad categories are:
- is footwear that raises the heels, typically 2 inches (5 cm) or more above the toes, commonly worn by women for formal occasions or social outings. Variants include (typically 1½-2 inches high) and (with a very narrow heel post) and wedge heels (with a wedge-shaped sole rather than a heel post).
- are shoes or slippers with no fitting around the heel (i.e. they are backless)
- are shoes which are secured by a strap behind the heel, rather than over the top of the foot.
- , known in the UK as ballerinas, ballet pumps or skimmers, are shoes with a very low heel and a relatively short vamp, exposing much of the instep. They are popular for warm-weather wear, and may be seen as more comfortable than shoes with a higher heel.
- , known in the United States as pumps, are typically high-heeled, slip-on dress shoes.
- : shoe with very thick soles and heels
- : open shoes consisting of a sole and various straps, leaving much of the foot exposed to air. They are thus popular for warm-weather wear, because they let the foot be cooler than a closed-toed shoe would.
- Saddle shoe: leather shoe with a contrasting saddle-shaped band over the instep, typically white uppers with black "saddle".
- : a dress or casual shoe without shoelaces or fasteners; often with tassels, buckles, or coin-holders (penny loafers).
- , also known as "deck shoes": similar to a loafer, but more casual. Laces are usually simple leather with no frills. Typically made of leather and featuring a soft white sole to avoid marring or scratching a boat deck. The first boat shoe was invented in 1935 by.
- : For indoor use, commonly worn with.
A wide variety of footwear is used by dancers. The choice of dance shoe type depends on the style of that is to be performed and, in many cases, the characteristics of the surface that will be danced on.
- are designed for ballet dancing. These have a toe box that is stiffened with glue and a hardened sole so the dancer can stand on the tips of their toes. They are secured by elastic straps and ribbons that are tied to the dancer's ankles.
- are soft, pliable shoes made of canvas or leather, with either continuous or two-part sole (also called split-sole), used for ballet dancing. The sole is typically made of leather, with thicker material under the ball and heel of the foot, and thinner and thus more flexible material under the arch so that the foot can be easily pointed. They are typically secured by elastics across the top of the foot.
- are soft shoes that are used in,, and.
- typically have a two-part rubberized sole (also called split-sole) to provide both flexibility and traction, and a short heel. They are secured to the foot by laces or elastic inserts.
- Tango and are used for or dancing.
- Ballroom shoes fall into two categories: Ballroom and Latin American. Both are characterised by soles. Men's ballroom shoes are typically lace-ups with one-inch heels and patent leather uppers. Ladies' ballroom shoes are typically court shoes with two-inch heels, made of fabric that can be colored to match the dancer's dress. In contrast to the low Ballroom heel, which evenly distributes weight across the foot, Latin American shoes have higher heels designed to shift weight onto the toes. Latin shoes are also more flexible than ballroom shoes. Men's Latin shoes typically have 1.5- to 2-inch high, shaped heels, while Ladies' Latin shoes have 2,5-inch to 3-inch heels. Ladies shoes are typically open-toed and strapped.
- Dance sneakers are lightweight with reinforced rubber toes that allows dancers to briefly stand on their toes. These are known by various trademarked names, such as dansneakers.
- Foot thongs are slip-on, partial foot covers that cover the ball of the dancer's foot so as to reduce friction while executing turns, thus making it easier to perform turns and also protecting the foot from skin abrasions. From a distance, flesh colored foot thongs give a dancer the appearance of having bare feet. They are known by various names depending on the manufacturer, including dance paws, foot undies, and foot paws.
- have metal plates mounted to the bottoms of the toe and heel. The metal plates, which are known as taps, make a loud sound when struck against a hard performance surface. Tap shoes, which are used in, may be made from any style of shoe to which taps can be attached.
- Character shoes are leather shoes with one- to three-inch heels, usually with one or more straps across the instep to secure it to the foot. They may be soft-soled (suede) or hard-soled. They may be converted to tap shoes by attaching taps.
A foot thong, viewed from the bottom
Ladies' ballroom shoes
Men's ballroom shoes
Orthopedic shoes are specially-designed footwear to relieve discomfort associated with many foot and ankle disorders, such as blisters,, and corns,,, or heel spurs. They may also be worn by individuals with or people with. These shoes typically have a low heel, tend to be wide with a particularly wide toe box, and have a firm heel to provide extra support. Some may also have a removable insole, or, to provide extra arch support.
Main article:World's largest pair of shoes, Riverbank Center, Philippines – 5.29 metres (17.4 ft) long and 2.37 metres (7 ft 9) in wide, equivalent to a French shoe size of 75.
Shoe size is an alphanumerical indication of the fitting size of a shoe for a person. Often it just consists of a number indicating the length because many shoemakers only provide a standard width for economic reasons. There are several different shoe-size systems that are used worldwide. These systems differ in what they measure, what unit of measurement they use, and where the size 0 (or 1) is positioned. Only a few systems also take the width of the feet into account. Some regions use different shoe-size systems for different types of shoes (e.g., men's, women's, children's, sport, or safety shoes).
for vary widely around the world. European sizes are measured in Paris Points, which are worth two-thirds of a centimeter. The UK and American units are approximately one-quarter of an inch, starting at 8¼ inches. Men's and women's shoe sizes often have different scales. Shoes size is often measured using a, which can determine both the width and length size values of the foot.
- Foam tap — a small foam pad placed under the ball of the foot to push the foot up and back if the shoe is too loose.
- Heel grip — used to prevent the shoe from slipping on the heel if the fit is not perfect
- (Orthopedic) — insert of various materials for cushioning, improved fit, or reduced abrasion. These include padding and inner linings. Inserts may also be used to correct foot problems.
- Overshoes or — a rubber covering placed over shoes for rain and snow protection.
- Shoe bag — a bag that protects shoes against damage when they are not being worn.
- Shoe brush and polishing cloth: used to apply polish to shoes.
- — a waxy material spread on shoes to improve appearance and glossiness, and provide protection.
- Shoe stretcher — a tool for making a shoe longer or wider or for reducing discomfort in areas of a shoe.
- — placed inside the shoe when user is not wearing it, to help maintain the shoe's shape.
- — can be used to insert a foot into a shoe by keeping the shoe open and providing a smooth surface for the foot to slide upon.
- — a system used to secure shoes.
- — a wooden or leather piece that increases the area of ground covered by the shoe.
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