Footwear Glossary Shoe Construction Terminology

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Footwear GlossaryShoe Construction TerminologyAAglet: The plastic sheath at the end of a shoelace which makes the lace easier to thread through the eyeletholes of a shoe.Ankle Strap: A strap attached at the rear of the shoe that encircles the ankle. Usually features an adjustablebuckle or elastic.Ankle Wrap: Straps that are meant to be wrapped around and tied around the ankle for a stylish accent.Apron Toe: A type of toe characterized by a large overlay that covers the front of the toe and has visibleedges or stitching.Arch: The high, curved part of the sole of the foot, located between the ball of the foot and the heel. Thisterm can also refer to the raised area of the insole of the shoe, for padding and support of the archof the foot.Automatic Sewing Machine: Sewing machines that sew a predetermined pattern rapidly and consistently. Usedfor topstitching uppers, tacking, shadow topstitching, etc.BBack Seam: The vertical seam at the back of a shoe or boot.Page 1 of 10

Ball: The padded area of the foot between the big toe and the arch of the foot.Bellows Tongue: A shoe tongue that is attached at both the top and the sides of the shoe.Bicycle Toe: A type of toe characterized by two stitched straight line accents, so named because of theirsimilarity to professional bicycling shoe detailing.Blucher Toe: A type of toe characterized by a smooth, turned stitch border around the toe area, like an aprontoe style in reverse.Boot Heel: Typically found on boots, this is a wide, stable type of heel that usually is not very high.Bottoming: bottoming refers to the process of attaching the Sole to the Upper. The basic methods of soleattachment include cementing, molding / vulcanizing, and sewing.Braided Thread: a thread where the ply are braided rather than twisted together so they have very good plyadhesion. A&E’s brand for this item is our Poly Braid which comes in Sizes 4 and 6. #4, white, Poly Braid Cat# DA70148 Color #30001 #4, black, Poly Braid Cat# P911141 Color #35907 #4, brown, Poly Braid Cat# P914140 Color #98003 #6, white, Poly Braid Cat# P911863 Color #30001This product is generally used for stitching the outsole.Brannock Device: A device used to measure the length and width of the foot in order to ensure proper shoefit.Break: The natural crease created across the vamp of the shoe from everyday wear.Buckle: A clasp at the end of a length of fabric or leather that joins one end of the material to the other.Burnish: The process of buffing a shoe surface to achieve an antiquing effect of the leather.CCap Toe: A type of toe style with a full toe overlay and a straight stitching line across the top part of the toe,often seen in dress shoes.Cemented Construction: A shoe construction in which the upper of a shoe is cemented, rather than stitched,to the sole of the shoe. Cement construction results in a lighter, more flexible shoe.Page 2 of 10

Collar:Column Heel: A type of women's high heel that's round and column-shaped.Combination Last: A footwear last in which the heel is two sizes smaller in width that the widest part of theshoe, producing a shoe with a narrow heel and a wide toebox.Contoured Footbed: An insole that molds to the shape of the foot.Counter: A stiff piece of material placed at the heel of a shoe between the lining and upper is order to retainthe shape of the shoe.Crepe Sole/Crepe Rubber: A type of crude natural rubber sole characterized by a crinkled texture like crepepaperCuring: The application of chemicals to animal hides in preparation for the tanning process.Cushioning: Padding on the insole or outsole of a shoe for added comfort and stabilization.Cylinder bed sewing machine: A sewing machine having a horizontal cylinder arm or post which allows aclosed upper to be moved feely around the working area.DDressing: The application of polish or gloss to a shoe to maintain its finish and appearance.Dri-lex: A dual layered configuration composed of Hydrofil, a moisture absorbing nylon fiber as a under layer,and a moisture resisting outer layer knitted together.Dual Density Midsole: Seen in running shoes, a midsole that employs two different densities of cushioningfoam, with denser foam where the foot would normally tend to roll.EElastic Gore: An elastic fabric panel inserted into shoes to provide stretchEnergy Return: In running and athletic shoes, it is the response after the foot strikes the ground, a sort ofpropulsion that helps maintain an effective 'gait' or strideE.V.A.: (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) A synthetic compound used for outsoles. E.V.A. provides cushioning to thefoot and is easily shaped by heat and pressure.Page 3 of 10

Eyelet: A hole through which a lace is threaded; may be reinforced with a metal ring or grommet.Eyeleting: This is the operation where the eyelets are attached to the upper. The machine punches andspaces the lacing holes, feeds and sets the eyelets in proper alignment.FFair stitch: The stitching of the Welt to the Midsole.Fiberboard: A material made primarily of wood pulp which is used for counters, insoles and heel lifts.Finish: The process by which the final appearance of a shoe is created. The finish can include the applicationof polish to create a high-gloss finish, or a contrasting polish to create a rub-off finish like'antiquing'.Flat bed sewing machine – Sewing machine designed for stitching upper components together on flatsurfaces.Flat Heel: Shoes with a very low or no heel heightFootbed: the insole of the shoe, where the foot rests. Often removable, the footbed is contoured and providesfoot positioning, comfort, and insulation. Aftermarket footbeds can improve boot fit and upgrade performance.Forefoot: The area of foot between the ball and the toes.Foxing: A strip of rubber joining the upper and sole of a shoe. Typically found on canvas sneakers.GGirth: The circumference of a shoe last, as measured around the ball of the foot.Goodyear Welt: a shoe construction, in which the upper and sole of the shoe are stitched together, resultingin greater durability. The resulting seam is visible and runs around the outside of the shoe, wherethe upper and outsole meet. The feature that distinguishes this construction from all other is theinsole rib to which both the welt and upper are secured by a strong, flexible stitch. The Goodyearwelt construction is unique in the position of its two seams in the shoe bottom. There is a hiddenseam holding together the welt, the upper, the lining and the insole, which, in cross section, isalmost horizontal in position. This is stitched with a Goodyear Welt machine.The outsole is then attached by means of a lockstitch sole stitching machine. This seam consists ofheavy needle and bobbin threads which are drawn up tightly into the welt and sole.Gore: An elastic panel stitched into either side of a shoe’s vamp in order to make it more comfortable andeasier to put on and take off.Page 4 of 10

HHeel: "Heel" can refer to both the rear, padded area of the underside of the foot, as well as the solid part of ashoe that supports the heel cup. The standard measure for heel heights is as follows: an 8/8 (low heel) is 1"high; a 16/8 (medium heel) is 2" high; and a 24/8 (high heel) is 3" high.Types of shoe heels include:Louis or French - Features a curved back; ranges in height from 16/8 to 24/8.Baby Louis - The same shape as a Louis heel, but a 12/8 or shorter.Built Heel - Created from layers of leather or fiber with contrasting tones.Continental - A higher heel with a slightly curved back and flat front.Cuban - A thick, stacked heel with little or no curvature and tapered at the bottom; usually medium inheight.Stacked - Similar to the built heel, but typically can be created from synthetic and leather materials.Often found on spectator shoes.Wedge - A heel that is as wide as the shoe itself and follows the shoes contour from toe to heel. Maybe of any height.Heel Counter: Counters provide support and help the upper wrap around the foot. They also help protect theheel from impact.Heel Breast: The forward-facing side of the heel.Heel Height: Heel height is measured on a vertical line at the breast of the heel, from the bottom surface ofthe sole where it meets the heel, to the floor. Heel height is measured in increments of 1/8thinches, so an 8/8 heel is one inch high.Heel Seat: The part of the shoe directly below where the heel of the foot rests. Also where the sole and theheel are joined together.Hidden Gore: An elastic panel at the front of a shoe that is covered by the shoe’s tongue. Provides addedcomfort.IInjection Molded Construction: A type of sole unit construction created by injecting melted PVC or a similarmaterial into the sole mold. Injection molded construction is an efficient way to mass-producefootwear.Inseam: The hidden seam of a welted shoe holding together the welt, upper, lining and insole.Inseaming: The stitching together of the welt, upper, lining and insole with a heavy durable thread.Inseaming thread: We often sell the following products: Poly Inseaming thread Cat #D111802 Color #30001 Tex 600, white, Polyester; or Cat #D111803 Color #35907 - Tex 600, black, Polyester.Insole: The part of the shoe that the foot rests upon, usually cushionedInsole Rib: The part of the Insole that is used when stitching a Goodyear Welt.Instep: The area of the foot between the toes and the ankle, or the top front part of a shoePage 5 of 10

LLaces: A strip of material strung through the eyelets of a shoe in order to pull the shoe closed and adjust itsgirth.Last: A metal, wood or plastic form used to create the shape of a shoe.Lasting: The process of pulling and shaping a shoe on a last. This can be done by pulling and tacking theupper to the last or by string lasting.Lift: One of the several layers of leather or leather-board used to make a heel.Lining: The material inside a shoe. Literally, the "lining" on the inside of the shoe or boot. Synthetic liners suchas Cambrelle offer lightweight, quick-drying comfort and resist mildew. Leather liners are extremely durableand cooler to wear, but take longer to dry. Waterproof-breathable Gore-Tex fabric is either built into bootsbetween the liners and uppers, or is bonded to other fabrics. Gore-Tex increases water-resistance but mayfeel hot against your foot.Littleway Lasting: In the stitchdown construction, the sole stitching appears on the foot side of the insole andon the outsole bottom. The seam may sometimes be hidden in a groove on the sole’s bottom to minimizeabrasion of the stitching. The machine that does this stitching is very specialized and requires a specialLittleway bobbin. Littleway thread: NA70206/30001 - #346, white Nylon or NA74230/56033, #346, black,Nylon.Lug Sole: A sole with a heavy rubber soleLycra/Neoprene: A blend of stretch fabric and neoprene rubber, ideal for a waterproof and sporty soft liningMMid-sole: The part of the shoe between the very bottom and where the foot rests. The midsole is acushioning layer between the outsole and the upper. Various rubber and foam compounds are usedfor shock absorption. Generally, heavier-weight materials will be firmer and more durable.Moc Toe: A type of toe design with a seam and stitching details, originally seen in moccasinsMonk Strap: A type of shoe designed like an oxford, but with a strap closure across the instep rather than alace up front closurePage 6 of 10

NNegative Heel: Popular in comfort footwear, a type of footbed with a lowered heel area designed for morenatural foot placemenOOutsole: The very bottom of the shoe, the part that contacts the groundOverlay: Detailing on a shoe made by layering material on top of other materialPPerforation: A pattern of small holes punched or bored into the trim of a shoe, for the purpose of decorationor ventilation.Pinked: Detailing characterized by a saw-tooth edge applied for decorationPiping: A decorative, narrow strip of leather or synthetic that follows the seam of a shoePitch: The angle of the back part of the heel where it meets the sole, compared to the front part of the heelwhere it meets the sole. On a high-heeled shoe the pitch should be at a large angle, in order tostabilize the heel.Polyurethane: A type of manmade material that can be made to have the look and feel of leatherPU: The commonly used abbreviation for polyurethanePolyvinyl Chloride (PVC): A semi-rigid plastic metal, often used in heel counters and outsoles for addedsupport.Post sewing machine: A special sewing machine having a small raised working area to allow for easier fittingand stitching on partially closed uppers.QQuarter Panel: The sides of the shoe from the heel to the toeQuarter Lining: The lining of the rear part of a shoe, typically made from leather or fabric.RRand: Thin rubber bindings that run around the junction of the upper and sole and part way up the boot.Rands add to a boot's overall water-proofing and protect the upper from abrasion.Page 7 of 10

Rim: The part of the shoe where the foot enters. Another term for collar or topline.Rocker: The curvature of the sole from the heel to the toe of a boot to facilitate walking.Ruched: A type of detailing characterized by gathered or pleated material with stitching accentsSScalloped: A type of detailing characterized by round wavy edgesScree collar: Lightly padded cuff at the top of the upper that keeps out debris.Sculpted Heel: A type of high heel molded in one piece, usually out of high-impact plasticShaft Height: The measurement of the shaft of the boot. Measurement is from the inside seam where instepand sole meet to the top of the boot.Shank: a strip or plate in the sole that adds rigidity and support. Full-length shanks offer additional torsionalrigidity and protection.Shoe Sizes: The variation between full sizes is one-third of an inch, while the difference between half sizesand full sizes is one-sixth of an inch. This system of sizes is based on a decree made by Edward in1324.Silicone: A slippery polymeric material used to waterproof shoes.Siped: A ty

Cap Toe: A type of toe style with a full toe overlay and a straight stitching line across the top part of the toe, often seen in dress shoes. Cemented Construction: A shoe construction in which the upper of a shoe is cemented, rather than stitched, to the sole of the shoe. Cement construction results in a lighter, more flexible shoe.