Fashion

Types of Shoes: 19 Different Types of Footwear

What Is a Shoe?

A shoe is a type of footwear that covers the foot and protects it with a sole. There are various styles of shoes for different occasions, such as athletic shoes, dress shoes, sandals, and boots.

14 Different Types of Shoes

Finding the right pair of shoes for an outfit or an event can be challenging. Below is a list of common types of shoes:

  1. Athletic shoes: Athletic shoes, also known as sneakers, have a rubber sole and canvas upper and are designed to be worn while doing physical activity. There are different types of athletic shoes for various functions. Running shoes have additional sole support to protect the feet against ground impact, and tennis shoes are specifically designed to be flexible for tennis players. High-tops extend up to the ankles and provide stability to basketball players.
  2. Ballet flats: Traditionally, lace-up ballet shoes are worn by ballet dancers when they dance, but an everyday version of the slip-on shoes, known as ballet flats, feature a rubber sole. Mary Jane shoes are a version of a ballet flat with a strap across the top.
  3. Boat shoes: These canvas or leather slip-on shoes have rubber soles that feature a cut pattern to prevent slippage on wet decks.
  4. Brogue shoes: Brogue shoes are any low-heeled shoe, loafer, or boot that features broguing, or hole perforations. Brogue shoes are usually leather shoes and are common in menswear. A wingtip is a type of brogues that has a W-shaped, pointed toe cap with wings that run along the side of the shoe, ending before the ball of the foot.
  5. Clogs: This refers to any slip-on shoe that has a thick, wooden sole and an open back.
  6. Espadrilles: These summer shoes have a fiber sole and a canvas upper, and they lace up around the ankles. Some espadrilles are flat, while others are platform shoes.
  7. Flip flops: These flat sandals have a Y-shaped strap that separates the big toe from the other toes. Flip flops are everyday casual shoes for the summer, particularly for the beach.
  8. High heels: Any shoe with a heel that’s more than one inch is called a high-heel shoe. High heels come in many styles, such as high heel sandals or stilettos with long and thin heels.
  9. Loafers: Loafers are slip-on shoes with a heel and rounded toe. When made out of leather, loafers can serve as a good pair of business shoes. Loafers made of fabric can be trendy casual wear shoes. Penny loafers are a version of loafers with a leather strap on top.
  10. Oxford shoes: These classic dress shoes lace up and have a low heel with a slightly pointed toe. Oxford shoes are typically polished brown or black leather, and there are many variations. A cap toe oxford has horizontal stitching on the toe box and is more of a formal shoe. A derby shoe, also known as a blucher shoe, is a version of the oxford shoe with open lacing. The shoelace eyelets are on top of the vamp—the front part of the shoe covering the toes and part of the foot—which enables the derby shoe to lace up looser than the oxford shoe.
  11. Monk strap shoes: Monk strap shoes look similar to oxford shoes, but instead of laces, the enclosure is a wide strap across the vamp.
  12. Platform shoes: This shoe style features a heel and a thick sole to elevate the foot off of the ground. Platform shoes can be sandals, close-toed shoes, or boots.
  13. Slingbacks: This refers to any shoe with a covered toe and a strap that goes around the heels to secure the shoe. There are slingback heels as well as slingback flats.
  14. Strappy sandals: These sandals have straps across the foot and sometimes up the ankles. Strappy sandals can be flat or feature a low or high heel.

5 Types of Boots

Boots are shoes that cover the foot, ankle, and a part of the leg. Types of boots include:

  1. Ankle boot: These boots extend up to the ankles. A slip-on ankle boot with an elastic side panel is called a Chelsea boot, and an ankle boot made of suede or leather with laces is known as a Chukka boot or desert boot.
  2. Cowboy boots: Initially worn by cowboys as work boots, cowboy boots are heeled shoes with a wide shaft that hits mid-calf.
  3. Hiking boots: These athletic shoes have slip-resistant rubber soles, a thick insole for arch support, thick upper material, and extend up to the ankle. These shoes are used for hiking and walking in different weather conditions. Some hiking boots are insulated for warmth or are waterproof.
  4. Knee-high boots: These boots extend to the knee and have a heel and pointed or rounded toe. Knee-high boots were originally created as horse riding boots to protect riders from mud.
  5. Wellington boots: These waterproof boots (named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington) protect feet from the rain. Wellington boots are also known as galoshes or rain boots and have a thick, slip-resistant rubber sole and a shaft that hits at the mid-calf or knee.

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