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Glossary of Footwear Definitions
D-Ring - Plastic or metal eyelets placed along the eye-stay which aid in ease of lacing, support and security of fit.

Derby - Men’s boot or shoes with the eyelet tab stitched on the outside of the vamp.

Direct Moulded - A construction method by which the sole of PVC, PU, TPR, etc. is moulded directly onto the upper.

Direct Vulcanizing Process - A construction for soling Rubber Sole where rubber compound is vulcanized directly onto the lasted upper.

Dual Density - Term used to describe some mid-sole or sole designs. One layer is denser than another. Denser layer provides stability and softer layers provide cushioning.

Durometer - A scale of 1 to 100 that measures the firmness of a mid-sole material, low numbers being softer than higher numbers.
Elasticity - The property of a body or material by which it stretches or under- goes other deformation under stress and resumes its original form when the stress is removed.

Elastomer - Material having elastic properties.

Embossing - A method of decorating leather by pressing a heated die onto the surface.

EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) - Chemical compound with rubber properties appropriate for soling in the blown or micro cellular form. A shock-absorbing material that's lighter than polyurethane.

Eyelet - Hole for the laces to pass through, but often embellished as a fashion feature.

Eyelet Tab - The front part of the quarters, overlaying the instep, carrying the eyelets.

Eyestay - Reinforcement around the eyelet holes (plastic or metal)


Feather Line or Edge - The boundary line around the upper where it joins the welt or the sole, the corresponding line around an insole or a last.

Fiberboard - A generic stiffening material made from synthetic or natural fibers bonded with resin or latex that softens with use. Often used for heel/toe counters.

Finishing Footwear - The final operation performed on footwear after constructional work has been completed to improve quality of the footwear by making the edge resistant to water and by improving its appearance.

Finishing Last - Specially made last on which footwear is generally finished. This last is made in two parts hinged together with half size shorter and half fitting less than the lasting last. The last is rounded more in the heel seat portion.

Fitting Up - A term applied to the gathering together to the bottoming components according to the instruction slip.

Fitting Stool - A low slanting topped stool upon which the footwear sales man sits when trying with a footwear, it has an edge to rest the foot of the customer while adjusting the footwear.

Flanging Upper - Turning out the edge of the upper kept as lasting allowance, instead of turning it in, in lasting operation for veldskoen method.

Flange Heel - A heel made with a flare towards the "top lift" or bottom of the heel as the footwear stands when worn.

Flannel - A raised cotton cloth used for inner lining of shoes.

Flap Sticking - Sticking up or attaching the flap to the breast and top of the heel (Louis heel construction) with the help of glue or any other suitable adhesive.

Flap Setting - An operation by which the leather sole edge covering the heel seat and breast area (Louis heel) is set.

Flap Splitting - Dividing the sole for Louis heel at the seat to allow a part to go up the heel and the rest under the heel.

Flap Trimming - An operation by which the split sole edge of heel breast area and seat area (Louis heel) is trimmed.

Flare - Refers to the width of the heel at the bottom of the outer sole in relation to the width of the heel at the top of the outsole. Normally a moderate amount of flare, i.e., wider at the bottom, improves stability and motion control.

Flat Binding - A kind of edge binding done is one operation. Special stitching machine turns the binding in "U"- shape and then attaches through.

Flat Fitting - Positioning of section of the upper on a flat base prior to stitching.

Flat Foot - Human foot in which the arch or arches specially the internal metatarsal arch, have either been broken due to some reason or have not been developed as in normal foot.

Flats - A general term for shoe styles with low wedge heels.

Flattened Foot - A term foot once normal but had fallen down through changes in position of ones.

Flat Last - A last with little arch or toe spring.

Flexibility - The ease with which the bottom or upper components of a footwear can be bent. This is one of the requisite properties of a footwear component which facilitates to easy bending of footwear components along with foot movement during walking.

Flexors - The muscles of the sole of the foot, the contraction of which bring the foot in a line with the leg.

Folded Edge - The edge of the skived upper which has been turned over to give a neat finish.

Folding - The most usual word for an upper edge treatment where a narrow margin of the edge is folded over, skived and secured by adhesive, also called beading.

Folded Edge - The edge of the skived upper which has been turned over to give a neat finish.

Folding Skive - The skive done to facilitate folding or turning-in of an edge of upper leather. This is made usually on twice the width to be folded, plus about one millimeter to cover the thickness of the material.

Football Boots - Boots made of thick leather, unlined and is either machine sewn or riveted. They have no heels and the soles are covered with studs arranged in various patterns on the soles and heels to give the wearer a firm grip.

Foot Form - A name for last or footwear made in close conformity to the natural outline of the foot.

Foot Hold - A low rubber over shoe having no heel but adjusted by a light heel strap.

Footwear Components - Any fabricated or semi-fabricated component made of various kinds of materials or combination of materials such as leather, canvas, textiles, wood and synthetics for use in the manufacture of footwear.

Forepart - The front part of the shoe or sole, from the waist.

Forme - The pattern, in a flat, representing as nearly as practicable the shape of the contoured last, from which the upper component shapes are derived.

Foot Bed - The part of the sole that your foot lies directly upon. Ideally, it is removable, comfortable, and contoured to provide moderate cushioning.

Foxing - A thin strip of rubber attached by cement vertically runlet, the edge of some shoes.

French Binding - A method of finishing the top-line by binding it with tape of fabric or plastic material.

French Curves - Various model curves moulded in sets in celluloid used to obtain satisfactory curves in drawing and designing of patterns.

French Foot - Made with a single seam in the center of sole.

French Heel - A heel which is similar to Louis heel made by wood covered with leather.

Frontier Pattern of Chaplis - This pattern of footwear was originally evolved by the North West Frontier Province (Pakistan) tribes as a sound, strong, cheap and hard-wearing footwear particularly suited to the rigorous task involved in climbing rocks and hills.

Fudge Edge - An edge stitched very close to the upper and trimmed closed.

Fudge Wheel - A rolling wheel is fixed in between two clamps which will mark the impression on the edge of the soles as a decoration.

Full Grain Leather - The entire thickness of the hide is used, unlike suede, top grain or Nubuck. Benefits are: waterproof ness in outermost layer of the hide, and strength and durability in the lower layer.

Full Sock - A piece of leather or fabric pasted or kept on the insole of the shoe to cover any grindery and stitching inside the shoe. Sometimes full sock is also provided for better appearance.

Full Sole - The whole cut sole used for costly footwear.

Full Vamp - A vamp that extends forward full size and is lasted under instead of being cut off and sewed to the tip on the under-side.

Full Welt - Welt of full length, that is of such a length to run all round the sole-edge.


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Gibson - Women’s lace-up style in which the quarters are laid over the vamp and drawn together by a lace. Equivalent to a men’s derby.

Girth - The measurement around the wide parts of the foot, namely the ball or joint.

Glace Kid - Leather with high gloss made from goatskins by chrome tanning used for making high class shoes. Also called Glazed Kid.

Golosh - An overshoe in waterproof material from protection against rain, snows, mud, etc. Also refers to the part of a boot which covers the foot, as opposed to the leg.

Gore Tex - W.L. Gore & Associates Inc., brand name for a waterproof-breathable membrane. The material is impermeable to water droplets but allows water vapor to pass through it. In footwear it is used between the upper material and the lining.

Grain - The pattern of pores and other surface characteristics of the animal concerned, visible on the outer surface of a hide or skin after the hair or wool have been removed. The grain pattern provides an easy means of identifying different types of leathers.

Grain Leather - Any leather on which the original natural grain has been changed or altered to any degree by any process.

Grindery - Trade name for tacks, eyelets, tapes, shanks etc., used in shoe making.

Grits - Are the roughness of the surface of abrasive materials.

Groove Channel - A type of open channel where an open groove in the shape of "U" is cut in the sole at a uniform distance along the edge to allow the stitches to bed in it. This is generally done on hard or thick leather, rubber, plastic nitrite or resin soles.

Gum Boots - These are knee high waterproof rubber boots generally used in chemical factories to protect the feet against injurious chemicals and also against the rain water.

Gusset - A side piece or insert of rubber webbing in the side of congress shoe.

Gypsy Seam - A seam running from throat, straight down fronts of a boot or shoe to the toe, making a vamp.


Half Bellows - A full length tongue attached to the vamp and all the way up on both sides of the quarters.

Half Double Sole - An out sole composed of one full sole to heel with a slip sole above it.

Half Sock - A piece of leather or suitable material to cover the inner sole partly. This particular type covers the seat and waist terminates at the joint.

Half Soles - Soles of half length, extended usually about 12 mm below the joint line, used by repairers.

Hallux Regidus - This is condition in which the big toe joint is enlarged, and movement in it is very limited or absent. The toe itself is not deflected from its normal position, as in hallux valgus.

Hallux Valgus - Hallux valgus is a displacement or buckling of the bones of the first motatarso - phalangeal joint with the great toe being displaced towards the other toes and the head of the first metatarsal bone being forced inward. This is also known as bunion.

Heat Setting - giving an upper more permanent shape retention while it is on the last by the application of heat or steam for a short period instead of longer period under strain.

Heel - A heel is the bottom's back part of a shoe or boot that provides elevation. The styling and construction of a heel may vary (i.e. stacked; stilletto; spiked; sculptured; kitten).

Heel Attachment - By braided nails, screws or staples. It is vital that this is correctly done, particularly in the case of high heels, otherwise the heel may come off.

Heel Breast - The front surface of the shoe heel.

Heel Grip - Small suede-covered pad which can be stuck to counter lining of shoe to reduce size at heel and prevent foot slipping out of the shoe.

Heel Height - The vertical distance from the center of the top piece where it contacts the ground to the seat of the shoe.

Heel To Ball Measurement - The measured distance of the ball of the foot from the heel end.

Heel / Toe Counters - The heel and toe counters is provided for support and help the upper wrap around the foot. They also help protect the heel and toes from impact.

Helcor Leather - Helcor-Leder-Tec's brand name for a carbon or ceramic coating added to the leather during the tanning process. This coating makes the leather puncture resistant, tear resistant and helps reduce abrasion scuffs.

Horsing - placing of upper on last in a proper position for lasting.

Hot Blasting - giving some form of heat treatment to the leather upper to smooth out any wrinkles and to tighten up the grain surface of the leather.

Hot Melts - Thermoplastic adhesive of polyamide or polyester. Polyamide and polyester hot melts are generally used for lasting.

Hot Puffs - A type of puff made of heavy woven cotton cloth impregnated with a molten mixture of rosin and wax. It is hard in nature and requires softening after its insertion by heat.

House Shoe - Another name for slippers.

Hunting Boot - A laced boot made with bellows’ tongue and blucher cut with waterproof sole.

Hurrache Sandal - A hand braided leather sandal without a counter and with the upper laced up to the sole.

Hydrophilic - Water friendly. Does not hold water in leather or any of the materials used in the shoe. Allows water to escape and the shoe to dry quickly.

Hyperidrosis - Excessive sweating of the foot.


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Glossary of Footwear Terms, Footwear Definitions and Shoe Design