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Glossary of Footwear Definitions
Inner lining - An additional lining, usually of cotton drill between the vamp lining and vamp of the footwear to aid in preserving the shape during wear.

Instep - The upper side of the foot between the toes and the ankle.

Instep Girth Measurement - The girth measurement of a last or foot taken at the middle of the waist through the instep point. 

Instep Position of Foot - A point on the top of the foot just above the arch which is distinguished by its bony prominence.

Interlaced - A sheet made by interlacing strips of leather or other material and used for making the whole or part of an upper of footwear.

Interlining - A material used between the footwear upper and the lining to increase softness and plumpness of the upper material.

Internal Wedge - The wedge heel inserted and stuck in the finished footwear. The heel is then covered with a soft rubber pad, this needs a special last having wood where the heel would normally fit.

Inverted Machine - A pulling over machine where the operator has a full view of the footwear while the pulling over is done.

Invisible Sole - When a half sole is spliced or beveled to show no edge at point of union.

Invisible Eyelets - See Blind Eyelets.

Iron - A measurement for the thickness of leather. One iron is equal to 0.53 mm approximately. 

Ironing Out - A finishing process of footwear by electrically heated iron. 

Jellies: Footwear made entirely from PVC by the injection moulding process. 
kiltie: casual shoe with fringed tongue that overlaps fastening at the instep.

kitten heel: low heel that tapers sharply to narrow base.

Lace Hook: Small hooks inserted like eyelets into boot/ shoe facings to hold the lace for fastening.

Lacing Hook: A tool used to lace the eyelet holes quickly

Lace Stay: A strip of leather applied on the front of a laced boot or shoe to strengthen and reinforce the eyelets or eyelet holes.

Lamination: Joining the faces of sheets of material together. This gives greater strength than each material would have on its own, and simplifies handling.

Lapstone: A shoemaker's stone held in the lap and upon which he beats leather or soles in order to give them a counted shape or on which he pounds down seams or folded edges with flat faced hammer.

Lap Iron: A small slab of iron approximately of the same shape as a half sole, held in worker’s lap to serve as a kind of anvil, on which the leather can be hammered.

Lapped Seam: A seam produced by laying one part over another and stitching together.

Last: made of plastic, metal, or wood, it is the form on which a shoe is constructed and is used to determine the shape and size of the shoe. The derivation of the word is "laest", the Old English word for footprint. Lasts may be straight, curved or semi-curved. In construction; shoes may be board lasted, slip lasted or combo-lasted.

Last Girth Scale: The amount of increase and decrease in girth measurement of a last in relation to its increase and decrease in sizes and fittings.

Lasting: The operation of stretching the upper over the last so that it conforms to the shape of the last, at the same time attaching it to the insole.

Lasting Allowance: The allowance provided at the free edge of the upper to enable the upper to be lasted properly.

Lasting Jack: An iron stand fitted with a last peg on which the last with the upper is placed during lasting.

Lasting Tack: Small tack used to secure upper to insole. Also used for temporary attachment of insole to last.

Latex Rubber: The milky emulsion of rubber particles exuded from the bark of the rubber tree. Used for making natural crepe rubber and adhesives.

Leather: Skin of an animal that is tanned and used in shoesƒ bagsƒ and other accessories.

Leather Board: Sheet material made by shredding pieces of scrap leather, suspending it in water together with a small percentage of rubber or synthetic binding material.

Lifts: Layers of leather or leather board composing the heel of a shoe, the lift in contact with the ground is called the top-piece and is frequently of rubber or plastic.

Loafers: A light- weight low leather step-in shoe, without fastening. Usually with a small tongue and saddle trim and a broad flat heel.

Louis Heel: A shaped high heel with graceful curves on the sides and back, with a breasted forepart. Originally designed for King Louis XIV, of France. 

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Made to Measure: Shoes made on a stock last which corresponds to the measurement of the customers’ foot.

Medial: Referring to the inner side (or arch side) of a shoe.

MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone): Solvent used for wiping the surface of PVC soles to remove plasticiser.

Mesh: A Woven nylon used in upper construction. Mesh has excellent breath-ability. Any fabric, knitted or woven, with an open construction.

Micro Porous Rubber: Rubber with a cellular structure. The cells are filled with air and provide support and cushioning. Generally firmer, more durable and slightly heavier than EVA and PU.

Midsole: A cushioning layer between the outsole and the upper. Materials may include EVA, PU, Micro porous rubber or compression molded EVA. It is the part of the shoe that absorbs shock, provides stability and usually encloses the vendor's cushioning technology.

Mineral Tannage: Tannage effected by salts of chromium, aluminum, iron and zirconium.

Moccasin: A shoe construction in which the upper and sole are in one piece, and the shoe is closed by stitching in the vamp, not at the back as is usual. Mocassins are generally without insole, which makes the shoe flexible. A slip-on shoe made from soft leather, originally worn by native Americans.

onk Shoe: A closed shoe, most often men's, with a wide strap over the instep fastened with a buckle.

Mule: A shoe or slipper without quarters, with any size heel, covering only the front of the foot, leaving back open.

Mulling: Uppers are warmed and damped by steam to make them more pliable and easier to last. 


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Glossary of Footwear Terms, Footwear Definitions and Shoe Design