Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I've been told a time or two that education is the key that unlocks the door. So it's always great to be a continuous learner. To stay abreast on things going on around you in books, the news, in culture, and in fashion etc. Today's post will inform you about shoes and the formal names for them.

Have you ever been in a shoe store and saw a bad pair of shoes that you liked...but when you got home you couldn't describe them. Just call me, Professor Ali...here with your personal shoe guide (from A to Z) to keep you on your toes *pun intended* I'm going to throw a pop quiz at the end so make sure you take out your pen and paper and take notes on your favorite shoe types.

1.) Ankle Boots
Boots that are cut off right below or slightly above the anklebone. They tend to have a minimal or high heel. 
2.) Ballet Flats
Flat shoes that have either no heel or a very minimal heel. The shoe has a rounded toe which is reminiscent of ballet slippers hence the term "Ballet Flats."
3.) D'Orsays
Shoes which sides are cut away creating two sections - a toe section and a heel section.
4.) Espadrilles
Flats or wedge heels traditionally made out of rope. They can have either closed or open toes.
5.) Flats
Any shoes that have no heel or a nominal heel.
6.) Flat Boots
Boots with no or minimal heels. Examples: Riding Boots, Mid-calf Boots, or Motorcycle Boots.
7.) Gladiators
Gladiators or as I like to call them "Jesus Sandals" are flat sandals inspired by versions which were once seen on Roman fighters. They have many straps around the ankle and across the foot.
8.) Kitten Heels
Kitten Heels can come in many forms. The key to spotting Kitten Heels are all in the heels. Their defining factor is a short heel usually between 1 - 2 inches.
9.) Loafers
Slip on shoes who ripped a page out of the menswear playbook. They are enclosed and have a high vamp (top part of the shoe). 

10.) Oxfords
Typically Oxfords lace up and are again inspired by menswear. They can have low or high heels and a range of details.
11.) Peep Toes
The main factor to distinguish a "Peep Toe" shoe is the small opening at the front of the shoe that allows a few toes to "peep" out. This shoe can come in a flat or heel.
12.) Platforms
Platforms are given a height advantage due to the extra thick front soles. Which also (depending on the maker of the shoe) create more support. 
13.) Pointy Toes
Shoes with an exaggerated pointed toe. These can come as flats and heels. 
14.) Pumps
Pumps are a classic staple. These shoes have covered toes, thin heels, and come in a variety of heights (low, medium or high). 
15.) Round Toes
These shoes are titled by their rounded toes. They have similar fronts reminiscent of ballet flats. 
16.) Sandals
Sandals can be high or low. They can come in flats or heels which feature straps but do not cover the toes. 
17.) Slides
Slides are open toe shoes with a high or low heel. They are completely backless. Out of all the shoes these have to be my LEAST favorite. (Mules are the exact same as slides except they have closed toes instead of open toes). 
18.) Slingbacks
Slingbacks can come in flats, pumps, or peep toes. They have a strap running behind the ankle to help keep the shoe securely on the foot. 

19.) Stilettos
Stilettos have thin, high heels which usually come with a 3(1/2) inch heel or higher. They make your legs look great also :)
20.) Strappy Sandals
Strappy Sandals usually come with stiletto heels, include multiple straps which crisscross in a variety of patterns across the toes or ankles.
21.) T-Straps
T-Straps can come in the form of heels or flats. The top center of the foot attaches to the strap which wraps around the ankle. 
22.) Tall Boots
Tall boots are just that. Boots that are knee high or taller. They can have a slim or chunky heel or can be flat or have a minimal heel. They can come off as sexy or even edgy. 
23.) Thongs
Thongs are shoes that have a strap running between the big and second toes. This style can include flip flops as well as sandals. 
24.) Wedges
Wedges are recognized by their triangle shaped heel which gives the shoe height and stability. 

I hope this post has given you some insight. If you can answer this one question I will deem you all "Shoeologists." QUESTION: Which shoe is traditionally made of rope and can have close or open toes? If your answer was: 4.) ESPADRILLES then you are ready to take on the shoe world. I hereby deem you graduates of Ali's' Fashion School. 

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