Shoe Glossary

We have the best A to Z shoe glossary on the internet. Look no further than below. You don't know what a mule is? No stress - cherrichella has you covered. You want to know what a block heel is? Look no further than below. Listed below, is the most comprehensive A-Z footwear glossary you will ever need. Think we missed anything? Looking for a term not listed below? Send us an email at and we will add it to the list. 



The small cap at the end of a shoelace or drawstring that covers the tip of the lace and prevents the threads from fraying or separating. These are often made of clear plastic and used on sneakers.


This is a term used to describe the toe shape of a particular type of shoe. Flats, heels and boots can all be made using an almond toe. The shoe last is created using a softly rounded, tapered pointed toe.


One the most popular boots over the last 10 years. The ankle boot is a style of footwear that covers a large proportion of the foot. The top of the boot sits at the ankle height. Ankle boots can be made using heels, wedges or flat soles. We L.O.V.E. ankle boots at cherrichella!


Ankle straps are used to secure the foot inside the shoe. Often used on sandal heels but feature on wedges, flat sandals and occasionally dress flats. Ankle straps are usually fastened with buckles.


Ankle wraps have been on trend recently especially featuring in summer sandals. They are a strip or strips of material that wrap around the ankle and up the leg to secure footwear to the foot. They are often used on espadrille wedges for a fantastic European summer vacay look.


The arch is the curved area of the sole of a shoe. The part of the sole between the ball and the heel. The arch is often padded to provide extra support.


Athleisure is a term used to describe fashion lifestyle footwear that is inspired by both athletic and sportswear elements. It differs from athletic footwear because there are usually no performance related features to this type of footwear.



The area between the arch and the toes on a sole of the shoe.


Also known as ballerina flats. A ballet flat is a soft, slipper like flat. It is a closed toe shoe with no heel height. Originally designed to be used by ballet dancers, the style is a great everyday type of shoe and can be dressed up or down.


Our take on the modern sneaker. A ballet sneaker is a low profile sneaker that is easy to slip-on and lace-up. The cherrichella ballet sneakers are made using rubber outsoles that have a slight piece of EVA for shock absorption as the back of the heel.


We love block heels. One of the most popular types of heel, block heels are a thick, sturdy heel that is often square or rectangular in shape. Used on closed toe heels, sandals and boots. They can be made in multiple heights and covered in just as many materials. Check out our take on the latest block heel trends here.


A flat shoe that is commonly made with a lace-up entry. Boat shoes are normally designed with a rubber sole to offer superior traction on slippery boat decks. The most popular styles are made from leather or canvas.


Boots are the perfect choice of winter footwear. Boots are footwear that cover the entire foot and extend to the height of the ankle bone. In order of height, extending above the ankle are mid-calf boots, knee high boots, OTK boots and thigh high boots. Shop cherrichella boots


Another name used for a boot that covers the entire foot but does not have a shaft. They stop at the ankle bone height. Shop cherrichella ankle boots


Brogues are a great type of casual footwear. Brogues can be recognised by the distinct perforations or punched details that are designed on the upper of a low-heeled shoe. They look fantastic in tan for a casual look or dress them up in black.


The most common type of clasp used on ankle straps. A buckle is a fastener that secures two straps to each other. Buckles allow one strap to pass through a circular fitting, attached to a second strap. They can also be used as an embellishment on heels, flats and boots.



Canvas is a thick, heavy material that is woven from fabrics like cotton, flax, hemp or linen. Often used in sporting footwear and lining materials within closed toe footwear. The cherrichella sneakers often have canvas linings. Shop sneakers.


A cap toe is a decorative layer of upper material adorning and reinforcing the toe of closed toe shoes and boots. It is often emphasized by a line of decorative stitching.


One of the most popular styles of ankle boots, the Chelsea boot is a pull-on boot that features twin elastic gussets. Chelsea boots can be made using flat, heel or wedge soles. Shop our latest boots here.


Chunky heels are thick, rectangular-shaped heels used on boots, sandals or shoes. We love chunky heels on casual sandals and ankle boots.


Often a term you will find in the size guides, circumference refers to the measurement around the shaft of a boot or ankle boot. The measurement is taken at the widest part of the pattern near the top of the boot shaft.


A clog is a platform-heeled shoe that features a closed toe and open back. Clogs are an awesome casual type of footwear that are most commonly made with wood bottoms.


Combat boots also known as military boots are lace up ankle boots that were originally designed for the military. They come and go in and out of fashion and can be designed casually or dressy.


The most common use for cork is the stopper in a wine bottle. But the material comes from bark tissue and is harvested for commercial use. It can be used to wrap heels, wedges or even insoles like on our cherrichella sneakers.


Made for the wild west, cowboy boots are a chunky, medium high slanted heel. Usually made with a pointed toe and decorative stitching or tooling that extends to a mid-calf height. Perfect casual boots to wear with jeans and in summer with denim shorts.


A crepe sole is made from natural rubber that is creamy yellow in colour and is heavy in weight. It is an expensive rubber sole material to use. Hot tip – if left out in the heat of the sun or in a hot car your crepe soles can stick to each other.


A natural rubber with crinkled texture, used in shoe soles. Most commonly made in yellow rubber.


Croc-embossed is a design feature that resembles the look and texture of real crocodile skin. The material has been pressed to create the final look. Thankfully, we don’t use real crocodile skins in any of our cherrichella shoes.



D’orsay is a style of heel or flat that the inside of the shoe is cut away. This reveals the arch of the foot and the vamp is cut very close to the sole.


Driving mocs are moccasin-inspired shoes with repetitive rubber tabs on the sole. They provide grip on the sole of the flat making them the perfect flat to drive with. Often made in bright suede colours.



An espadrille is a sandal or closed toe shoe that uses a woven rope material covering the wedge or sole. Very popular in Spain, we love espadrilles during the summer season as they are a perfect casual style of footwear.


You would have probably read that we use EVA in our shoes. EVA stands for ethylene vinyl acetate. It is often used as a material in soles because it provides great impact absorption.


Eyelets are the small holes used in the upper pattern of shoes. They are occasionally reinforced by metal or plastic. We use eyelets across many of our lace-up flats. Shop our latest cherrichella flats.



Fabric is a cloth type material made by weaving textile fibres. It is used on shoes, accessories and clothing.


Faux leather is not real leather. It is a leather-like material which is man-made and resembles tanned animal hides. Cherrichella uses faux leather on many of its products. Provided there are no animal products used in the making of a shoe it can also be known as Vegan.


Fisherman Sandals are an open-design flat sandal that features an ankle strap, a centre strap that runs from the toe to the ankle, and numerous side straps. They are the perfect design for fishermen because they are flat, cover enough of the feet for protection and water can pass through the sandal.


Simply put, flats are shoes that don’t have any heel height. Sneakers, shoes, sandals and boots can all be made flat. We love cherrichella flats because $1 from every purchase supports an Aussie project in need. Check out cherrichella flats here.


One of the most common Aussie flat sandals is the flip flop, or as we Aussies like to say thongs. Flip Flops are flat sandals that are held to the foot by a singular strap that runs over and in between the toes. They can be made casually using EVA material or dressy with leather board soles. They are a great casual style that can be worn to the beach.


Footbed is the inner part of a shoe which makes contact with the bottom of the wearer’s foot. This can also be called the shoe's inner sole. The cherrichella sneakers use cork covered footbeds that are removable, perfect for customers who have their insoles.


Fringe is a decoration method on shoes where the upper material is cut into strips to create movement when walking. Often suede fabric is used especially on flat shoes like moccasins or loafers.



Gladiators were Roman fighters in ancient times. The gladiator games lasted nearly a thousand years. Gladiator shoes are a style of sandal that were designed to resemble the shoes worn by Roman fighters. They are often called gladiator sandals because they are open style sandals that are designed to hold the foot securely inside the pattern. Check out cherrichella’s sandals here.


Glitter is a collection of tiny small, reflective pieces that come in a magnitude of colours and size. Often a material used on shoes to provide a fun or dressy look. Glitter can be used on straps, heel coverings or be used to cover the entire upper pattern.


Grommets are the rings used to reinforce eyelets that are often applied to lace up shoes. They are generally made from metal or plastic.


Gym shoes are most commonly flat shoes that can be worn to the shoes. Some gym junkies like to use performance running shoes for the gym especially if working on cardio, while others may opt for a great flat sneaker. Our cherrichella low profile sneakers are the perfect gym or yoga shoe because they are easy to slip on and off and are uber stylish too! Check them out here.



Heel height is the measurement taken on a vertical line that extends from the bottom surface of the sole to the floor. This measurement is taken by our technicians and listed in all of the cherrichella product descriptions.


The protective piece of material used at the bottom of a heel is known as the heel tip. It is often made from plastic or rubber. Usually it is unnoticed because designers try to blend the colour of the heels tip with the overall heel colour.


Herringbone is a distinctive fabric pattern in the shape of a V, where columns of parallel lines slope in one direction and then the opposite direction. Look close up to a herringbone pattern and it will look like a broken zigzag. It is often made from twill fabric.


Hidden wedges are a wedge-shaped heel that is hidden inside a boot or shoe. From the outside of the boot or shoe the wedge cannot be seen and creates an illusion of height for the wearer.


Houndstooth is a distinctive fabric pattern that is most recognisable coloured in black and white. It consists of contrasting, notched squares that form an overall zigzag checked look.


Huarache flats are a flat slip-on sandal with a weaved upper. Often made in India, they can be made in the most common colour being tan, or in a variety of bright and metallic colours.



This is the inner part of a shoe which touches the bottom of the foot. It is often referred to as the inner sole or footbed. Some insoles can be removed like our cork covered insoles that are used in the cherrichella sneakers.


Instep is the arched upper part of the centre of the foot. It is located between the toes and ankle.



Kitten heels became popular again in the 1950s. They are low-heeled stiletto shoes. Kitten heels are generally made between 3.5cm (1.5 inches) and 5cm (2 inches) in heel height.



Lace up is a method for fastening shoes and holding the foot securely inside the pattern. It is a string or lace that is threaded through the eyelets of a shoe.


Leather is the hide of an animal that has been treated and tanned. It is commonly used in footwear as an upper material or to cover heels and wedges.


Lining describes the material used inside a shoe or handbag. It is often different from the material that is used on the outside upper. Lining can be made from leather, canvas, faux-leather and many more materials.


One of the most common flats which we love. The loafer is a low, slide-in shoe that has no shoe laces or buckles used to fasten the pattern to the foot. They can be worn dressy or casual and be made from a variety of materials.


Lug Soles are a heavy-duty, thick rubber outsole. They are typically used when making work boots or hiking boots. They come in different colours and currently lug soles are in fashion. They are used on some of the cherrichella boots here.



Man tailored is similar to an oxford shoe (a low shoe with laces over the instep.) It is often a trend to describe flat shoes. We love this man tailored look at cherrichella as they are so versatile. Dress them up or down… we like the casual interpretations of this trend.


Man Made means not made from an animal. Another term often used to describe manmade is vegan.


One of the most common styles of school shoes, the Mary Jane is a shoe with a strap across the instep that is attached with elastic, Velcro, or buckle. The most common colour of Mary Janes is black.


Mesh is a material characterized by an interlaced, loosely woven, knit fabric. Often used in performance footwear for sections of the upper or as lining material.


Microfiber is a very fine, lightweight synthetic fibre which often has a water-repellent property to it.


Microsuede is a manmade fabric composed of 100% pure polyester fibres. It resembles the appearance of real suede leather but is not made from an animal. We use microsuede in many of our cherrichella boots and it comes in a variety of colours.


Midsole is the shock-absorbing layer used between the inner sole and outer sole of a shoe.


Military boots are lace up ankle boots that were originally designed for the military. They can be designed casually or dressy and the most common colour for military boots is black.


Moc toe describes the rounded toe of a shoe or boot which resembles a moccasin loafer via a decorative seam that runs around the top of the toe cap.


Moccasin is a slip-on shoe with visible stitching around the outside perimeter of the toe box. The stitching creates a unique gathered effect. Moccasins are generally flat in nature and most commonly made in the slipper category of footwear.


Monk Straps are straps that feature one or more buckles, which is used to close a laceless dress shoe.


Motorcycle Boots are generally associated with motorcyclists. They are heavy boots with a low heel and range from ankle to knee height. The weight of the boot generally comes from the thick heel used on this style of boot.


One of our favourite styles of footwear and currently on trend. The Mule is a shoe or sandal with a backless entry into the pattern. They can be made using heels or completely flat. Check out the latest cherrichella mules here.



Non-leather is a synthetic material designed to be made to look like full-grain leather. It can be made in many different colours and is used on the majority of the cherrichella collection. We love using this material in our sandals.


Nubuck is a durable top-grain leather characterized by a velvet-like feel that is created from sanding or buffing the outer surface. At cherrichella we use synthetic nubuck on many or our boots to create the same look and feel as the leather version.


Nubuck upper is the exterior part of a shoe, excluding the sole. The upper has a suede or velvet-like finish to it and can be made from leather or non-leather. Our cherrichella boots often use non-leather nubuck.


Nude is a popular colour that resembles a natural or pale beige. Shop cherrichella nude shoes.



Outsole or Outer Sole is commonly referred to as the sole. The shoe's outsole is the bottom part of a shoe that contacts the ground with each step. It is most commonly made using rubber and can be designed in many different colours.


Commonly abbreviated as OTK Boots. Over the Knee Boots are boots that feature high shafts. They are designed to hit the leg above the knee. They can be made with a heel or completely flat.


Overlay describes the pieces of material that are bonded or stitched to a shoe's upper. Overlay can simply be used for decoration or to add structure to the shoe.



Patent describes the high-gloss finish that is often coated over leather. At cherrichella we use a faux patent which provides the same look and finish but is not coated over the top of leather.


Pebbled grain is the texture used commonly on leather that has been embossed or pressed to create a unique grain pattern. Often the non-leather uppers used in the cherrichella boots have this type of finish.


A peep toe shoe is a shoe with a narrow opening in the front that exposes the toes. Peep toes can be sandals, wedges, boots and they can come flat or heeled.


Platforms tend to be a high heel shoe with a thick sole under the front part of the foot. Platforms can be used to make styles of heels, shoes, sandals, wedges and boots. They provide instant height for the wearer.


Pointed Toe Pumps are an enclosed shoe with a heel of any height. The front end of the shoe covers the toes and tapers into a point. They are most commonly worn as a dress pair of shoes and can be made in many materials and colours.


Often abbreviated as “PU”, polyurethane is a synthetic plastic material that is not made of leather and that is often used to make the soles of shoes.


Pronation is the natural inward rotation of the foot with each step. Often people can over pronate which is very common. If this causes pain, usually seeing a podiatrist will help. They can make supportive orthotic insoles that can be used to insert or replace the inner soles of most shoes.



Quilted is a style of fabric, often with padded lining that is stitched together to provide a warm garment. Often used to form a bed covering. Quilted uppers are most commonly used on the side panelling of flats, heels and boots.



Raffia is currently one of our favourite materials. Raffia is a durable, easily woven fibre. It’s made from raffia strands that are made from a type of palm tree located in East Africa or Madagascar. Raffia is used in footwear, accessories, furniture and is a great summer material.


Retro is a term used to describe style that pays homage to the past. Another term for retro could be vintage.


Riding Boots are traditionally boots designed for the purpose of riding horses. These boots typically include a low heel and knee-high shaft. Fashion boots will often resemble riding boots in style.


Ruched describes the term whereby fabric has been gathered into tight ruffles or folds. It can be used in clothing, accessories and footwear.



Sandals are one of the most common types of footwear. Sandals are an exposed style of shoe that includes an open toe and open back. They slip on and are held in place with straps across the foot. Sandals can be made flat or with a heel. Shop cherrichella sandals.


Sculpted heels are a great way to update the most basic shoe patterns. A sculpted heel is a moulded heel that is crafted in an unusual, cut-out or curved shape.


Shaft describes the upper portion of a boot. The shaft of a boot covers the ankle and sometimes the leg. It’s always good to read the notes in the product descriptions to understand the circumference length of the shaft.


This is the measurement from the arch of a boot to the top of the boot shaft. Listed in the product descriptions, pay attention to the shaft height to determine where the cherrichella boots will sit on your leg.


Shearling is the material that features a clipped fur surface on one side, and a suede surface on the other side. Shearling is most commonly made from sheepskin but is also made from synthetic fibres.


Single sole pumps are an enclosed shoe that is made with a very thin sole (no platform). They can be made using high heels or as flats.


One of our favourite types of sandals as they are easy to slip on and go! Slide Sandals are an open-toe, backless slip-on sandal that features a strap or straps that sit across the vamp of the foot.


Sling backs were very popular in the ‘90s. A Sling back is a backless shoe that is held in place with a strap at the back of the foot. The strap is typically elastic or buckled for adjustment. Sling backs can be used on sandals or shoes and can be made both flat or with a heel.


The most common type of slip on is the slipper. A Slip On is a shoe which can slide onto the foot without the use of a lace or strap. It therefore, is theoretically possible to be put on without the use of the wearer’s hands.


A slipper is one of the oldest styles of footwear. In ancient times the slipper was a dress shoe and while they are still designed today as dress shoes, they are commonly used for the bedroom. A slipper is a flat shoe that slips on and is typically meant for use indoors. It can often be lined for extra comfort.


Slouched is often a term to describe the shaft of a boot. It is not rigid, and thus drags the overall boot pattern down by gravity. Slouched boots fold or wrinkle as they appear to slide down the leg.


Snake embossed material is a finish that has been pressed to resemble the look and texture of snakeskin. We use this type of finish on some of our cherrichella sandals, heels and boots. Rest assured it is not made from real snakes.


Sneakers are a rubber-soled casual shoe. Often made using man-made materials. They can be used as performance footwear or casually. Dress them up or wear them casually, we love our interpretation of the modern sneaker. Show cherrichella sneakers.


Snip Toe is a style of toe box. It’s typically found in western boots. Snip Toe’s feature a snipped or blunted toe shape that is tapered and then flat at the front.


Sock lining refers to the thin piece of fabric or material that rests on top of the insole. It is the piece of fabric that your feet rest on, inside the footwear style. Our cherrichella shoes are all made with non-leather sock linings.


The sole is the outsole, or bottom part of a shoe. It can be made in a variety of materials but the common outsole material on our cherrichella heels is resin.


A stacked heel is a heel composed of many layers of leather. Each piece is laid on top of one another to create a wood-grain appearance. Some brands choose to use a spray-on effect which is a cheaper way to replicate this heel look. At cherrichella, we prefer the real look.


Steel toe boots are an extremely popular work boot. The steel toe describes the part of a work boot or shoe that is designed to protect the toes by using a steel cap. They can also be used in fashion boots.


Stilettos are a very thin and usually very high heeled shoe. The heel tapers nearly to a point where it comes into contact with the ground. Stilettos can be used in closed toe pumps or sandals. We prefer making block heels because they are sturdier to walk in, but fashion is a funny thing…you can never say never!


How sexy is the perfect strappy sandal? A strappy sandal is essentially an open shoe consisting of multiple straps that secures the foot to the sole. We love our latest cherrichella strappy sandals!


Studs are decorative metal (or plastic) knobs or points. They usually stick out from the surface of the material they are attached to as a form of design or decoration. They can be used on flats, sandals and pretty much all types of footwear.


Suede is a type of leather that has been treated. It comprises a soft, napped surface. It is often used on dress footwear but can also be used on clothing, accessories and even furniture.


Synthetic materials are materials that are man-made and not naturally produced. They are an alternative to leather and widely used across the fashion industry, furniture industry and even used in cars.



A tassel is a knotted rope or piece of fabric which is an ornamental piece typically used on a shoe vamp. Tassel loafers are a great way to spice up your shoe game.


Tennis shoe or commonly called a plimsoll is a casual, soft-soled lace-up shoe that was originally designed for tennis. It is often made of canvas or leather and is an easy casual shoe that can be worn with denim or shorts in summer.


Commonly referred to as flip-flops, Thong Sandals are a sandal that uses straps that pass between the big toe and second toe. They use a v-strap that connects to the sandal sole at both sides of the foot. Currently the thong sandal trend is being used on block heels. We love this look at cherrichella. Shop our sandals.


When referring to the tongue in the footwear world we mean the strip of material that is attached to the vamp. It runs under the laces of a shoe. It is the piece of material that you pull up your foot before tying up your shoelaces.


TPR stands for thermoplastic rubber. It is a material that we use on many of our cherrichella flats.


T-Strap is the type of strap used that uses a vertical piece of material that runs from the toe or vamp and is connected to a horizontal strap running across the ankle. Both straps come together to create a "T" shape.


Twill fabric is often used in casual boots. Twill is a type of material that is characterized by a diagonal weave.



You probably read that we refer to the upper or upper pattern quite a lot. This term refers to every part of the shoe above the sole that is stitched together. Therefore, an upper is all material that covers the proportion of your foot from above the sole.



Vamp is another term that is often used in shoe language. A vamp is the portion of a shoe's upper that covers the top of the foot and that is at the front of the foot.


Vegan shoes are made using non-animal products. This means the heels, uppers and insole materials. No leather materials have been used in making the shoe.


Velvet is a rich looking fabric. It is a fabric of silk, nylon, acetate, rayon, etc. Sometimes velvet uses a cotton backing, with a thick, soft pile that is formed of loops of warped thread. It can be either cut at the outer end or left uncut.



Wedges are a very popular summer style of footwear. But they can be designed for winter too. A wedge is a triangular, wedge-shaped heel. It runs along the entire length of the foot. Shop cherrichella wedges.


A welt is the strip of material that unites a shoe's sole to the upper. It is often made of rubber, plastic or leather. Welts are commonly visible on the outsoles of casual boots.


Boots can be made for all seasons, but there is nothing better than a great winter boot! Winter boots are designed for keeping feet warm in the cold and dry during wet weather conditions. They often feature extra lining and anti-slip tread soles, designed to combat slippery surfaces.


Work Boots are footwear that is designed to protect the feet of a worker, often featuring a lace-up closure and steel toe box. Work boots are often a source of inspiration for fashion boots and we love the rugged casual look for them at cherrichella. Shop our boots.