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The shoe dictionary: from espadrilles to clogs, including the iconic ‘stilettos’

Surely you have ever wondered what a shoe model is called or why two similar shoes have different names.

To help you, we have prepared this shoe dictionarywith which you will become a whole fashionist.

From ‘a’ to ‘z’ we review the different types depending on the design, material, heel…:

  • 5 of 30

    Ankle boots

    They could be classified within the group of boots. It is a model that covers feet and ankles. As with boots, there are dozens of varieties that we will review in another article.

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    Flip flops

    This open summer footwear, widely used to go to places with water, is made up of a sole that is attached to the foot by one or more straps crossed over the toes or instep.

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    It is a flat shoe that has its origins in World War II. They are generally dark in color, with a platform that can be hidden or exaggerated depending on the model.

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    Wedges are a type of heel that extends along the sole or bottom of the shoe. That is, it provides a heel that falls from the back of the foot. There are dozens of options made from different materials, in various colors, open and closed…

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    Sneakers, tennis shoes, sports shoes… They receive several different names, all of them synonyms, which refer to the shoes used for sports. They are closed and are characterized by being made of leather, canvas or synthetic materials and having a suede sole, which offers grip and flexibility.

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    From the Manolo Blahnik brand, they are the favorites of the character Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in New York). These are shoes with a thin, flute-type heel, and may have a wide strap over the instep. At the back, they have a piece that covers the heel, but they are open on the sides.

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    This shoe, popularized by Audrey Hepburn, is characterized by having a small heel of about 2.5-5 cm with a slight curve that fixes the heel to the edge of the shoe. The kitten They leave the instep open and are a very elegant shoe ideal for taller women.

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    This leather shoe, which is worn without laces, is closed and exposes the ankle. They differ from moccasins because they are simpler and the material they are made of (leather).

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    The Mary Janes or Mary Janes are a type of closed footwear with an opening at the instep and a ribbon at the heel. They are usually made of patent leather. The toe is rounded and they may or may not have a heel. They are the classic shoes that girls wear when they are younger.

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    Also known as albarcas, it is a shoe that covers the instep, but shows the toes and does not cover the ankle or heel. The back of the foot is held in place by straps that originate from the rear side of the sole.

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    Just like the loafers, they are worn without laces, they are closed and expose the ankle, but these are made from patent leather or suede and sometimes have decorative laces. They usually include fringe decorations, tassels…

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    This closed shoe is characterized by having a side buckle closure that fastens quickly and tightly. It is a very comfortable and formal model, perfect for working without heels.

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    These are shoes without a heel. They are closed in front, although they can show the fingers, and open in the back. In addition, there are models with different heel heights.

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    This low-cut shoe is characterized, in addition to being soft and hand-stitched, by having a white, non-slip sole. They also have laces that go through two or three eyelets at the top and on the sides.

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    Oxford classics have a historic design. It is a flat shoe, with the lacing closed and has small perforations. Traditionally they have been made of leather, but today we can find them in all textures.

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    ‘Peep toes’

    This shoe is characterized by having an open toe that exposes a pair of toes. They have a medium-height heel and a comfortable platform in the front.

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    They are flat shoes with a platform and can be worn in different versions. This shoe allows you to increase your height by a few centimeters with a plus of comfort. Now, pay attention to the weight and design so that they do not cause back pain.

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    It is a shoe very similar to the classic stiletto which we will define below. It differs from these by having a higher heel and platform on the front sole.

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    This classic and elegant closed shoe leaves the upper area of ​​the instep open and has a thin heel, without being a stiletto, that can vary between 4 and 10 cm. The traditional tip is sharp, but new fashions have made it increasingly rounder.

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    This light and open shoe is made up of a sole that is secured with straps or ribbons. There are dozens of types depending on the straps, the heel… They leave the toes and other parts of the foot exposed, making them ideal for hot days.

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    This shoe has the heel part open and covered with a thin strip that holds the foot. This only passes through the back of the heel and the sides of the ankle. It can have a high or low heel.

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    ‘Slip on’

    Comfortable, pleasant and their main feature is that they do not have laces. Closed and with a medium sole, they are ideal for half-time and a casual look.

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    You could also call them comfort. They receive this name because of their similarity to house slippers. They are usually flat and open at the top.

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    They could be synonymous with elegance. This classic shoe, which shows the instep, is characterized by including a stiletto heel about 10 cm high. The tip is somewhat marked, but the end is rounded. They stylize the figure, lengthen the silhouette and achieve the optical effect of long legs.

  • 29 of 30


    This shoe has a T-shaped strap that crosses the instep, thus giving rise to its name, and closes at the ankle like a strap. This pair is ideal for summer and any formal engagement, as it is very elegant and feminine. You can find it closed or open, with or without a heel.

  • 30 out of 30


    Originally they were wooden shoes in one piece. Currently it is a type of sane footwear whose sole is made of cork or wood. Its front part is closed and the tip is rounded. However, the back is open.