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Shoe Styles
Knowing Your Shoe Styles Might Lead to Romance

by John Weston

Knowing your shoe styles can be important, especially around holidays, Valentine Day, birthdays, and anniversaries. Here is a quick guide featuring shoes from Houser, one of the areas best shoe discount store, to help you understand what he or she might be talking about. Even if knowing your shoe styles doesn't lead you to romance, this article might lead you to better style, comfort or great discounted shoe pricing.

Typical Women Shoes

Ankle Strap Shoe

An ankle strap shoe has a single strap or multiple straps that wraps around the ankle. A shoe that features ribbons, string, or other material that can be wrapped around the ankle and tied, it is often called an ankle "wrap" shoe.
Whether the shoes in question are sandals or pumps, or whether the straps are buckled or elasticized, one or more straps is all that is needed to make a shoe an ankle strap.

Ballerina Flats Shoes

Inspired by ballet slippers, ballerina flats have become very popular in women's footwear. Made from a wide variety of materials, ballerina flats can be dressy or casual.
Having a flat heel, closed toe, and a slipper-style construction, ballerina flats are typically low-cut, showing a lot of the top of the foot. Also Known As: Ballet Flats, Skimmers

Clogs Shoes

Clogs are shoes with open backs and closed toes, and are often referred to as mules, with the main difference being the soles and heels.
While a mule can have any kind of heel (stiletto, kitten, etc.), the heel of a clog is a platform-type heel, and the soles are thick and sturdy. Worn by men and women, traditionally, the soles of clogs were made from wood - though now they are made from a variety of materials.

Pump Style Shoes

Pronunciation: door-say
A d'Orsay style pump is a woman's shoe in which the vamp of the shoe is cut away very close to the toe box, and the sides are cut away, revealing the arch of the foot.

Espadrilles Shoes and Canvas Slip on Shoes

Pronunciation: ess - pah - drill
A slip on shoe of Spanish origin, which have a woven fabric (usually canvas) upper, and a flexible sole typically woven from rope or grass.
Also Known As: alpargatas alpargata

French Heels Shoes

During the 17th century, King Louis XIV of France, who was only 5 feet 3 inches tall, had shoes with high heels specially made to increase his height. The trend caught on and in the 1800s, American women began copying Parisian fashion, including the high-heeled footwear known as French or Louis heels. Today, women's shoes with a curved, medium-high heel are known as French heels.
Also Known As: Louis Heels, Curved Heels, Pompadour Heels

Huaraches and Sandal Shoes

Pronunciation: hur-ah-chees
Huaraches, traditional handmade Mexican sandals with woven leather tops, have been around for hundreds of years and were popular among Mexican villagers and peasants. The tough materials used have helped popularize huaraches as durable and long-lasting footwear.
Traditionally featuring a leather sole, huaraches crafted with soles made from recycled tires began appearing in Mexican markets in the mid-1930s. Nowadays, the sturdy, slip-on shoes can be found in a variety of looks, colors and materials, with some featuring leather, rubber or sneaker-like synthetic soles, with styles ranging from the classic sandal to dress shoes to flip-flops for casual wear.

Kitten Heel Shoe

A kitten heel is a type of shoe with a thin-based, low heel (usually 1.5 inches or less) that is set in from the back of the shoe.
Especially popular on pumps, kitten heels can be found on many types of women's dress shoes. More than just being a low heel, what makes a kitten heel is the placement and feminine shape of the heel.
Also Known As: kitten heel shoes

Mary Jane Shoe

A mary jane shoe usually refers to a girl's or woman's shoe that is styled after shoes children used to wear. Traditionally, a mary jane shoe has a short, rounded toe box, and very flat heel, although now nearly any style or height of shoe can have mary jane styling.
Mary janes can have varying heel heights and come in a variety of styles, but what makes them mary janes is the strap that crosses the middle top of the foot.

Mule Shoes

Simply put, a mule is a backless shoe. An increasingly popular choice for men as well as women, mules can be sporty, like mule sneakers; or elegant, like the ones pictured here - or they can land somewhere in between.
They can have high heels, low heels, or chunky heels, but if the back is open, they are considered mules.

Platform Shoes

Contrary to popular belief, the heel of a shoe has nothing to do with whether or not the shoe is a platform shoe. Rather it is the part of the sole sitting under the front of the foot that determines whether or not the shoes are platforms. While platform soles are often combined with wedge heels, they aren't always. When the two features are combined, they make what is called a "platform wedge."
Platform shoes have thick soles sitting under the front part of the foot. Usually seen on women's shoes but in the past they were popular on men's shoes as well. This style comes with a variety of different heel types, including wedge heels, stiletto heels, chunky heels, etc.

Slides and Slide Shoes and Sandals

Easy to slip on and off, slides or slide sandals are shoes with open toes and backs. Across the center-top of the shoe, a slide will have a single or multiple straps. These bands can be thin, wide, woven, braided, twisted, knotted, or configured in a multitude of ways - but in order to be a true "slide" there should be no toe or ankle straps.
Available in dressy, athletic and casual styles, slides can be flat, or have any type of heel.

Sling-Back Shoes

Instead of having a full, closed back, a sling-back has a strap that connects from the sides or the vamp of the shoe, and wraps around the back part of the foot.
Sling-backs can have open toes, or closed; they can be casual or dressy. It is the back strap that makes them a sling-back.

Stacked Heel Shoes

Definition: Usually brown or beige, stacked heels are designed to give the illusion of thin layers of wood that have been stacked up to create a flat, wedge or high heel. Stacked heels are seen on both men's and women's casual footwear.
Also Known As: built heels, stack heels

 Stiletto Shoes

Pronunciation: still-ett-oh
The term "stiletto" refers to a type of shoe heel that is pointy, thin and high. Also called "spike" or "spiked" heels.

Water Shoe

A stroll on the beach isn't necessarily walk in the park -- unless you have the right footwear. Water shoes, protect your feet from rocks and shells, and are constructed with a quick-drying mesh upper.
In recent years high-tech rubber and fabric sandals, can go from boating to easy hiking without the need to change shoes.

Wedges and Wedge Style Shoes

On most shoes, the "heel" sits under only the heel of the foot, but a wedge heel runs under the foot, from the back of the shoe to the middle or front. It has a somewhat triangular, wedge shape, but not all wedges are high heels. In fact, wedge heels range from low to high, it's the shape and the length of the heel that classify it as a wedge.
Many people confuse platforms and wedges. While shoes with wedge heels may have platform soles, the two features do not always appear together. When they do, they're considered "platform wedges."

Athletic Shoes--Mens and Womens

Sneaker Shoes
Sneakers are a shoe originially designed for sporting and physical activities, and is different in style and build than a dress shoe. Originally known as sporting apparel, today they are known as casual footwear. Stlyes include:

* High-tops cover the ankle.
* Low-tops do not cover the ankle.
* Mid-cut are in-between high-tops and low-tops.
* Sneaker boots extend to the calf.

Hiking Shoes and Boots
A shoe originially designed for hiking over rough terrain and military activities, and were traditionally in boot form. Today's hiking shoe and boot and be a stylish accent for casual footwear as well as durable and tough for hiking activities.

Men's Shoes 

Additionally Men’s shoes can be categorized by how they are closed, for example:

Balmoral or Oxford Shoes-

The vamp has a V-shaped slit to which the laces are attached; also known as "closed lacing." In England, the balmoral is known as the Oxford. The word "Oxford" is used by American clothing companies to market shoes that are not Oxfords, such as rubber-sole bluchers.

Monk-straps Shoes
In a Monk-strap shoe a buckle or strap is used to secure the shoe instead of lacing. Various other closings exist but are less popular such as side-elastic closings.

Men's shoes can also be decorated in various ways:

Plain-toe Shoes - have a sleek appearance and no extra decorations on the vamp.

Cap-toe Shoes- has an extra layer of leather that 'caps' the toe. This is possibly the most popular decoration

Wing-tip Shoe - The toe of the shoe is covered with a perforated panel, the wing-tip, which extends down either side of the shoe. Wing-tips can be found in both balmoral and blucher styles. In England this is called a brogue.