Shoes from A-Z: The Letter “D”

While researching for terms starting with the letter “D”, I was surprised there were so few. If you know of any terms that I may have missed, please let me know so that I can add them.

D - 

Demi Boot – A Demi boot has a shaft that is usually no taller than the anklebone.

Derby Shoe –  Shoes with laces that are tied to two pieces of leather independently attached to the vamp. Also known as bluchers.

Distressed Leather – Leather that has been rubbed, scratched, or treated for a worn, abused or distressed effect.

D’Orsay – A style of a woman’s pump in which the sides are cut out revealing the arch of the foot.

Dressing – The process of maintaining a finish or appearance of a shoe by the application of a polish or gloss.

Durabrush -  A synthetic material, micro fiber, resembling  suede with a  smooth, soft upper.

Shoes from A-Z: The Letter “C”

To continue with the shoe glossary, here are shoe terms starting with the letter “C”. Again, I hope you learn something new. If you have anything to add, please let me know. Every time I research this topic, I learn something new! When I put on a pair of shoes now, I look at the shoe a little differently. I look at parts rather than the whole and the construction of the shoe takes on an entirely new meaning. Enjoy!


Calfskin -Made from the skin of calves (as the name suggests), a very supple and soft leather.

Cap Toe -A toe with stitches or punches across the toe in a straight line. Most commonly seen in dress shoes.

Cemented Construction – A design in which he upper o0f a shoe is cemented rather than stitched. By constructing a shoe in this way, the shoe becomes lighter and more flexible.

Chelsea Boot -Sometimes referred to as a jodhpur boot, a Chelsea Boot is a short ankle high boot with characteristic elastic panel inserts from the heel to the top of the boot. Became popular in England in the 1960’s after The Beatles began wearing this type of boot.

Chukka Boot – An ankle high boot with laces. Most commonly with a plain toe.

Circumference – A measurement taken from the widest part of the top of a boot shaft, measured around the shaft.

Clog – Originally made from wood with a wooden sole or sometimes an entirely wooden shoe, the clog originated for wear in heavy labor jobs. Today, the clog can feature a wooden heel or heel out of other material and upper materials vary. Clogs are mainly closed toe and can be opened heel, closed heel or a back strap across the heel.

Collar -Sometimes padded to add comfort, the collar of a shoe is a material sewn into the topline of the shoe.

Combination Last – Consisting of a wide toebox and a narrow heel, a combination last is created with the heel being two sizes smaller than the widest part of the shoe.

Contoured Footbed – A footbed made out of material that molds to the shape of the foot.

Cordovan – Made from the rear of horses (horses are not purposely raised for this, but instead, older horses are used that will be meeting their destiny regardless if used for this leather or not. A very non porous leather results from the process of making Cordovan leather. Very time consuming; Cordovan leather tends to be very expensive and a very painstaking process. For this reason, there is only one company in the United States that still makes Cordovan leather in the traditional way.

Corrected Grain Leather – Known by most people as Top Grain leather, this material is fuzzy on one side and smooth on the other. The smooth side is where the hair and natural grain is found. In lower quality leathers, the smooth side is buffed to remove any imperfections.

Counter -Used to maintain the shape of a shoe, the Counter is a stiff piece of material inserted in between the shoe lining and upper. Usually made of leather.

Crepe Sole -Having the appearance of a texture similar to crepe paper, a Crepe Sole is made from a crude natural rubber. Most commonly found on casual shoes.

Croc Embossed -Made from a material, frequently leather from cow’s skin which has been stamped to resemble crocodile skin with a high gloss shine. A less expensive alternative to natural crocodile skin.

Crocodile Skin – Made from natural crocodile skin. Patterns can differ from shoe to shoe due to the natural pattern of crocodile. A more expensive leather than the more common cow’s skin.

Cuban Heel –-A heel used in some shoes and boots with a characteristically broad heel with a slight taper back and straight front.

Cushioning – Added for extra comfort and/or stabilization, cushioning is a padding added  on the insole or outsole of a shoe.

How Do You Search for Women’s Shoes Online?

Women’s Shoes Online

When we go shopping online we all have a variety of habits or a ritual we use to find our item of desire. For us it could be women’s shoes, men’s shoes or kids shoes.

It seems that more and more people are abandoning traditional search and going straight to Amazon for what they perceive is the best deal. This isn’t going to help our economy one bit, In fact, it will push down and bankrupt the online retailers much like Walmart does to brick and mortar shops. Tell me you didn’t see this one coming.

What’s to stop manufacturers from dealing with them? If I sold XYZ and took orders from 100 different resellers and had to ship to them at different times and then deal with returns from 100 different places, wouldn’t I rather buy from sell direct to the one place that  can guarantee sales and my returns come from one single location. Man hours, paperwork and time in general are reduced 100 fold. All the while the big E-commerce website has been keeping an eye on what moves and what doesn’t, giving preferential treatment to the items that sell and in return the manufacturers give preferential treatment to the big buyer by lowering their cost because they buy in volume, and… well you get the picture.

Have you noticed that Amazon is branching out? They are experimenting in the food market on the West Coast, movie rentals, books, magazines,  DVDsCDsvideo and MP3 downloads/streaming, softwarevideo gameselectronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. The company also produces consumer electronics—notably the Amazon Kindle e-book reader and the Kindle Fire tablet computer—and is a major provider of cloud computing services. In a matter of 10 years, Amazon has become the largest retailer on the Internet in the World.

It’s the beast and if we cannot find a way to stop it, we’ll never be able to look ourselves in the mirror in 5 years and not feel the least bit guilty. What’s the answer though? Where do you start? Stop Chinese imports and exporting to China? Levy big import tariffs on all imports. There has to be something we can do to reverse the effect this is having on our economy.

To expedite shipping times, Amazon is going to build warehouses in every state in the United States and the same in all of the foreign countries where it has presence.

Now tell me, where do you search for women’s shoes?

Fashion and Comfort

Of all of the bones in our body, 52 of them are found in our feet. That is 25% of the bones in our total body. Not only do our feet carry the entire weight of our body, the feet push and propel the body when walking or running. There are also more than 100 tendons connecting muscle to bone and ligaments connecting bone to bone. With all of the components making up the feet, it can be one of the most vulnerable parts of the body if not taken care of properly. The foot can also be one of the most ignored parts of the body.

Proper foot care and proper foot wear can prevent long lasting and very painful problems that occur by neglecting to follow a few simple tips.

Foot Hygiene

Your feet should be washed and dried thoroughly on a daily basis. Use a mild soap and remember the areas between the toes. The area between the toes is one of the more important areas to consider when drying. If not dried completely the moisture can become a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. The daily cleaning of your feet goes far beyond just the need to control odor and dirt. It is a preventative measure against numerous problems that can occur later down the road. If you are diabetic, proper daily foot hygiene becomes even more important and serves to protect against serious issues that in extreme cases can result in amputation. Even with daily shoe wearing, the foot naturally sheds skin and along with lint from socks and residue from shoes worn without socks, becomes a prefect staging area for bacteria and fungus. Going barefoot exposes the foot to even more bacteria found in soil and floor surfaces such as kitchens and bathrooms. Moisturizing your feet after cleaning and drying helps the skin stay supple and crack free. Any cracks along the foot expose an entrance for bacteria to enter the feet and increases the chance of infection. Moisturizer should not be applied between the toes. The natural oils are sufficient and added moisture will only increase the chance of fungus.


During daily maintenance of your feet, the toenails should not be overlooked. Not only should the toenails be kept trimmed, but dirt should be removed. A nail brush or a soft toothbrush is a very effective method of removing dirt from under the toenails. When trimming, the nail should be cut straight across and never cut into the sides of the toe. Cut this way the skin can become irritated and inflamed resulting in an ingrown nail. If an ingrown nail occurs, see a foot specialist. Home surgery can promote more inflammation and encourage infection. Any infection of the foot can spread through to the leg and should always be examined by a foot specialist. Nails that are kept too long can be painful when wearing shoes and stand a greater chance of lifting up when injured allowing an opening for fungus. Nail fungus should always be treated by a professional. Nail fungus is usually accompanied by nail discoloration, but not all discoloration is a fungus. Nail discoloration can be signs of other things in the body such as some skin cancers or other diseases. Therefore, it is important to see a foot doctor or dermatologist if you experience nail discoloration out of the ordinary or experience any pain.


Improper footwear is probably the leading cause of problems with the feet. The shoe is worn as a basic need for protection. With the fashions available today, that need is over shadowed by the desire to be fashionable. A narrow or tight fitting shoe can cause irritation on areas of the feet. If the shoe puts pressure on parts of the toes or foot with a bony protrusion, corns and calluses will develop in order to protect the area. Corns and calluses can be very painful and for a diabetic or someone at risk, can cause wounds or lesions that can lead to detrimental infections. Some women have a terrible time with corns and calluses due to wearing heels that put even more pressure on the toes. If you are a slave to fashion and heels, try alternating you shoes. While everyone should alternate shoes on a daily basis, it is more important if you wear heels. Try wearing heels one day and flats the next. If you know you are going to be standing or walking a lot, choose the flats rather than the heels. Not only will the flats be more comfortable, but the back aches will subside and your posture will improve. Make sure that your foot has been measured by a professional in a quality shoe store. Ordering online is very popular so you can’t always have your foot measured inside a store. You can purchase a Brannick Device online. A plastic version costs around $7.00, but the money saved on ill-fitting shoes can be substantial. (See my blog article, “Shoes A-Z” here at You really don’t have to throw fashion away in order to have a pair of properly fitted shoes. Information is the key to making a smart decision. is always willing to help in deciding which shoe is fitting for you. Many styles carry the APMA Seal of Approved/Accepted. ( Our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff is always there to help. Whether visiting one of the many brick and mortar locations of Houser Shoes or GB Shoes, or talking with our Customer Service Representatives when ordering online, you can rely upon to have the comfort you are looking for without jeopardizing the fashion.

Happy 4th to All!

Tomorrow is the 4th, Independence Day. The day that over 200 years ago, the original American colonists declared their freedom from British rule. People throughout this country will be celebrating their freedom in their own unique ways. Fireworks, hotdogs, potato salad will be the norm. The sale of these all American foods and the charcoal needed to cook will increase among grocery stores everywhere. Firework stands will pop up alongside roadways that ordinarily would be an illegal establishment any other time of year. The sound of fireworks will be heard exploding in small towns and cities in all corners of this great nation. It will be a celebration. A celebration guaranteed by one document and the 56 signatures of men who strongly believed in the freedom of American colonists.

The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 2, 1776 and signed two days later. This one document evolving from the penmanship of Thomas Jefferson has been a template for other countries when realizing the need for their own independence. The document consisted of six different parts. The most widely known portion written was the preamble which states,

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Within the rights spoken of in the preamble, the Declaration goes on to say that if at any time government becomes destructive of these rights, it is the responsibility of the people to take action to form a new government. Not only is it the responsibility of the people, it is a right to alter or abolish that which impedes the safety and happiness of the people. After laying out the rights of the people, the Declaration goes on with the charges brought against the British rule, the King of England who at the time was King George III. The indictments are followed by denunciation of British rule and conclude with the declaration of freedom and independence for the original thirteen colonies.

The sixth part of the Declaration contained the signatures of fifty-six men representing the new states. The most famous signature was of John Hancock, the first to sign. Signing on a blank area, his signature was the largest. The term John Hancock became synonymous with putting a signature on a document.

We owe our freedom, our rights and life as we know it to those fifty six men whose bravery enabled them to fight against something much larger because of what they believed. The rights available to the American people should not be taken for granted. They should be embraced, valued and upheld. The freedoms that Americans are allowed are not commonplace throughout the world. They are the exception. The American Dream that is so sought after that people give up everything in other countries to come here for a small taste of what it is like to be an American.

I know for myself, tomorrow, when I am celebrating in whatever way I choose, I will remember. And, I will be thankful.

Happy 4th of July to All!

Shoes from A-Z The Letter “B”

I started the shoe glossary hoping to add knowledge for myself and for others with the interest and need to know more about shoes and the parts that make the shoe. Now that I have covered the letter A, let’s move on to B!

Back Seam – Running down the center back of shoes, the back seam is a vertically stitched seam.

Ball – Found between the arch and the toes, the ball of the foot is the part of the foot on which the body weight rests when the heel is elevated.

Balmorals – An ankle high shoe with front laces. The laces are sewn to the front of the shoe throat in a closed “v” shape concealing the tongue completely except for the tip. Prince Albert wore such a shoe on a visit to Balmoral Castle bringing awareness and popularity to the style.

Bellows Tongue – A shoe tongue attached at both the top and sides of the shoe.

Bespoke – A truly custom shoe to an individual. The bespoke shoe is made on a custom last rather than a standard last allowing the individual to choose every detail of the shoe construction.

Bicycle Toe – A shoe toe with two straight line stitched accents resembling professional bicycle shoe details.

Bluchers – Similar to a Blamoral, an ankle length shoe with front laces where the laces are left unattached to the shoe’s throat. (Unlike Ba Balmoral) This construction is easier to adjust the fit easily by loosening or tightening the shoe flaps. Named for a Prussian Marshal, Gebhard Blucher, who ordered this type of shoes for his soldiers.

Blucher Toe – Sometimes referred to as a revere Apron Toe, the Blucher Toe has a tow overlay that creates a smooth apron-less look.

Boat Shoe – Worn with or without sock, the boat shoe has a white non-slip sole with a herringbone ridge pattern in order to create traction. Often they feature leather side lacings for ornamental purposes.

Boot – Any shoe that comes up above the ankle. Not only stylish, the boot serves  a utilitarian purpose for certain trades or activities.

Boot Heel – Found on boots, a wide stable heel of minimum height.

Bouldering Shoes – A specific type of climbing shoe made for low to the ground routes that can be hazardous without rope protection.

Bottoming – Process of attaching the sole to the upper through basic methods which can include cementing, molding, and sewing.

Braided Thread – A thread where the ply has been braided instead of twisted adding to the strength and durability of the thread.

Brannick Device – A device used to measure the length and width of a person’s foot to insure proper fit. A Brannock Device is most commonly seen in shoe stores made from a metal, but can be bought for home use in other types of materials such as plastic.

Break – Resulting from everyday use, a break refers to the crease in leather across the upper of a shoe.

Brogue – Similar to a Balmoral or an Oxford type shoe that has enhanced perforations or zig zag stitching known as pinking drawing attention to the seams of the shoe.

Brogueing – A decorative technique created by pinking which adds an ornamental look to shoes such as the holes in a wingtip shoe.

Buckle – A clasp type element attaching one piece of material to another as in an ankle strap.

Bunions – Mostly associated with the big toe, a bunion is a boney protrusion making shoe fitting difficult and wearing shoes painful.

Burnish – Burnishing a shoe creates the look of antique leather by buffing the surface.

There you have it. The letter “B” in shoe terminology. I hope that you find the terms useful and maybe you have learned something new. I know I have! Please continue to read the blog here at and next week I will be covering the letter “C”.  Test out your new found shoe terminology the next time you visit a Houser Shoes or GB Shoes location and share your knowledge!