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 HouserShoes.com 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!