Arch: On a foot, the part that doesn't touch the ground. On footwear, the part that supports that part of the foot.
Ballet shoe: A light, heelless or flat-heeled shoe held on the foot by ribbons, featuring a soft upper.
Bootee: A style that extends slightly higher than the ankle; usually made with a flexible material.
Built heel: A heel built with layers (or lifts); sometimes used for visual interest.
Clog: Traditionally, a boot or shoe with a wooden sole; today's styles often have plastic or synthetic soles.
Construction: Refers to the way a shoe was made; generally the way the sole is attached to the upper.
Eyelet: A hole used for lacing or a fashion detail.
Grain leather: Leather with a grain that is distinct enough to be a fashion detail.
Insole: A light sole that forms the foundation of a shoe.
Instep: The upper surface of the foot; a consideration when selecting a shoe style.
Lift: A layer that composes the heel of a shoe; many shoes have multiple lifts.
Lining: The surface of the upper on the inside of the shoe.
Loafer: A casual and lightweight slip-on shoe, usually with a small tongue.
Moccasin: A shoe featuring an upper and sole constructed as one piece, usually made from a flexible material.
Monk shoe: A shoe with a broad strap that fastens at the instep and features a buckle on the outer side.
Mule: A slipper or shoe without a back part; held on the foot by the forepart alone.
Nubuck: Leather hide buffed on the grain side to create a velvety, buttery feel.
Patent leather: Leather treated to have a shiny finish.
Platform: An element—plastic, cork, wood, etc.—inserted between the insole and outsold to add height or fashion design.
Pump: A light, low-heeled dress shoe.
Quarters: The two pieces of fabric on a shoe that cover the back part of the foot; usually they meet at a back seam and are reinforced.
Riding boot: Knee-high boot that is pulled on and features a low heel.
Sandal: Comprised of a sole held on by strips of material over the top of the foot.
Seat: The part of the shoe that the heel rests on.
Slide: Generic term for a shoe that is slipped on and not fastened to the foot.
Sling back: A shoe with a strap that goes from the forepart, around the hollow part of the ankle; usually it's secured by a buckle.
Spanish heel: A high and narrow tapered heel.
Stiletto heel: A very narrow fashion heel measuring one centimeter or less across.
Tie shoe: Generic name for a shoe fastened to the foot with lacing.
Tongue: A piece of material that covers the instep and fills the gap between the sides of the shoes; protects the instep from the tension of the laces.
Upper: The part of the shoe that covers the upper surface of the foot; often made from leather, but plastic and cloth are common as well.
Wedge heel: A heel formed as an extension of the shoe, where the heel and shoe forefront are in contact with the ground throughout the entire length.