Types of shoes


Developed in 1830, this is the classic men’s shoe; also known as Balmoral or Francesina it sports six pairs of eyelets and closed lacing. Ideal for formal appointments, whether daytime or evening, it can also be combined with a sports-style jacket.


Without doubt the most elegant men’s shoe in the city. Either black or brown this full-bodied, usually glossy shoe can be defined as having “character”. To be worn as part of a formal outfit it should never be combined with a pair of jeans. Recognisable by its oval or almond-shaped toe, separated by a line of perforations, and by the unmistakable stitching of the eyelets to the upper.


A day shoe, the sole is often made from rubber or leather. It has a more casual appearance due to the incomplete stitching of the eyelets to the shoe. The distinguishing characteristic is the typical perforated wingtip design.
A classic casual shoe, in the Francesina style, characterised by substantial ornamental perforations on the toe and along the seams.


A more casual style with a broad sole and open lacing, with the eyelet tabs free. However there are no perforations or other ornamentations.
This casual style is frequently made from deerskin but treated or coloured leather can also be used, with a rubber or crepe sole.


A versatile and practical shoe, this is a lace-free version of the aforementioned Derby, with single or multiple buckles. It works well with slim-fit trousers.


This shoe is the ultimate in “Smart Casual”: comfortable, lightweight and flexible. Suitable for a range of occasions: from drinks in the city to a day out sailing.
Thanks to its many varieties (glossy, coloured, suede, etc.) the style is both classic and chic and can even be combined with white tie.


A men’s ankle boot, to be worn with sports-style jackets, jeans or smart-casual combinations.
Only in the case of bad weather should it be worn as part of formal or evening dress.

I termini


The curved part of the sole, situated between the heel and the ball of the foot.

Heel Base

The surface of contact between the heel and the back of the shoe’s sole.


The width of the footwear or of the last, measured at the widest part of the foot in relation to its length. Reveals whether the foot is narrow or wide. The best shoe manufacturers produce shoes in a variety of widths for each length, in order to satisfy the requirements of the most difficult fits.


Support that is applied to the narrowest part of the insole, positioned between the heel and the ball of the foot, parallel with the arch.


A support which is inserted between the upper and the lining, in the front part of the shoe, relative to the toe.


The point of the foot which is most arched, which in the shoe will be the narrowest part.


A support which is inserted in the heel between the lining and the upper to stiffen the latter.

Flesh-split and Crusting

The lowest layer of split leather is called the flesh-split, whilst the tanning process which creates it is called crusting.


A trim which consists of a tuft of slender strips of leather secured by a knot at the top.


The the outer layer of the dermis. The top-grain is the layer of the hide on which we find the epidermis and hairs, as opposed to the flesh-split. For each animal species the top-grain will offer a particular grain.


Inner part of the upper which is in direct contact with the foot.


The whole of the separate components which make up the sole, which rests between the foot and the ground, opposite the upper.


Series of cuts of the same length, or of a length determined according to a specific decorative design, situated on the edge of an ornamentation attached to the upper between the instep and the toe of the shoe.

Quarter Panels

Each of the two rear parts of the upper, generally symmetrical, that overlap the vamp in the Derby style and sit underneath it in the Francesina style. At times they are also called Quarters.

Heel Breast

The front part of the heel that forms a gap which may be more or less accentuated.


Made from flexible leather which follows the outline of the sole; the upper and insole are stitched onto one side whilst the sole is stitched onto the other.


Strip made from the same material as the upper. Stitched to the vamp it runs parallel with the closure and protects the instep.


Front part of the upper consisting of the toe-box and any ornamentation. We use the term toecap when a supporting piece of material is stitched over the toe-box (this often has an ornamental function) or false toecap when stitching is used to imitate the joint of a reinforcement. The vamp is instead smooth when no ornamentation is present.

Arch Support

A plate, made of metal or other material, shaped and curved as required and placed underneath the insole to correct a flat foot.


The perforations in the leather, which result from the use of an awl, and cord in the resulting holes.


Piece of leather or other material which may be generally applied between the lining and the upper in the areas which come under most stress.


Piece applied to the upper for ornamental purposes.


The layers which comprise the heel.

Gathered-toe or Puckered-toe

The ornamental cut (or stitching) in the shape of a horseshoe on the vamp. Used primarily for Moccasins.


This is the part of the quarter panels which corresponds to the heel of the foot. It can also be used as a synonym for Counter.


Slender layer of leather or cork placed between the insole and sole from the toe as far as the attachment of the shank to account for the difference in height created by skiving and stitching.


The upper part of the shoe, including the lining and accessories, in contrast to the sole.

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