Shoe Glossary

A-Z of Shoes


Of all the items that make up a woman’s wardrobe, shoes have always been our guiltiest pleasure. Well not guilty actually. Unashamed, unabashed and downright hedonistic are probably better ways to describe our love of footwear.

We’ve a true passion for foot fashion and whether you’re looking for a size 6 wide or size 10 heels, we want you to always make the best footwear choices!

So here is the Sante + Wade lowdown on all things to do with shoes.

Everything you wanted to know and more…

Aglet: A metal or plastic tag at the end of a shoelace which can be angular or curved, plain or ornamental, so long as it protects laces from unraveling.

Almond Toe: One of the most popular toe shapes. They are feminine and tapered but not too pointy. So yes shaped like an almond, if you hadn’t already guessed.

Arch: The padded area between the ball of your foot and the heel. Some shoes may leave you with an aching arch. Ours will leave you with a happily bursting heart.

Breast: This is the forward facing part of the shoe where the heel meets the outsole and where you’ll find important details like shoe size and where your shoes are made.

Ballerinas: Closed-toe or peep-toe, rounded or pointed, whatever the shape they are a perfect daytime classic that can also up the ante to an evening outfit.

Block heel: May as well be the “Boss heel”. The block heel is chunky and practical, but can also be sleek and directional. One for the fashion lover.

Counter: Aka the back stiffener. A piece of material around the heel, inserted between the lining and upper to help the shoe keep its shape.

Derby: Men’s lace up shoes that are a little less formal than the ‘Oxford’ and a bit more accommodating for those with a higher instep. Women can rock the Derby look, so give them a go.

D’Orsay: The shoe equivalent of a plunging neckline. D’Orsay shoes are pumps (aka court shoes) with one or both sides cut away, leaving the arch of the foot visible.

Embossed: Leather that has been pressed, stamped or moulded to resemble a particular texture or pattern.

Gladiator: Sandals designed to resemble the shoes of ancient Roman fighters. Pair with a short hemline when you want to channel your inner glamazon or else with a floaty maxi dress for some effortless boho chic.

Heel: The portion of the sole that is raised from the ground. Options range from kitten, to mid to oxygen depleting. Go as low or high as you like no matter your size because at Sante + Wade, we ensure our heels are comfortable too.

Instep: The part of a shoe that fits over the front part of your foot below the ankle. High insteps can be a fitting issue for styles like ankle boots. So look for styles with plenty of adjustability.

Loafer: A chic comfortable style that’s a cross between a moccasin and bedroom slipper. Edgy and androgynous you can wear them with everything from a maxi dress to slim-fit jeans.

Time for a quick breather before we cover M-Z….

If you have any burning shoe questions in the meantime, do contact us and we’d be happy to help.


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