Female Shoes

Female shoes, or Womens shoes as they are also called, include a vast variety of shoe styles and designs that is surely much larger than that of male shoes. In order to categorize the different types of female shoes many criteria can be utilized. Here, the most commonly used and widely comprehended criteria have been selected.

One of the most important parts of a female shoe is considered to be the heel. For this reason the height and style (referring to appearance and anatomy) of the heel are two criteria frequently used to categorize and characterize womens shoes.

Firstly, female shoes can be separated into three categories based on the heel height of the shoe:

Low heels: Shoes belonging to this category have a very low heel, up to 3.75 cm.

Kitten heels: Shoes belonging to this category have a heel of moderate height, ranging from 3.75cm to 5cm.

High heels: Shoes belonging to this category have a heel of significant height, at least 5cm.

Flat shoes: Shoes belonging to this category have almost no heel whatsoever.

The second heel-related criterion for female shoe characterization is the heel style:

Stilletos: Shoes with the thinnest type of heel, usually found in high heels.

Square heeled shoes: Shoes with a square shaped heel that is much thicker than that found in stilletos.

Wedges: Shoes with a sole that is thinner in the front and becomes thicker towards the back, raising the ankles and acting as a heel.

Platforms: Shoes with a thick sole from the front to the back, raising the whole foot and adding height.

Chunky heeled shoes: Shoes that have any type of thick heel that is not square. This may include heels that change thickness (diameter) from the sole to the ground.

Louis heels: Shoes that have a heel with graceful curves on the sides and back. Originally designed for King Louis XIV of France, these heels are also known as "French heels".

Stacked heels: Shoes that have a heel (usually beige or brown) that is designed to give the illusion of thin layers of wood that have been stacked up to create a flat, wedge or high heel.

Besides heel-related criteria, another way of categorizing female shoes is based on the foot coverage that the shoe provides as well as how the shoe is fastened:

Pumps: Strapless shoes with no laces, buckles or other means of fastening.

Mules: Shoes with no fitting around the heel, in other words backless shoes.

Slingbacks: Shoes that are secured by a strap behind the heel. This strap may also include a buckle for fastening.

Peep-toes: Shoes that have a hole in the front leaving the first toe, or the first and the second toes revealed.

Mary-Janes: Shoes with closed rounded toes and a buckle strap across the instep of the foot. These shoes were historically worn by young, school-aged girls and traditionally made of patent leather and had low heels. Today, Mary-Janes can be found made by numerous types of materials, and with a variety of heel height and styles.

One-bar shoes: Heeled shoes characterized by a bar crossing the instep and fastened at the quarter by a buckle or a button. This category includes Mary-Janes, but it is broader, including shoes with pointy toes, or peep-toes etc as well.

T-straps: Heeled shoes deriving from the aforementioned one-bar shoe. Here the vamp turns into a strap that extends over the instep and ends in a bar.

D'orsays: Pumps with a circular vamp and sides that curve downward sharply, exposing the sides of the foot.

Anklet: Shoes that have a strap around the ankle, usually with a buckle of button for fastening on the side.