Shoe Types

Throughout the years shoes have changed and evolved, together with all garments and fashion items. Fashion trends, new materials, lifestyle and society changes have generated a wide range of shoe types. Shoes can be classified based on different criteria.

One way of sorting shoes is based on who wears the shoe?, and the generated categories are:

Male shoes: A type of shoe traditionally worn only by men.

Female shoes: A type of shoe traditionally worn only by women.

Unisex shoes: A type of shoe worn by both men and women. It should be noted that more and more shoes, initially considered either strictly a man's shoe or a woman's shoe are being added to this category and thus the number of unisex shoes is growing.

Children and baby shoes: A type of shoe worn by babies, toddlers and generally children under 16 years of age.

Another way of separating shoes into categories is by considering the use of the shoe, generating categories such as:

Dress shoes: A more formal type of shoe, usually reserved for special occasions and not for everyday use. Commonly, dress shoes have smooth and supple leather uppers, leather soles and a narrow sleek figure.

Casual shoes: An everyday shoe, where extra focus is given to comfort. Usually, casual shoes have sturdy leather uppers, non-leather outsoles, and a wide profile.

Athletic shoes: A shoe that focuses on functionality, designed to support athletes of various kinds. The main aim here is to enable and enhance performance in sports.

Dance shoes: A very use-specific shoe, designed primarily to support dancers of many kinds. Dance shoes vary greatly depending on the type of dance they refer to (ballet, jazz etc).

Professional Shoes: A work-specific shoe aiming to address the needs arising from the nature of a certain profession. Professional shoes are designed to provide a certain function (comfort, protection etc) to a group of professionals and are often found as a part of a uniform (policemen etc).

Orthopedic shoes: A shoe made with pedorthic and anatomically-correct comfort qualities, such as padded removable footbeds, wide toe boxes and arch support. They are made especially for individuals with problematic feet, or increased needs in footwear comfort due to medical situations (pregnant women, elderly people etc). Their focus on comfort has also made orthopedic shoes known as comfort shoes.