Shoes are an important piece of footwear designed to provide comfort and protection for the foot. Shoes are now used as both a decorative item and functional item of clothing. The style of shoes varies hugely over time, with earlier style being associated with function only. However, today there is a trend towards shoes that are fashionable as well as providing a certain degree of functionality. There are numerous types of shoes, some having intricate designs while others focus more on style. However, regardless of the type of shoe selected, the need to protect the feet is a must.
Shoes are normally categorized into two major categories, closed-toe shoes, and open-toe shoes. Closed-toe footwear has a sole consisting of a strip of leather or soft leather that covers the ball of the foot, preventing the free part of the foot to rub against the floor. The open-toe shoes, on the other hand, have a sole that exposes the entire foot. The purpose of these types of shoes is to allow the user to wear socks or stockings. In some cases, this footwear can also be worn barefoot.
Shoes of the lacing variety can be either laced up or laced down. Some examples of laced-up shoes include boots. The open lacing footwear includes sandshoes and boots. They function by fastening the laces under the heel and to the upper part of the foot; therefore, no skin of the foot is exposed. The laces can either be pulled and locked or they can be hooked and looped.
A mid-calf shoe usually has a raised area inside it and covers the ankle. This raised area is called a cobbler heel or rhombus. A shoe with a built-in heel cup or a back part that forms the back part of the shoe also has a raised portion inside. This part rests on the back part of the foot. Toe shoes function by having a heel cup, while loafers function by having a back part that forms the back part of the shoe.
Leather shoes are one of the most popular kinds. They are made of hiding usually shorn from cows. Leather is the ideal material for making footwear because of its durability and flexibility. Leather is also soft and comfortable to the touch. The leather upper includes the collar, which is covered in cloth or leather, the upper part of the shoe, the lining which is usually made of the same cloth or leather, and the laces which are fastened to the upper by sewing or glue.
An outsole, as the name implies, is the outside part of the shoe. It usually comes in a pointed design. There is usually a series of grooves in the sole. An insole that has a tread provides extra traction on the ground. Shoes outside have a reinforced heel and rubber soles to absorb shock.