119 Different Types of Shoes and Footwear for Women and Men

There are many types of footwear out there, but only some of them are suitable for both men and women. Actually, men and women look for different things when it comes to footwear. For women, style is the main criteria and many types of shoes are made especially for them to play on that.

List of different types of shoes and footwear

On the other hand, men tend to be more pragmatic and look for comfort in a pair of shoes.

If there’s one thing men and women have in common when it comes to footwear, they all look for the same qualities in athletic shoes.

Understanding the differences between the hundreds of types of shoes, boots or sandals is essential if you want to be perfectly dressed at all times.

Some shoes are formal, while others are equally nice but too casual, and you don’t want to make a fashion faux-pas when you have an important meeting.

This article offers an extensive list of shoes and footwear for both men and women and we’ll have a look at each of them, examining their best features and their intended use.

Contents

Different Types of Shoes and Footwear for Both Women and Men

Athletic shoes

pairs of various athletic shoes

Modern men and women are very much into sports, professional and amateur levels.

As leading an active life is essential to good health people spend a few hours a week practicing their favorite sport and they need professional equipment for that.

The term athletic shoes is used to refer to dozens of types of footwear specially designed for a particular sport or activity, like hiking or hunting.

Such shoes need to be comfortable above all, provide adequate support to the leg and protect against water or mud, in case of open-air activities.

Style is less important, although who doesn’t want a pair of cool running shoes?

Beach shoes

transparent beach shoes

 

Beach shoes are a combination between socks and sports shoes or maybe loafers.

You can slip them on like a pair of socks, but they have a rubber sole with anti-slip properties.

The upper part of the shoes is made of synthetic quick-dry fabric because no one wants to have wet feet, not even on the beach.

Also, they have shock-absorbing insoles.

This type of shoe is perfect for many beach activities, such as surf, boating, sailing, or water yoga.

They are comfortable enough to allow you to trot back to your hotel or hop into your car and drive.

Boots

Pair of fashion yellow boots

Some open-air activities do not require a special type of shoes, but you do need something comfortable to wear, especially if you’re going to be out there for many hours.

The perfect boots for sporting activities need to have a flat and flexible sole.

Thick rubber soles are preferable as this is a very resistant material.

The upper part of such boots should be made of a water-proof or at least water-resistant fabric, yet light enough.

Boots for outdoor physical activities should be affordable and synthetic materials are just perfect for that.

You don’t need fancy leather boots costing an arm and leg if you’re going to walk on rocky terrain or mud trails.

Bowling shoes

Bowling shoes

If you spend a lot of hours at the bowling alley, you’ll want to invest in a nice pair of bowling shoes.

The upper part should be light and breathable, but what matters most for bowling shoes are the soles.

Bowling shoe soles should provide stability while allowing you to slide with ease into the foul line.

Good bowling shoes also have controlled rubber heels to break your slide, as you don’t want to go along with your ball into the pit.

Since bowling is a good occasion to meet your friends, you’ll want to look chic, so if you cannot do much about the design you can at least choose a cool print.

Cleats shoes

sneaker with cleats

The term cleats refer to the protrusions on the soles of various types of shoes.

However, cleats refer primarily to cycling shoes.

There are also detachable cleats that can be attached to the soles of a cycling shoe and their purpose is to lock in on the pedal.

This prevents foot slips which can be quite dangerous when cycling and they also vastly improve performance.

This type of cleat can be made of metal or tough plastic.

However, the upper part and the insoles of such shoes need to be comfortable and breathable, to prevent excessive sweating.

Climbing shoes

Climbing shoes

Climbing shoes are sometimes referred to as bouldering shoes and they’re designed with the needs of the rock climbing fan in mind.

They need to fit perfectly on the foot, but what matters most is the sole of the shoe.

The sole is usually made of rubber, at least 4-5 millimeters thick.

The upper part can be made of leather or synthetic fabrics and can have three types of closure.

Slip-on climbing shoes are easier to put on, but lace-ups or velcro closures allow you to customize the tightness of your shoes.

The best climbing shoes are those that have a marked downturn in the toe box as they allow you a better grip on a rock wall.

Clogs

Beautiful modern pair of brown clogs

The term clogs refer to various types of footwear designed to offer maximum stability and comfort.

Clogs have a thick flat sole usually made of shock-absorbing materials, preferably rubber, which is just perfect for various types of outdoor activities and sports.

Some types of clogs are backless, while others have a strap that goes over the heel for added stability.

The upper part of clogs can be made of various materials, plastic, textile fabric, or leather and they can be quite colorful.

Clogs can be worn by both men and women and they’re also used in professions that require a lot of standing or walking.

Crocs

6 Crocs on a store shelf in different colors in Blue, Black, Orange, Pink and Red

Crocs are a special type of clogs, first marketed as beach or boating shoes.

Launched in 2001, crocs have become extremely popular worldwide because they’re extremely comfortable and you can wear them for hours without getting tired or swollen feet.

Crocs are made of a special type of foam resin, which comes in dozens of colors and patterns, which might explain why this type of clogs has so many fans.

Crocs have a strap that goes over the heel so they stay firmly on the feet no matter what type of physical activity they’re engaging in.

The upper part has small ventilation holes which allow the foot to breathe and prevent sweating.

Cross-Training Shoes

Cross-Training Shoes

Cross-training shoes are a type of sneakers specially created to allow the wearer to engage in various types of sports or physical exercise.

Cross-training shoes have a flexible rubber sole with protrusions for better traction.

The upper part is made of mesh or synthetic fabric and the shoes are usually padded on the inside to provide comfort during a long training session.

The soles also have a dual-density part to cushion the arch of the foot.

This type of insole has shock-absorbing qualities and protects against straining the foot muscles and cramping.

Cycling Shoes

Professional Cycling shoes

Cycling shoes can be worn for road riding, mountain bikes, or indoor peloton bikes.

These shoes are meant to be stiff and offer good support to the foot, but they also need to be comfortable on the inside.

The soles are typically made of rubber or plastic materials, with anti-slip properties.

In many cases, the soles adhere perfectly to the pedals, but some types of cycling shoes are meant to be fitted with cleats that attach to the pedals.

The upper part is usually made of a resistant synthetic mesh, which is highly breathable.

The insoles need to offer a bit of padding and arch support.

Dance Shoes

Dance shoes, practice shoes,

This does not refer to the shoes you wear when you go clubbing, you can wear anything you want for that and chances are your feet will be killing you anyway.

Dance shoes refer to types of footwear specially designed for professional dancers, but amateurs can wear them too if they go to dancing classes.

The shoe design depends on the specific type of dance you’re practicing.

Ballet shoes are flat and have their trademark pointed design.

Typically, dance shoes are made of soft leather or stretchy fabric.

They fit nicely over the foot and are held in place by an elastic band.

The sole needs to be anti-slip, but extremely thin allowing the foot to move freely.

Deck shoes

deck shoes in feet on boat sailing

Deck shoes, also known as boating shoes, have special features that make them suitable for wearing on a boat or yacht.

They look very much like regular loafers and have a non-slip rubber sole.

Since there’s bound to be some water on the deck the soles have a sipping pattern cut into them, which allows for a better grip on the surface.

The upper part is usually made of leather, treated with special oils to make it water-repellent.

If you buy canvas deck shoes also make sure the fabric is water-resistant or at least there’s such an inner lining, otherwise, your boating trip will be completely ruined by the feeling of damp shoes.

Equestrian Sport Boots / Riding boots

rider sitting in the saddle in Equestrian boots with spurs

A riding outfit is incomplete without a pair of adequate boots.

Riding boots need to be high, reaching almost to knee level to prevent chafing and pinching your skin where it comes in contact with the saddle.

Also, the sole needs to be non-slip and have a flat heel to prevent your feet from losing their grip on the stirrups.

Both the sole and the heel must have a smooth texture.

That’s a precaution against possible falls when you don’t want your foot caught up in the stirrup, as that can lead to nasty injuries.

Style matters quite a lot when you’re taking part in an equestrian show, so you’d better have elegant black boots, preferably made of leather.

Figure skates

Couple Ice Figure Skating

Figure skates are a very special type of footwear and when you’re looking for a pair of these, quality should be your main concern.

First of all, you need to educate yourself about the characteristics of the blade, which is the most important part of figure skates.

The blade needs to be made of factory sharpened stainless steel, but some of them, the more ‘aggressive’ ones, should only be used by experts.

At the same time, the upper part needs to provide a maximum of support to the foot and ankle.

The outer layer is typically firm, but you want good padding on the inside.

Fitness Shoes

group of people's feet wearing fitness shoes standing together

This is a type of sneakers meant to be worn at the gym, so they need to provide good support and balance while being extremely comfortable.

You don’t need those ridges or protrusions typically found on the soles of running or cycling shoes, but your fitness shoes should still have rubber nubs to provide traction.

Fitness shoes must fit snugly, which is why you should look for ones with velcro closure.

A good pair of fitness shoes should have two such midfoot straps, allowing you to adjust for tightness.

No matter what fitness routine you practice, make sure your shoes have cushioning shock-absorbing midsoles.

Flip-flops

Flip-flops

Flip-flops are a very casual and relaxed type of footwear.

They are extremely popular as they allow the foot to breathe and they’re easy to wear.

Since they have a flat rubber sole, flip-flops are ideal for walking on a flat surface.

You can wear them in the park or at the beach and they’re good enough for sports activities that do not require much running.

You can wear flip-flops while playing ping-pong or badminton with your friends when you just want to have fun and stretch your muscles a bit, but you don’t really care about a good performance.

Galoshes

White galoshes in the hay

Galoshes are shoes for your shoes, something which makes them quite unique.

A pair of galoshes should be made of water-resistant materials, preferably rubber, and be large enough to fit over your regular shoes.

People who regularly have to spend time outside in the rain and walk over muddy terrain should go for full rubber boots.

However, in urban areas, you can use light galoshes, made of clear plastic or water-resistant fabrics.

They slip over the shoe effortlessly and feature a zipper closure.

This type of light galoshes also has a thin rubber sole to prevent slipping on the wet pavement.

Golf Shoes

Sprigs on the sole of a pair of golf shoes

You simply cannot go golfing if you don’t have a proper outfit.

However, golf shoes are a necessity, because keeping your balance is very important to your overall performance.

Golf shoes are a type of athletic shoes with or without spikes on the sole.

Most dedicated golfers prefer shoes with plastic or rubber spikes that provide adequate traction on the grass as well as in wet conditions.

Plastic spikes tend to wear out easily, which is why golf shoes often come with replaceable spikes.

Metal spikes are more resistant, but they are banned on many golf courses because they damage the grass.

Gumboots

gumboots with gardening supplies in barn

Gumboots are also known as rain boots and are designed to be worn in wet weather.

Most of them have soft and comfortable insole lining so they can be worn from early spring to late autumn.

Gumboots are made of thick rubber and they have ridged soles to prevent you from slipping on muddy terrain.

They’re good to wear when you have to run many errands on a rainy day, but they’re also great if you want to do a bit of gardening after heavy rain.

If you’re going to wear them around town all day, you might as well look for something cute.

Gumboots come in various colors, from dirt-resistant black to bright yellow or pink.

Hiking Shoes

Man and woman hiker in hike boots

Hiking shoes are heavy-duty athletic shoes specially designed for people who like to go hiking or backpacking.

Since they’re meant to be worn for many hours on all sorts of terrains, hiking shoes need to have a comfortable padded inner lining, preferably in moisture-absorbing cotton fibers.

The soles are equally important if you want to prevent falls or injuries on a difficult trek.

Hiking shoes usually have rubber soles with a ridged non-slip pattern.

Also, such shoes need to offer extra protection for the toes and heels.

The upper part is made of a breathable water-resistant fabric.

Hiking shoes come in many colors, but if you’re the type of person that often goes on muddy treks better stick with a dark dirt-resistant color.

Huarache Trainers

Nike Air Huarache sport shoes and casual footwear

The term Huarache trainers refer to a popular type of athletic shoes launched by Nike.

Such trainers can be used when playing a variety of sports, but they were meant specifically for baseball.

The upper part of Huarache trainers is made of synthetic leather, while the sole is made of flexible rubber.

On top of that, the soles of Huarache trainers have rubber nodes for extra traction.

Huarache trainers can be worn by both men and women and come in many colors with eye-catching patterns.

Hunting Boots

Waterproof hunting boots for hiking, wading and fishing. Earth toned backgrounds show the camouflage

Hunting boots resemble military boots as they almost always come in a camouflage pattern.

Hunting boots are usually mid-calf length to provide support to the lower leg, as well as to protect your pants in muddy terrains.

The upper part is made of waterproof synthetic fabric with good insulating properties.

Such fabric locks in the heat produced by your body, to keep your feet warm and comfy in extreme weather conditions.

Also, the sole is made of non-slip rubber.

This type of soles is very flexible and lightweight so it won’t put pressure on your feet and make you feel tired.

Ice Skates

speed skating sport with Ice Skates

Ice skates are very similar to figure skates and it takes a trained eye to tell the difference between the two types of footwear.

Ice skates sometimes referred to as speed skates, and have a longer blade than figure skates.

Also, in ice skates, the blade is straight which allows for better speed and quick turns.

However, it’s harder to keep your balance on ice skates, which are not really suitable for the complex maneuvers in figure skating.

For the rest, the upper part needs to be strong offering maximum protection to the ankles.

Inline Skates

Feet of rollerblader wearing aggressive inline skates grinding on concrete ramp

Inline skates are a type of roller skates that have anywhere between two and five wheels placed in a line, down the middle of the sole.

Such skates are used for recreational inline skating.

Most types of inline skates, especially those for beginners have a rubber brake at the rear, to allow skaters to slow down and stop just by leaning back a bit on the skates.

It is important to understand the characteristics of the wheels.

Smaller wheels are better for aggressive skating and performing complex tricks, while large ones are for off-road skating.

For general recreational purposes, you should look for inline skates with mid-range 70-110 mm wheels.

Kamiks

Kamiks a part of the Greenlandic National costume

Kamiks are another type of rain boots.

However, as opposed to traditional rain boots which are made of rubber, kamiks are usually made of waterproof fabrics, like nylon.

They still have rubber soles, though.

Some types of kamicks have a warm inner lining is a breathable material so they can also be worn when there’s snow outside.

Women’s kamiks might also have a fake fur collar, to make them look more stylish.

The upper part has laces or zippers to ensure they lock on tight to prevent rain or snow from trickling in.

Moccasins

Fashionable women's and men's cotton summer moccasins

Moccasins are a type of flat shoes usually made of soft leather, like deerskin.

They are extremely comfortable, which makes them excellent for outdoor activities.

The sole is very flexible and can have rubber nodes for better traction.

Moccasins can be worn by both men and women.

As a matter of fact, women’s moccasins are often decorated with beads or fringes and are extremely stylish.

They’re very good for those whose favorite physical activity is walking, as your feet won’t feel the exertion even after walking for several miles.

Mukluks

Mukluks, high fur boots white, black and brown color.

The term mukluk refers to a type of soft boots traditionally worn by the aboriginal people of the Arctic region, like the Inuit.

Original Mukluks are made of reindeer skin or sealskin, which are both naturally water-repellent.

They are lined with fur to keep the feet warm in freezing temperatures.

The modern Mukluks that you can find in various stores are not, however, made of animal skin.

They usually have a waterproof textile outer part and are lined with cotton or synthetic fabrics, which do a great job at keeping the feet warm.

The soles of such boots are flat and made of flexible rubber, which makes them suitable for various outdoor activities.

Rain Footwear

bottom shoes from rain, covers for shoes, shoe protection from rain footwear, shoe covers for sneakers

Any type of footwear made of water-resistant materials qualifies as rain footwear.

This term is very broad so as to include anything from shoes to rubber boots or gumboots.

Good rain footwear needs to have a rubber sole to provide stability and good traction in all terrains, from wet pavement to a muddy track.

They’re good for hiking, backpacking, or camping trips, basically any occasion when you risk getting your feet wet.

Most types of rain footwear come in dark dirt-resistant colors, but you can also find some that are very colorful, especially those made for women who want to look great no matter the occasion.

Roller Skates

roller skating with quad skates in an outdoors skate park

Roller skating is a popular type of physical activity suitable for men, women, and children.

All you need is a pair of roller skates and some protective gear.

Roller skates typically have four polyurethane wheels on an aluminum chassis, two on each side.

The boot is made of firm faux leather and it needs to fit tightly to prevent falls and ankle injuries.

Experienced roller skaters can use lace-up boots, but for beginners, that type of closure needs to be doubled by wide straps and buckles.

When buying roller skates check if the wheel material is suitable for both indoor skating rinks as well as outdoor surfaces.

Rollerblades

rollerblading on the asphalt

Rollerblades are a type of inline skates and the two words are basically synonymous.

The term roller blades come from the name of the American Rollerblade company that basically reinvented inline skates in the 1980s.

Rollerblades have 3-5 wheels placed on a single axis that runs down the middle of the boot’s sole, and a brake on the back of the skate.

Since rollerblading is more difficult than rollerblading, it is recommended that beginners start with short wide wheels as they allow you to keep your balance better.

Running Shoes

Running shoes

There are many types of running shoes and in order to choose the right ones for you, you need to consider several factors.

First of all, you need to consider where you go running.

For flat surfaces, like pavement, you need light and flexible shoes with moderate cushioning, while for rocky and muddy trails you need a thicker sole, with cleats for better traction.

You also need to understand what type of runner you are.

Most people are comfortable with normal running shoes, but if your feet tend to roll inward, you should look for shoes with motion control and better stability.

Saddle Shoes

saddle shoes

Saddle shoes are low-heeled shoes, first invented in the 20th century for golf players.

While today golfers have many types of athletic shoes to choose from, many still prefer this type of traditional shoes.

What makes them so appealing is the saddle-shaped decorative pattern.

The saddle that goes midfoot is usually black or dark blue, while the rest of the shoe is white.

This type of golf shoes goes well with traditional white golfing pants and a checkered vest.

Saddle shoes tend to be more expensive than other types of golf shoes as they are usually made of leather.

Sandals

Travelers couple hiking sandals on mountain near river on nature background

You wouldn’t expect to find sandals in the athletic shoe category, but some types of sandals are perfectly suitable for outdoor physical activity.

Obviously, we’re not talking about high-heel sandals as you risk severe injuries if you try running on those.

However, flat sandals with a flexible rubber sole can be worn if you want to play tennis or volleyball in the park and you don’t feel like investing in special athletic shoes for that purpose.

You will need a pair of sandals that fits tightly, preferably the type that uses elastic or velcro straps.

Shoes

woman and man legs in jeans, pants and shoes

Just as with sandals, there are various types of shoes that can totally be worn for outdoor sports.

Sports enthusiasts would never wear anything other than professional athletic shoes, but for a bit of fun and exercise, a pair of comfortable loafers with non-slip rubber soles are just as good.

The important thing is that you wear flat shoes and there’s no risk of them slipping off your feet.

The shoes don’t need to be made of real leather, as you might ruin them running on rough terrain.

Better choose something in fake leather or any type of breathable fabric.

Skates

set of different ice skates - figure, fitness, Racing, hockey.

The term skates can be used to define a broad category of athletic footwear designed for any type of skating: figure skates, roller blades, or roller skates.

This type of footwear needs to have a firm boot to provide adequate support.

The boots can use laces, straps, or buckles for closure, and they need to have soft padding on the inside.

Skates can be of two types – ice skates, which have stainless steel blades, and roller skates that have wheels.

If you’re wondering which type you should choose, think of the possibilities for wearing them at your disposal.

If you have an ice rink nearby, that’s fine, but if you don’t, you might want to take up rollerblading which can easily be practiced in any park.

Ski Boots

athlete's skier's foot in ski boots rises into the skis

This term refers to the special type of boots that can be fixed on skis using ski bindings.

Ski boots need to be high enough, usually midcalf, to provide adequate stability and also to protect the lower leg in case of a fall.

They are secured with as many as three buckles, two over the foot and one at the top of the boot.

Ski boots are often reinforced with tough plastic inserts for better leg and ankle protection.

However, the inside needs to be soft and warm if you’re going to spend many hours on the slopes.

Slides

Slide shoes Beach accessory

Slide shoes are comfortable plastic or rubber flat shoes that you can easily slip on and off your feet.

Slide shoes only have one very wide strap that goes over the middle part of the foot.

Such shoes have flat soles and a contoured footbed, which makes them very comfortable.

Slide shoes are used for beach sports and they’re also very useful when you’re going to the pool as they have a non-slip sole.

Slide shoes can be worn by both men and women, and not just to the beach.

You can use them for a light walk, which still counts as exercise.

Slippers

couple of young man and woman wearing slippers indoor apartment

Think of yoga and fitness routines that you do in your own living room.

You don’t need special athletic shoes for that.

A nice pair of flat slippers with thin and flexible rubber or leather soles will do great for your yoga session.

Make sure your exercise slippers are firmly attached to the feet, preferably with light elastic straps.

This type of slippers can also be used for ballet lessons.

The fabric of the slippers needs to be light and stretchy to allow you to move your feet any way you want.

Sneakers

white sneakers

Sneakers have become so popular it’s easy to forget they are basically athletic shoes.

People tend to wear sneakers for many types of casual occasions, like going for a walk with some friends or running errands.

However, sneakers have flexible non-slip soles specially designed for sports, running, jogging, tennis, etc.

The upper part can be made of leather, real or fake, but there are also light sneakers made of textile materials, which are preferable in hot weather as they allow the foot to breathe.

As they are so popular, you can find sneakers in any imaginable color, with various prints.

Snow Boots

pair of heavy snow boots

There are many types of snow boots, but they all have one thing in common – they have non-slip soles, usually made of rubber.

Snow boots can be above the ankle, but if you have plenty of snow in your area, you should go for mid-calf boots.

The outer part is made of leather or waterproof fabric, while the inner lining is soft and warm.

Between the two layers, there’s usually an insulating layer, meant to keep the cold out and the body heat in.

You can wear snow boots when you’re going to spend many hours outside.

They’re good for hiking as they are comfortable and most offer excellent traction.

Swim fins

Fins and accessories for diving on the beach

Swim fins are a very special type of footwear, as they have nothing to do with walking.

Swim fins are great for various types of water sports, like swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving.

They’re usually made of flexible rubber and function as an extension of the foot, which allows the swimmer to move more water with each stroke.

They can improve swimming performance by giving you better propulsion without any extra effort.

Swim fins are usually worn with neoprene insulating socks and they are secured on the foot with a buckle that goes over the heel.

Tabi Shoes

There is also a tabi called jikatabi that is made of durable cloth and a rubber plate is pasted on the sole so that it can be worn outdoors

Tabi shoes are a type of athletic shoes that originate in Japan.

Also known as Jikatabi, tabi shoes are easily recognizable by the split that separates the big toe from the other toes, which allows better flexibility.

The term tabi translates as footbag, and indeed such shoes are typically made of a light textile fabric.

The soles are made of thin rubber and they are split at the toe.

Tabi shoes are particularly good for running as this particular design provides better stability.

However, for cold weather, you might prefer tabi shoes made of leather with a bit of padding on the inside.

Tap Shoes

Pair of black and white tap shoes with red and white striped socks

If you want to take up tap dancing, you’ll need special tap shoes.

These shoes look very much like regular shoes with a low flat heel, but they have hard soles and most are also equipped with metal plates to create the characteristic tap sound.

There’s a whole art of fixing metal plates near the toe area and the heels.

These plates are attached with screws that you can tighten or loosen up to create various tapping sounds.

Tap shoes generally use lace-up closure and you’ll want to buy something in soft good-quality leather.

Team Sports Shoes

Team Sports Shoes

There are various types of team sports shoes, depending on the type of sport they are designed for.

As a general rule, such shoes need to feel comfortable with cushioning for various pressure points.

The upper part is usually made of synthetic leather, while the inner lining is made of breathable materials.

The most important part of these shoes is the sole, typically made of rubbers.

Depending on the requirements of the sport and the terrain it’s practiced, the soles have different stud patterns, to provide balance and good traction.

They come in various colors, often decorated with the brand logo.

Basketball Shoes

Pair Of Basketball Shoes

Basketball shoes are made of either leather or lightweight textile materials.

Since such shoes see a lot of wear and tear, the upper part material needs to be durable.

Also, in many cases, the upper part has micro-holes which allows the foot to breathe and prevents excessive sweating.

A good pair of basketball shoes will have a molded heel shield to lock in the foot and prevent injury.

The soles are made of non-slip rubber, which offers good ground holding.

If you’re going to play outdoors, you’ll need thicker soles with a deep traction pattern.

Football shoes

american football shoes.

Professional American football players usually wear cleats on the field.

The cleats that are attached to the rubber soles can be conical or blade-like, depending on what type of traction is needed for a particular terrain.

A soft or slippery surface will require different traction than the tough ground.

These cleats can be made of plastic, metal, or rubber, and each material has its own merits.

The upper part of such shoes is usually made of lightweight materials and they fit at the ankle with an elastic cuff that is both comfortable and breathable.

The insoles are made of shock-absorbing foam, which also provides stability.

Volleyball Shoes

Sports bag with the volleyball ball and volleyball sneakers

Volleyball shoes need to be light enough to allow for rapid movements, while also offering stability and balance.

The upper part of volleyball shoes is usually made of a breathable mesh with synthetic leather overlays, which provide extra support.

The footbed needs to be cushioned with shock-absorbing pads, not only for the foot arch area but also for the toes and heel.

The soles of volleyball shoes are made of flexible rubber, with anti-slip properties.

Studs or cleats are usually not necessary for this type of shoe. For a customized fit, volleyball shoes use lace-up closure.

Soccer Shoes

soccer shoes

Soccer shoes need to be light enough to allow the player to reach high speed when chasing the ball, and they also need to fit perfectly, which is why professionals prefer an asymmetrical lace-up closure.

The outer layer is usually made of soft synthetic leather with various types of patterns.

The soles are made of rubber with various types of cleats or studs, so they can be used on any kind of surface, even a muddy rain-soaked field.

The insoles have cushioning pads to support the arch of the foot and to prevent muscle strains or cramps.

Tennis & Racquet Shoes

Tennis and Racquet Shoes

Tennis shoes usually have a light textile upper part.

An air mesh is to be preferred in hot weather as it allows for better ventilation.

The rubber soles provide flexibility and good traction on all sorts of terrains.

Also, many types of tennis or racquet shoes have a honeycomb pattern on the sole, specially designed to fully absorb shock and reduce the stress that is placed on the feet during a match that lasts for many hours.

Like most types of athletic footwear, tennis shoes have arch support insoles.

While on a tennis court, professional players usually wear white shoes, amateurs have plenty to choose from as such shoes can come in various colors.

Toe Shoes / Barefoot Shoes

five fingers shoes

Toe shoes are a very funny type of sports shoes, which look basically like gloves for the feet.

Each toe sits in its own little compartment which prevents overheating or the toes from rubbing against each other, which often results in painful sores.

Barefoot shoes are usually made of neoprene and have recently gained traction among runners.

The selling point of these minimalist shoes is that they have no heel padding.

Dedicated runners say this feature promotes forefoot landing and can vastly improve your performance.

Also, wearing this type of shoe can cut down the number of foot injuries associated with running.

Trekking shoes

Trekking shoes

Trekking or hiking shoes need to offer great foot support and balance since they’re meant to be used on rough or muddy terrains.

Their most important feature is the rugged rubber sole which can have various types of studs or patterns to provide high-traction grip, on both rocky surfaces or muddy trails.

The upper part can be made of various materials, like leather, suede, synthetic leather, or mesh.

Choosing the type that’s right for you depends on the terrain you usually go hiking and also the weather.

Leather, real or fake, is better for wet weather, while the mesh is more suitable for hot days as it’s more breathable.

Valenki / Russian Boots

valenki - russian felt boots, comfortable winter shoes

The term Valenki refers to a type of traditional Russian boots usually made of wool felt.

This type of material can keep the feet warm enough, but they’re not so good at keeping water out.

Valenki is good for walking on hard snow as they have non-slip rubber snow, but they’re not suitable for warmer days when the snow starts melting.

Russian boots are good for hiking or at least long walks in the snow, and for many people, this is the only kind of exercise they get during winter.

Walking Shoes

 Fashion trendy style walking shoes

Any type of shoes should be good for walking, but some are better than others. Heels are not recommended in walking shoes, except if they’re low and square.

Many people use walking as a way to keep fit, especially now that you can easily download an app to count your steps and the number of calories burned.

Walking shoes should provide stability and have cushioning pads to support the arch of the foot.

Rubber is the best material for soles, while the upper part should be soft.

Leather or textile fabrics work equally well for the upper part, particularly if they have a pattern of small holes for ventilation.

Water Shoes

Water shoes - swim shoe in Pink neoprene on rocks in water on beach

Water shoes are the best type of footwear for people who love water sports, like surfing or boating, and other beach activities like yoga or volleyball.

Their main feature is that the upper part is made of a quick-drying mesh.

Water shoes have rubber soles with a ridged pattern to allow for a better grip on slippery terrain.

Since you don’t want to fuss with laces at the beach, water shoes usually rely on elastic straps which makes them easy to slip on and off.

Also, elastic straps ensure that the shoes fit well on your feet.

Weightlifting Shoes

Athlete doing snatch in weightlifting shoes

Weightlifting shoes look quite similar to most types of athletic shoes, but what sets them apart is the specially designed heel area.

As weightlifters place an enormous strain on their feet, they need special shoes with reinforced heels.

This type of heels is meant to improve lifting performance by offering excellent support and stability.

Obviously, the soles are made on non-slip rubber, and this is very important for a weightlifter who needs to stay firmly in place.

Weightlifting shoes have comfortable insoles with extra padding in the key pressure points.

Different Types of Shoes and Footwear for Women

Women need a lot of shoes and boots, and sandals, simply because women care about fashion more than men.

An elegant woman needs many types of shoes and all kinds of accessories, for the office, for the school run, for a party, or for a fancy dinner.

types of women shoes

A pair of loafers is perfect when you need to run errands, but can you wear them at the office? Certainly, not.

Likewise with boots and sandals.

Some are good for formal occasions, while others only work for informal ones.

Also, some shoes go great with jeans, but not so much with a dress.

It’s not like women want many types of shoes. They just need them.

Almond-toe pumps

Girl in beige suede almond toe pumps high-heeled shoes on the wooden floor

What can you wear when you want to look sharp without torturing your feet with pointed shoes?

The almond-toe pumps are a compromise between round-toe shoes and pointed ones.

The toe part is narrow, but not too narrow, just enough to make your feet look more appealing.

Almond-toe shoes can be flat or even high-heeled, what matters is that the toes have some room to move and won’t feel so constricted.

This type of shoe is very popular among women who want to look glamorous without getting painful sores when they need to stand or walk a lot.

They can be worn with any type of outfit, be it for the office or an informal outing.

Ankle Boots

stylish black suede ankle boots. Fashionable girl

Ankle boots are perfect for cool, but not too cool weather.

They keep the feet well protected against the elements, they’re good if there’s a bit of rain, and can be worn with many more outfits than mid-calf or knee-high boots.

Ankle boots look particularly good if you’re wearing a pair of skinny jeans that end an inch or two above the ankle, as they allow you to show a bit of skin.

Some types of ankle boots are plain, but if you’re matching them with jeans look for a pair with bold metallic elements and buckles.

Ballet Flats

Woman's legs in blue jeans and white ballet flat shoes with beige bag

This type of shoes have thin and flexible soles and they’re often the go-to footwear for women who need to run a lot of errands and be on their feet for many hours a day.

They’re just as comfortable as slippers, yet they can be very elegant if they’re made of good quality materials, like leather or suede.

Ballet flats go well with either pants or skirts, and for a more feminine look choose shoes decorated with a small ribbon right on the middle of the toe area or to the side.

When you buy flat shoes, check if they have a bit of cushioning to provide support to the arch of the foot.

Calf Boots

legs in calf boots of stylish woman walking in city in warm fur coat holding leather handbag

This term refers to boots that are at least mid-calf high but don’t reach up to knee level.

Calf boots come in many styles, from stylish leather boots good enough for the office to combat boots you can wear for hiking.

This type of boots tends to be flat or have a small square heel, yet can be showy enough if the leather has an interesting pattern.

You can wear calf boots with a pair of skinny jeans, leggings, or with a knee-length skirt.

Calf boots are great for casual occasions, but it’s quite difficult to find a pair that looks good enough for a more formal event.

Cone Heels

Pair of high-heeled t-strap shoes on white background isolated cone heel off white

Cone heels are great if you want to have some stability on your feet, without compromising on elegance.

Just as the name says, this type of heel has a conical shape.

It’s rather wide where it meets the sole and narrows down to a point.

Cone heels provide good support to the foot and if they’re not particularly high they can be quite comfortable.

You can find cone heels on many types of shoes, sandals, or ankle boots.

This is a very versatile type of heel.

An elegant pair of shoes with cone heels is suitable for a formal occasion, while a pair of boots with sensible, not too high cone heels work perfectly for casual outings, and they won’t tire your legs.

Court Shoes

female legs and feet wearing a classic fashionable pair of beige high heeled court shoes

The term court shoes refer to a type of plain, preferably closed-toe shoes, quite similar to pumps, that are meant to be comfortable and not too eye-catching.

You can slip on a pair of nude or beige-colored court shoes when you’d rather have people admire your dress, not your footwear.

These shoes were invented centuries ago and were considered the norm in European courts.

The heels vary in style and height, but traditionally they should have a low square heel.

Originally, court shoes were adorned with a buckle, but nowadays they tend to be plain or be decorated with a small tasteful ribbon.

Court shoes go equally well with pants or dresses.

Espadrilles

striped espadrilles for women

Espadrilles are a type of very comfortable summer shoes of Spanish origin.

Traditionally, their sole was made of woven esparto grass, but nowadays most of the espadrilles you’ll find on the market have soles made of jute or rubber.

The upper part of these shoes is made of canvas or cotton fabric.

Women like espadrilles because they’re very easy on the feet, but also because the upper part can come in various colors and prints.

Espadrilles count as informal footwear and go very well with many types of summer outfits, from shorts and miniskirts to long and airy cotton or linen dresses.

Flats

collection of women fashion flat shoes

Quite similar to ballet flats, regular flats can be made of a variety of materials and come in many styles.

While they do have a flat sole in common, this type of shoe can have pointed or rounded toes and can be made of leather, synthetic materials, suede, or textile fabrics.

They’re always low cut and sometimes come with an ankle strap.

This strap keeps the shoe firm on the feet, which is quite useful since flats do have a tendency to slip off.

Flats only work for casual outings, they’re good for travel or long walks, but they’re not meant for those occasions when you want to look quite stylish.

Gladiators

Fashionably dressed woman posing in boots, high-heeled gladiators in short black dress.

The term gladiators refer to a type of sandals made of thin leather straps that are wound up mid-calf high in a criss-cross pattern.

These sandals originate in ancient Rome where they were worn by gladiators in the arena, which sort of explains why they have flat sensible soles.

You wouldn’t want to see big burly men fighting to the death in high heels?

Gladiators are very comfortable to wear, there’s no danger your sandals might slip off even if you’re running, and the flexible sole offers plenty of support.

Since they’re mid-calf high, you can only wear them with short dresses or skirts.

Heelless Shoes

 

women Heelless shoes

Heelless shoes are a modern invention and they seem to defy the law of physics.

Basically, they are a type of platform shoes with heels taken off.

When you see them for the first time, you’ll think it’s impossible to stand on shoes, let alone walk in them, yet, with a bit of training, they’re quite manageable.

It’s just a matter of shifting your body weight to the front of the foot, without relying on the support the heels provide in regular shoes.

Heelless shoes are obviously meant only for a night out when you’re looking to impress your friends.

Don’t expect to be able to dance in such shoes, though.

It takes quite a lot of practice to manage small steps, and not too many of those either.

Heels

Woman trying many heels

Every woman knows that heels make the legs look better.

Stilettos are the best for that purpose, but that’s hardly the type of shoes you can wear all day every day.

If you dread the idea of wearing high-heels for long hours, choose another type of heels, something more sensible.

Any type of heels is good, even a square one-inch heel is better than no heels at all to showcase your legs.

Also, heels go well with basically any type of outfit, from low-key jeans and a shirt to an office two-piece suit.

High Heels

beautiful shoes high heels

Any type of shoe with a 3-4 inches heel qualifies as high-heels.

The shape of the heel is less important, what matters is the height which forces the foot to a more flattering elongated position.

You can choose between thin, stiletto-like heels or more reliable ones, like square heels, thick Cuban heels, or spool heels, that have an hourglass shape and offer more stability.

High heels put a finishing touch on any type of formal outfit, including an office dress.

The same can be said of boots.

Flat boots are too casual, like you’re preparing to go hiking, but put a nice high heel on the same type of boot and they’re something else.

High-top Sneakers

High-top Sneakers

Sneakers are everyone’s favorite type of shoes for sporting activities, hiking, or any sort of occasion when you need to walk a lot.

High-top sneakers are just as good, but they offer something more, ankle support.

Such shoes are at least one inch higher than regular sneakers, so they cover the sensitive ankle area.

However, when you buy high-top sneakers examine the ankle part carefully.

This needs to be soft, maybe a little padded if you want to avoid chafing.

High-top sneakers can have lace-up closure or adjustable velcro straps, which you can tighten or loosen over the ankle.

Jelly Shoes

jelly shoes on female feet

Well, the jelly these shoes are made of is actually PVC, or plastic, which might not be your first choice for footwear material.

However, jelly shoes are very popular because they’re quite affordable and extremely colorful.

The plastic is often infused with glitter or the shoes are decorated with sequins, so they stand out no matter what outfit you’re wearing.

At the same time, jelly shoes are typically flat so they’re comfortable for walking.

You might want to wear them with a pair of no-show nude socks as plastic is not a breathable material and might make your feet feel all sweaty on a hot day.

Kitten Heels

Kitten heel shoes on the white marble background

This is a very feminine type of heel and is often preferred by tall women who don’t want to tower over their partner but still look stylish.

Kitten heels are less than three inches high, they are wide at the point they meet the sole but slim down to a pointed end.

They’re more comfortable than high-heels and can be worn by women of any age, from teenagers to mature ladies.

Kitten heels are extremely versatile.

They can be casual or look quite formal, depending on your outfit.

This sort of heel is suitable for many different types of shoes, open-toe, rounded-toe, or pointed-toe shoes.

Knee-high Boots

Knee high Boots

Knee-high boots are meant to keep your legs warm in cold weather, but they don’t need to be plain.

On the contrary, they can be very stylish if they’re made of good quality leather.

If you live in an area that sees plenty of snow, you might want to choose a pair of flat knee-high boots with a thick and ridged rubber sole.

On the other hand, tight knee-high boots with four inches heels are elegant enough for a night out, if you pair them with a short skirt or dress.

Knee-high boots can also be worn with skinny jeans or leggings, for a casual outing.

Laced Boots

woman in white dress puts on white summer perforated military lace-up boots

Laced boots are usually ankle or mid-calf high. It’s mostly combat boots that use this type of closure, often with applied metal eyelets.

Laced boots tend to have thick rubber soles, with an anti-slip pattern, as they’re designed for rough terrains, wet pavements, or muddy trails.

The outer part of the boot should be waterproof to be of any use.

There’s also another type of laced-up boots, namely very long ones, going to the knee or over it.

This type of boots are made of soft skin or velvet and they’re obviously only for show, not something to wear in bad weather.

Lita

Black lita women shoes

Lita shoes are probably the most polarizing type of footwear ever.

There are those who hate them and those who adore these clunky ankle-high lace-up or zipped boots.

What makes Lita boots so attractive, and so contested, are the thick two-inch platform and the trademark five-inch block heels.

When they were first launched in 2010, Lita boots became an instant hit with the young fashion-conscious generation, and, as surprising as it may seem, they’re still around.

They owe much of their popularity to the many colors and prints they come in, some of them as outrageous as their heels.

If there’s one thing to be said about Lita boots is that it certainly won’t go unnoticed.

Loafers for women

Trendy beige feminine loafers. Women's shoes

Women spend a lot of time torturing their feet in impossibly high shoes, so they do deserve something nice and comfortable for a change.

Loafers are flat, they have flexible soles, and, most of all, well-rounded toes.

It’s a pleasure to walk around wearing loafers so this type of footwear is a must in every woman’s closet.

Loafers are meant for running errands, walking the dog, and a fun low-key outing with friends.

You’re not dressed to impress when you wear loafers, you’re dressed to have fun and this includes giving your feet a break for a change.

Mary Janes

Feminine fashion concept. Legendary Mary Jane Shoes

This type of shoe takes its name from a character in a comic strip that was popular in the early 1900s.

Back then, this type of flat shoes secured with a strap over the insole were typically worn by young girls, like the Mary Jane in the comic strip.

Mary Janes are sensible and pretty resistant shoes, which is why they were recommended by schools that imposed a strict dress code.

Modern Mary Janes are often worn with either jeans or skirts and they’re still quite popular because they’re extremely comfortable.

Also, Mary Janes now sports a small heel, usually square, which makes them a bit more stylish.

Mules

beautiful women's shoes on legs and layouts, leather white mules

Mules are a type of mostly flat shoes that have no back, so there’s nothing to press on the heels, which explains why they are so popular among women.

Some types of mules do have a small heel, square or pointed, which makes them a bit more fashionable.

Mules go best with pants and low-key outfits.

However, a nice pair of leather mules with a bit of bling can be paired with a dress or skirt, preferably something longer, and only for rather casual occasions.

Mules are not particularly flattering, unless you have great legs, but they sure are comfortable.

Open-toe Shoes

Woman's open toe nude leather heels with a perfect pedicure

This term refers to any type of shoes that have an open front, exposing the toes and allowing your feet to breathe a little.

Many women love open-toe shoes or sandals as they’re less constricting and quite sexy as they allow a look at your toes.

An impeccable pedicure is a must with this sort of shoe.

Open-toe shoes can have any type of heels, from very high ones to a flat, barely-there heel.

The open-toe design goes particularly well with wedge shoes and sandals, as these offer plenty of support and don’t make the foot slip towards the front, like high-heels.

Peep-Toe Shoes

woman in stylish black leather peep toes shoes with straps

Peep-toe shoes are quite similar to open-toe shoes, but the opening at the front is more narrow.

With peep-toe shoes, not all the fingers get to see the world, often it’s just the big toe that makes an appearance.

You need to be very careful when you buy peep-toe shoes as you want the upper material to be soft, otherwise, you risk getting some very painful blisters, particularly if you need to walk a lot.

If they have a high-heel, peep-toe shoes are perfectly suitable for formal occasions, and you can also wear them at the office as they are not too revealing.

Platform Shoes

Fashion female  yellow shoes with high platform

Platform shoes are a great invention for women who want to gain an inch or two in height, without having to bother with high-heels.

This type of shoe has a thick platform, usually made of rubber or maybe cork.

They’re surprisingly comfortable to wear as they offer adequate support to the feet, even if they also have high heels.

The upper part can be made of leather or textile fabrics.

On the other hand, no matter how great your platform shoes look, they’re not suitable for formal occasions or office dresses.

You can wear them with pants or dresses for casual outings.

Pointe Shoes

pointe shoes

This is not the type of shoes you see every day, as they’re specially created for ballet dancers.

The ballet shoes many women love have nothing to do with pointe shoes, which have a characteristic hard and flat front.

It is this pointe that allows ballerinas to stand graciously on the tip of their feet.

Obviously, they’re not all that comfortable, but if you want to do ballet you’ll have to learn to stand on your toes and make it seem like it doesn’t hurt at all.

Pointe shoes only come in white or pastel colors to go with a traditional ballerina outfit.

Pumps

Woman trying on different pump shoes

Every woman should own at least a pair of pumps, as they’re elegant enough to pass for formal shoes, without being as uncomfortable as high-heels.

Typically, pumps have a reasonable 1 to 3 in heels, just enough to make your legs look slim.

Everyday pumps have rounded toes, which again is a plus.

On the other hand, pumps with pointed toes are considered very classy, so they qualify as dress shoes.

Pumps should be your footwear of choice when you want to look fashionable, without overdoing it.

This is what makes pumps the perfect type of shoes for the office.

Scarpin Heels

Fashionable Scarpin Heels

The term scarpin comes from the word scarpe, which is Italian for shoes.

Scarpin shoes refer to a type of shoes with a medium to high heel, preferably thin.

Scarpin shoes usually have pointed toes, although not so pointed as to make them uncomfortable to wear.

They’re sort of similar to regular pumps, which makes scarpin shoes suitable for many occasions.

You can totally wear this type of shoes with a pair of classical office pants, but since they’re so stylish they go better with a skirt or dress.

Slingbacks

Slingbacks

Slingbacks are sort of a compromise between shoes and sandals, which makes them a good choice as summer footwear.

Slingbacks have a low-cut design, which perfectly covers the toes while leaving the rest of the foot free.

They are secured with a thin strap that goes over the ankle.

The heel can be of any height, from a sensible 2 in one to an impressive 8in one.

They look very stylish, especially as they usually have a pointed-toe design.

However, since they leave much of the feet exposed they’re not suitable for formal wear.

On the other hand, they go great with an evening dress, either short or long.

Stilettos

pair of sparkly sequin clad stiletto shoes and fairy lights held by hand

This is another must-have for any fashionable woman, although they’re not the most comfortable shoes out there.

On the contrary, stilettos are notoriously difficult to wear since they have pointed toes and incredibly high and thin heels.

Why do women love them so much?

That’s because there’s nothing better to showcase your legs than a nice pair of stilettos.

This type of shoes is suitable for the most formal occasions and it would be best if you had a matching purse to go with them.

Matching shoes and bags are not required for everyday outfits, but it’s a must for formal dress occasions.

Stocking Boots

woman in black dress with lace details wearing stocking boots

This is a novelty type of boots and they’re only good for parties or clubbing.

The upper part is made of soft fabric, which makes the boots feel and look like stockings.

However, stocking boots have a thin rubber sole and rather high heels.

Typically, stocking boots are very high, going well over the knee, and are kept in place with an elastic band.

They go great with a mini skirt or a little black dress.

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T-Strap Sandals

 woman feet in t strap sandals standing on green grass

This is a very comfortable type of sandals, just great for informal occasions.

These sandals take their name from the characteristic T-shape of the two main straps, the one that goes over the toes and the one linked to the ankle strap make.

T-strap sandals can have any type of heel, but most of them are however flat or have a low wedge sole.

The main advantage of these sandals is that they allow your feet to breathe, which makes them ideal for relaxed summer outings.

Ugg Boots

fur coat artificial fur, long dress leopard print, ugg boots, model girl

If you need something very warm and comfortable for winter, Ugg boots are just perfect.

This type of flat boots is made of sheepskin and has a fuzzy warm lining on the inside.

They are usually mid-calf high so they’re guaranteed to keep your legs warm.

However, these boots can only be worn for informal occasions and for outside wear.

It is not advised to wear them if you’re going to spend some time inside during the day as they’ll make your feet too hot and sweaty.

Also, keep in mind that Ugg boots can only be described as comfy, but stylish, no.

Wedge Shoes

fashionable women on stairs wearing wedges

One of the most comfortable types of shoes ever invented, wedge shoes are preferred by many women as they offer a bit of extra height, and quite effortlessly.

Wedge shoes offer great support no matter how high they might be. 

Also, most types of wedge shoes have rounded toes, so your toes won’t suffer much.

They do not qualify as formal wear, but they’re good for many other occasions.

Wedge shoes go great either with pants and jeans or with a dress.

Worishofer Sandals

Worishofer Sandal with cork base

Worishofer sandals originate in Germany where they were invented by a podiatrist in the early 20th century.

These orthopedic sandals became extremely popular around the world as they have a very supportive wedge sole made of cork, which is rather soft and shock-absorbing.

Also, the upper part is made of wide straps in a soft material.

Basically, there’s no way these sandals can hurt your feet or cause you blisters.

Sadly, such sandals are not exactly fashionable, but you can absolutely wear them when you have a lot to walk.

Different Types of Shoes and Footwear for Men

Men are becoming more and more fashion-conscious, which explains today’s generation’s greater interest in shoes.

Just as women, men are required to wear good quality shoes at the office and need an even fancier pair of shoes for black tie events.

On the other hand, men also need athletic shoes, as well as comfortable shoes for informal outings.

Let’s have a look at the most popular types of shoes for men and see what sort of occasions they are suitable for.

Blucher Shoes

Modern gentlemen`s shoes collection shortwing blucher, plain toe blucher, split toe blucher and longwing blucher

This is a classical type of shoes and quite an elegant one.

What makes these shoes look so exquisite is the fact that the front upper part is made from a single piece of leather, also known as one-cut.

They are fastened with laces and have 2-4 eyelets sewn on top.

This type of shoes is considered professional enough to be worn at the office, even for important business meetings.

If the leather is of great quality, it can also be worn for evening formal events, with a fancy three-piece suit.

Since they’re to be worn on formal occasions, they usually come in somber dark colors.

Boat Shoes

edge of yacht board. Guy wears dark shorts, white t-shirt and black boat shoes

If you like boating, you need a good pair of boating shoes, which are flat and made of soft materials, like leather or canvas.

Natural and highly breathable materials are preferable since boat shoes are usually worn without socks.

Also, the sole of these shoes needs to have ridges, as you’ll want to have good traction when the deck gets full of water.

Usually, boat shoes have rubber soles as this material is anti-slip and gentle enough not to leave ugly marks on the deck.

Brogan Shoes

Brown male brogan's shoes

Brogan shoes date back to the 16th century when they were very popular among Irish and Scots who wore them as work boots.

This type of footwear is ankle-high as they were originally made for people who had to work in muddy terrains.

Brogan shoes were standard military issues for several centuries from the American Civil War up to the First World War, which is why they were also called trench boots.

Today, Brogan shoes are preferred for hiking and trekking, as they provide good support for the foot and excellent traction as they have thick non-slip soles.

Brogue shoes

Two tone men brogues. The upper is stunning combination of brown calf with brown suede.

This type of shoes is very fancy, as they have an elaborate design.

The upper part is made of several pieces of leather expertly sewn together.

They take their name from their decorative perforations, also known as broguing.

Brogue shoes have a low flat heel, which makes them quite stylish.

Maybe they’re a little too fancy, which is why they’re not considered suitable for formal occasions.

Likewise, they’re not exactly what you should wear at the office.

Brothel Creeper Shoes

Brothel Creeper Shoes

Hard to say why these shoes have such an unusual name.

These shoes were first worn by soldiers deployed to the North Africa region during WWII and it might very well be that they wore them when they went on leave.

The upper part of these shoes is made of suede, while the soles are made of crepe rubber, which is very resistant.

As these shoes certainly stand out they were later adopted by all sorts of young rebels, first the 1950-1960s rockers and later by the punk generation.

They made a powerful comeback in the past decade, being championed by stars like Miley Cyrus and Rihanna.

Buck Shoes

A pair of white nubuck bucks with a bright blue laces on. This fashionable footwear is a classic for mens leather shoes

This is a very comfortable type of shoe with a suede upper part and reliable rubber soles.

Buck shoes are great for the active man as they are very durable and have a shock-absorbing sole.

Also, they feature padded insoles, which provide good arch support.

They’re too stylish for sporting activities, but they’re just perfect for a casual stroll.

Buck shoes go great with jeans or pants in a matching color.

You cannot wear buck shoes at the office unless it’s a very laid-back place where nobody cares about dress codes.

Buckled Shoes

Male fashion buckled shoes

Many types of mens’ shoes rely on laces, so buckled shoes really stand out.

Such shoes are usually made of leather, real or synthetic, they have a very elegant design, and they are secured on the feet with one or two buckles.

They are considered formal business casual shoes, so you can definitely wear them to the office.

If you’re going to buy a pair of buckled shoes, pick something in a color like black or dark brown which you can wear with various different suits.

Budapester Shoes

Mens budapester shoes

These shoes take their name from the Hungarian capital, Budapest, but they’re quite similar to regular derby shoes.

What sets them apart, is the design of the upper part, which consists of several pieces of rounded leather sewn together.

Budapester shoes also have a pattern of perforations on the toe part, which serve primarily a decorative purpose, but they also provide good ventilation to the feet.

Such shoes tend to be rather expensive as they’re made of calfskin, often handcrafted.

Even so, such shoes are a bit too stylish for formal occasions.

Chelsea boots

Light tan Chelsea Boots on a boardwalk, for a simple fashion picture of men's style

Chelsea boots date back to the Victorian Era, when they were considered suitable for both men and women.

Today it’s mostly men that you’ll see wearing Chelsea boots.

These boots are ankle-high and have no type of closure.

They rely on an elastic fabric side panel, which allows you to slip them on and off easily.

Such boots can be made from suede or leather, preferably calfskin.

Chelsea boots were at the height of their popularity in the 1950s and 1960s when they became the favorite type of footwear of the budding rocker’s community.

Chukka Boots

 brown chukka boots

Chukka boots have been a staple of trendy guy’s clothing apparel for many decades now.

An ankle-high chukka boot is made of two pieces of leather or suede that come together at the midsole.

This type of boots have a rounded toe and have a simple lace-up closure that relies on two, sometimes three, eyelets.

The sole is usually made of synthetic anti-slip material.

They’re just as comfortable as loafers or athletic shoes, but a bit more stylish, so they can be used with business casual attire.

However, you can wear chukka boots with many types of pants, including chinos or denim.

Combat Boots

military boots on soldier feet army combat uniform on blurred background detail close up side view of leather shoe for hiking in sand color and brown camouflage pants

Inspired by the military style, combat boots are a necessity for men who love the great outdoors.

Combat boots are very solid and can be used for hiking, trekking, camping trips as well to complete a biker’s apparel.

If you’re going to invest in a pair of combat boots, make sure to buy some made of good-quality leather, preferably treated with special oils to make them water-resistant.

Since these boots are made for walking a lot, the interior usually features fur lining for warmth and padded insoles for good support.

Many types of combat boots rely on dual closure, with both laces and a zipper on the side.

Cowboy Boots

cowboy boots

Nothing says American better than a good pair of cowboy boots.

The original boots worn by cowboys were made of cowhide leather, but nowadays you can find them made of some very exotic types of leather, including snake, alligator, or elephant.

For an impressive look, try some cowboy boots with handmade decorative elements.

Cowboy boots are high, reaching almost to knee level, and can have a rounded or pointed toe.

The rounded toe is certainly more comfortable, but the pointed toe looks way sleeker. If you’re going for the cowboy look, you can pair your boots with a pair of fitted jeans, a shirt, and, why not, a cowboy hat.

Derby Shoes

Variety colorful leather casual derby shoes on the shelf in fashion footwear

Derby shoes are very similar to blucher shoes, and in American English, the two terms can be used interchangeably.

Derby shoes can be recognized by their three-part panelled construction and the open lacing.

The eyelets are stitched on top of the vamp and this feature allows for a looser fit and more freedom of movement.

The toe can be elongated or rounded and the shoes also have a stitched leather sole, that gives them a very stylish appearance.

Derby shoes can also be made of suede, but that material is more casual than leather.

Suede Derby shoes can be worn with jeans, moleskin trousers, or chinos, while leather ones are elegant enough to go with more formal pants.

Dress Shoes

man wearing black dress shoes

To qualify as dress shoes, they need to look impeccable.

Many types of shoes can be used for formal occasions, on condition they’re made of good leather, are highly-polished and don’t expose your feet in any way.

For instance, a nice pair of Oxford shoes are suitable as dress shoes if they do not have any type of broguing, or little hole punched into them.

Obviously, those holes are too little to expose any bit of skin, but they’re still not acceptable in a pair of dress shoes.

Also, to qualify as dress footwear, the shoes must have laces, with 2-4 eyelets.

The color of your dress shoes must match that of your suit, even if they’re not in the same shade.

Elevator shoes

sneaker with a black height increasing insole inside. The insole with velour surface

Short men are at a disadvantage as opposed to women since they cannot wear high heels to appear taller.

Elevator shoes were created to provide an extra inch or two in height, maybe even more, without anyone knowing the secret.

It’s not the heels that give you this advantage, but the insoles.

Elevator shoes have thickly padded insoles especially in the heel area, but it’s all inside the shoes, so it won’t be obvious at all.

Any type of shoe can be technically called an elevator shoe if it has this type of insole, plus a thicker than normal sole.

Jackboots

Vintage WW2 german army jackboots

You won’t have much need of jackboots unless you’re a cruel dictator, but they sure look great.

Jackboots were inspired by old cavalry boots, which had wings at the back to protect the legs against sword attacks.

The jackboots were made (in)famous by the Nazi officers in World War 2, which thought the tall black boots conferred them a martial appearance.

These boots are knee-high and often have a cuff 1-2 in wide. They need to be made of good soft leather and be super-polished.

Today, various types of high boots are sold as jackboots, but few of them are for men, as it is much easier for women to wear such long boots.

Jump boots

A pair of old and rugged man's jump boots

This is another type of military boots that date back to WW2.

Their name is a dead giveaway as jump boots were created especially for paratroopers and airborne forces.

They are very solid boots, with reinforced toe caps and heel counters, to protect the most sensitive areas of the foot during a parachute jump.

If you’re planning on trying parachute jumping or indeed any other sporting activity that requires good foot protection, these boots are just perfect.

Jump boots are great for any type of activity that involves jumping as they have a removable polyurethane footbed, which does a great job at absorbing shocks.

Loafers

Modern gentlemen`s loafer collection - horsebit, fullstrap, moc toe penny and tassel loafer

Loafers are probably the most laid-back type of shoes.

They don’t have any laces or buckles, you just slip them on and off, and they’re very comfortable.

Loafers can be made of soft leather, suede, or canvas and have a flexible rubber sole.

They can have a very low heel or no heel at all.

This type of shoe is extremely popular among men, but it’s not the type of footwear you can use at the office or on any formal occasion.

Loafers are for your spare time and they go well with any type of pants, including shorts.

Monks

Men's dress shoes double monk strap

The term monk shoe refers to a special type of slip-on footwear.

Such shoes don’t have laces, but come with adjustable straps, secured with buckles.

Monks are usually made of leather or suede and they qualify as formal shoes.

If you want to be sharply dressed on any occasion, you need to know that monks are considered less formal than Oxford shoes, but a class higher than Derby shoes.

They are extremely comfortable to wear as many types of Monks now use memory foam insoles and breathable linings.

Motorcycle Boots

Biker riding on a motorcycle. Bottom view of the legs in leather boots

When you’re looking for motorcycle boots you need to consider both their characteristics and their style.

The boots are an important part of a biker’s outfit, which is why most of them prefer mid-calf durable leather boots with one or several straps and metallic elements.

Biker boots need a non-slip rubber sole and they usually have a square heel.

You don’t want laces when you’re riding a motorcycle, which is why most types of motorcycle boots have an insole zipper.

Motorcycle boots come in various colors, but a dedicated biker will always wear black.

Oxford Shoes

Male fashion oxford shoes

Oxford shoes have the same three-panelled construction and stitched leather sole as Derby shoes, but they’re considered more formal.

What makes Oxford shoes more stylish is the closed lacing, which makes them fit better.

Also, with Oxford shoes, the toe is always elongated rather than rounded.

Oxford shoes are suitable for formal and business attire, although shoes that feature a pattern of ventilation holes known as broguing are more on the casual side.

However, if you have a nice pair of Oxford shoes that doesn’t mean you can only wear them for important meetings.

You can pair your Oxford shoes with a pair of jeans if you want to look sharp.

Penny Loafers

 mens suit and casual loafer shoes set penny loafers

The term refers to a type of loafers launched in 1936 by a Maine businessman.

To make it stand out among the other types of loafers already on the market, this type of shoe had a short leather strap across the middle-upper part, with a cutout where you could easily slip a penny.

This sort of shoe became very popular among prep school boys and legend has it they used to keep a penny in their shoe for emergency phone calls, hence the name.

The shoes sold today as penny loafers no longer have this type of cut out which is just as well since no one uses payphones anymore.

Sailing Boots

sailing yacht sailing boots

When you’re going to spend many hours on a boat you don’t want to get your feet wet.

Sailing boots will keep your feet nice and dry as they’re made of waterproof materials, like synthetic leather or rubber.

Sailing boots need to be at least mid-calf high if they’re to be of any use.

This type of boots usually have non-slip rubber soles and they sure won’t scratch your precious boat deck.

On the other hand, when you’re out at sea it can get real chilly, which is why sailing boots often have a special insulating lining.

Spectator Shoes

Men's Spectator Style Dress Shoes Green and Brown

Spectator shoes first rose to popularity 100 years ago, during the Crazy 20s, and they’re exactly what you’d expect guys to wear on a night out.

This type of shoe, very similar to Oxford shoes in design, is made of several pieces of leather in two contrasting colors.

Most often it was black and white or brown and green.

The kind of spectator shoes you’ll find on the market today are a bit toned down.

You may still find shoes that closely resemble the original, but most pairs come in two different shades of the same color, so the contrast is less jarring.

Steel-toe Boots

Steel-toe Boots

These are heavy-duty boots made for men who work in rough conditions and need protective clothing.

Just as the name says, such boots have a steel plate reinforcing the toe area, to protect against injury from falling objects or compression.

Well, there are some brands that have replaced steel with thermoplastic polyurethane or even aluminum, and they work just as well.

Steel-toe boots are made from breathable waterproofed leather and have a thick non-slip sole.

Those who need outside during cold winter days will certainly appreciate the thermal lining steel-toe boots usually have.

Waders

fisherman in waders

The term waders refers to a special type of boots, which go all the way up to the thigh, often covering it completely.

Waders were created as early as 1850 for people who needed to work many hours with their legs in the water. Such boots can be made of vulcanized rubber, PVC, or neoprene.

The boots are wide enough so you can easily slip them on and off and they need to be fastened to the lower part of the coat or the belt with metal hooks.

Wellington Boots

Yellow Muddy Wellington boots on wet silt

The original Wellingtons were popularized by the famous Duke of the same name, the British military commander who defeated Napoleon.

Back then, this type of knee-high boots was made of leather and they were worn by members of the aristocracy for their outdoor pursuits, such as hunting.

Today, Wellington boots primarily work boots and they’re usually made of waterproof materials, such as rubber or PVC. They can also be

used as rain boots or for gardening. Wellington boots rarely have any sort of lining, so you need to wear them with thick warm socks.

Wingtip Shoes

pair of beige and mesh wingtip dress shoes

Wingtip shoes are another version of the very popular Oxford shoes.

They take their name after the distinctive stitching pattern that resembles a bird’s wing.

This type of shoe has pointed toes and wingtips that extend along both sides of the shoe.

As with all types of Oxford shoes, these wingtip shoes also count as formal footwear, although broguing is still to be avoided if you want to look classy.

The sole is usually made of synthetic materials and features a low-stacked heel.

Winklepickers Shoes

Brown Winklepickers Shoes

This term refers to a type of very pointed, that was highly popular during the 1950s among rockers and rock fans.

If it weren’t for the pointed toe, Winklepickers shoes could easily be qualified as Derby shoes.

They are usually made of leather, real or faux, and use a classical lace-up closure.

Winklepickers shoes stand out easily, which makes them a bit too showy for any type of formal event.

However, they’re great for a party, especially if you’re going for a retro look.

Work Boots

Work Boots

Many types of footwear can be labeled as work boots.

Whether they’re ankle or knee-high, work boots need to offer good protection for the feet in whatever environment you’re working in.

One of the most important qualities of a good work boot is to be made of waterproof materials.

Also, work boots typically have rubber boots, which offer good traction on wet or muddy terrains.

At the same time, someone working in rough conditions will need boots with good thermal insulation and a cushioned footbed for arch support.

Collection Of Different Shoes

Shoes and Footwear FAQ:

What are the 3 types of footwear?

Footwear can be classified in many ways, but they are primarily defined by the type of weather they’re meant for. Most people spend a lot of time thinking about style, but at the end of the day, you need something warm for winter, boots, something light for summer, as in sandals, and something in between, and that would-be shoes. On the other hand, one might also classify footwear by the type of occasions they’re suitable for. Thus, you have formal shoes, casual shoes, and athletic shoes. Once you’ve established what you need them for, then you can worry about style, color, or material.

What shoes does every man need?

A modern active man needs many types of footwear, starting with elegant and good-quality office shoes. If your company has a dress code, you cannot show up in loafers. Those count as casual footwear and they’re to be worn in your spare time. At the same time, men need athletic shoes for whatever sports they’re interested in. You might need running shoes, boating shoes, or, why not, bowling shoes. Also, men who work in rough conditions might need protective work boots. Finally, any man needs at least one pair of dress shoes, if only to wear at wedding and funerals.

What are the highest quality shoes?

The quality of a pair of shoes is defined by the materials used and the shoe’s construction. The highest quality does not mean expensive exotic leather. The absolute best is considered full-grain leather which is more durable, breathable, and, in time, molds to your feet, which will make the shoes most comfortable. When you look at the label, make sure it says genuine leather and specifies what type of leather it is. As for construction, look for stitched shoes that will last longer than glued shoes, which often fall apart at the slightest bit of rain. Also, stitched shoes can easily be repaired if need be, while glued ones, not so much.

Which types of shoes are in style?

Fashions come and go and it’s very difficult to say which shoes are in style at any time. That depends on many things, like age group, type of shoe, and intended use. For instance, office shoes cannot be said to be really trendy, they’re a necessity and they need to respect certain characteristics. According to the latest trends, for this year, women should have at least a pair of cowboy boots, while for shoe kitten heels seem to be all the rage. As for men, Chelsea boots and Chukka boots are the most popular at the moment, with loafers not so far behind.

What shoes should every man have?

There’s a big difference between the shoes someone needs and the shoes they should have. Many men could do without office shoes, but they need them. Let’s focus on the kind of shoes that would be useful to have. Every man deserves at least a pair of comfortable loafers, either made of suede or leather. Men who are very much into outdoor activities should also have a pair of reliable trekking or combat boots, which are useful on any type of rough terrain. For summer, men should have at least a pair of flip flops. Your feet deserve to breathe a bit.

What shoes should a woman own?

Every woman needs to have at least one pair of high-heels, preferably stilettos, which are a must for formal dress. On the other hand, you also need comfortable flat shoes for running errands or taking the kids to school. Another type of shoes that is a must for every woman is a pair of good-quality office shoes. Nice office shoes need to have at least a 2-inch heel, even flat if it’s more comfortable. Both the office shoes and the high-heels need to be made of real leather, which is also more durable than synthetic materials. Of course, you’ll also need athletic shoes as the modern woman understands the importance of physical activity and a quick jog can do wonders.

Which type of footwear is best?

Whatever shoes feel more comfortable to you, those are the best type of footwear for you, it’s as simple as that. The best type of footwear should offer maximum support to the foot. That’s easier for men as their shoes are way more comfortable than what women wear. For women, wedge shoes are often recommended as the best type of footwear as they offer adequate support and look stylish enough. At the same time, good shoes should be made of soft breathable materials and have cushioned flexible soles.

What are gym shoes called?

Gym shoes go by various names, the most common ones being sneakers and trainers. Or you can simply call them athletic shoes. No matter what you call them, gym shoes should always be a perfect fit and be well-fastened to the foot to prevent accidental injuries. At the same time, since gym sessions put a lot of strain on the feet, gym shoes should have cushioned shock-absorbing insoles. At the same time, all the exertion causes a lot of sweating, so good gym shoes should be made of breathable materials and have moisture-absorbing lining.

What are laceless shoes called?

Laceless shoes are usually referred to as slip-on. Most women’s shoes are this type, while for men an elegant pair of shoes often requires laces. Loafers are the most popular type of laceless shoes, for both men and women. There are, then, various types of shoes that don’t have laces but don’t slip on either. Usually, such shoes have insole zippers or straps with buckles.

Is barefoot better than shoes?

Over the past two decades, an increasing number of people advocate the benefits of walking barefoot, which they say is healthier than using shoes. The idea is that human gait is more natural when you walk barefoot. Also, when you wear shoes not all the
muscles in the foot get to be exercised. However, going barefoot is not an option for most people and, even if it were, it wouldn’t be all that healthy. If you could spend your days walking in the sand on the beach, yes, that would be great, but walking on hard concrete puts too much strain on the foot so it’s not that good for you.

Are Skechers bad for your feet?

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding Skechers. Many podiatrists praise Skechers for their contoured footbeds with plenty of shock-absorbing cushioning and the wide toe part. The best part of Skechers footwear is their memory foam insole which feels quite comfortable and is very supportive. On the other hand, some say this memory foam padding is not thick enough and quickly compresses, which makes it rather useless. That might be a valid concern, but if you have to choose between shoes that offer no cushioning and poor arch support, you’re better off with Skechers.

Which shoes are good for walking?

Walking is good for your health, but you need adequate shoes. The best shoes for walking are those that offer good foot support, including cushioning for the foot arch. The soles of walking shoes should preferably be made of rubber, which is both flexible and elastic. Walking shoes also need to be flat or have a small square heel at most. The upper part of a good walking shoe should be made of light breathable materials and waterproof if possible. At the same time, many people prefer good ankle support, so a high-top shoe might be their best option.