Shoe Glossary


a piece of broken glass
a piece of broken glass

adhesive method
A method of shoe construction for which adhesive is used to adhere soles.


A shoe which has a front-lace with its bottom sewn to the front of the shoes throat.
In Italian: francesina

blind stitch
A sewing method for tomaia, soletta,and guardolo

A shoe which has a front-lace with its bottom apart from the front of the shoes throat.
In Italian: derby


chain stitches
Stitches which look like chains

Chanel-style shoe
A ladies’ shoe with an open heel
In Italy, “décolleté aperto dietro” is called “chanel”.

Side surface of the outsole of a shoe
In Italian: guardolo

Side surface of the outsole of a shoe
In Italian: guardolo


An addition that renders something more attractive or ornate

design tape
An adhesive paper tape for drawing a design


A skinny leather strip (12-15mm width) wrapping up #30 thread to be inserted between upper and lining for the purpose of decorating and hiding rough-cut ends.
In Italian: bordo




Goodyear welt stitching
A method of shoe construction in which the insole, upper, and welt are sewn together and the welt is then stitched to the outsole so as to leave the upper surface of the insole free of tacks and stitches

“Welt” in Italian.

A machine to scrape off wood or metal piece.
For shoe making, it is mainly used for shaping. It can also be used for polishing by changing the file part to a puff.
In Italian: maccina




hot iron
Heated metal iron


A mat to be inserted into a shoe

intermediate sole
A mat inserted in a shoe directly touching the bottom of a shoe


A common name for any shoe with a large shoe opening, a low heel and a large upper.


Ornamental details.

moccasin stitch
U-shaped stitches on the upper.


Norweigian-style stitching
It’s a shoe contruction method: tomaia & soletta sewn together, tomaia and inter suola sewn together, and then Inter suola and suola are sewn together


pine resin
A thick sticky liquid that comes out of pine trees.

pulling in
Pulling leather into the sole when performing a shoe-lasting

A common name for a shoe with a large shoe opening.


A tool used for filing and cutting various kinds of materials.

regina, welt needle
A needle with a curved tip, used to perform blind stitching and outsole stitching (cucire).

rubber glue
Glue for adhering leather


A thin metal plate used to keep a shoe in shape.
It is inserted between insole and outsole (suola) from the middle to the heel part of the sole.
In Italian: cambriglione

A piece of wood shaped like a foot

shoe lasting
Forming a shoe by shaping an upper (tomaia) placed on a shoetree (forma), using tongs (pinza) In Italian: montaggio

shoe opening
An opening of a shoe from where a foot is inserted.

silver erasable pen
A pen for drawing lines on leather

A bottom of a shoe

A seam


A bunch of loose threads or cords bound at one end and hanging free at the other, used as an ornament

Tirolese stitching style
A method of shoe construction in which the welt (guardolo) is sewn outside of a shoe

toe core
A core for the toe part

tomaia upper
In Italy, the surface of a shoe is called tomaia, and the inside touching a foot directly is called fodera (lining)
* Upper sewn by a sewing machine is called tomaia as well.

A part of a shoe where touches the instep.


All parts (from heel to toe) of the shoe that cover the top of the foot.


A strip of leather used to sew together the Goodyear welt shoe’s upper, insole (tramezza) and welt at the same time. It can be adhered for the adhesive method and McKay method shoe, depending on the design.
In Italian: guardolo

Name of a top part of a shoe which is W-shaped, looking like a bird’s wings.
In Italian: coda di rondine

wholecut type
A type of a shoe with only a heel part is sewn by a sewing machine

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