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Types of Shoes for Men, Women & Kids

Footwear has evolved into the personal identity of people by transcending the boundaries of simple necessity. A good pair of shoes can add to your style and comfort factor for boosting your confidence level. If you are thinking of buying new footwear, then you have arrived at the right destination. Today we are going to take you through the different types of shoes for the entire family.

Types of Unisex Footwear

    1. Sneakers
    2. Boots
    3. Clogs
    4. Crocs
    5. Flip-Flops
    6. Jika-Tabi
    7. Moccasins
    8. Sandals
    9. Oxfords
    10. Cleats
    11. Barefoot Shoes

Just as the name suggests, these shoes can cater to both men and women. Read on to know about its types:

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1. Sneakers

types of sneakers, Canvas sneakers

Lightweight sneakers are an extremely comfortable footwear option that comes in different colors and patterns for being matched with your different outfits. The low-cut design of sneakers is accompanied by rubber soles for bringing down the impact caused on soles while working out. Sneakers can be of the following types:

  • Plimsoll or low-top sneakers reveal your naked ankle as is recommended for being worn with rolled-up or skinny jeans without any socks.
  • High-top or athletic sneakers are a favorite of professional basketball players as they combine class with comfort.
  • Sport sneakers or athletic shoes come from specialist brands like Nike and Adidas for offering the perfect blend of style and functionality. They can typically be seen on athletes while running or walking.
  • Slip-on is a classic variety of sneakers that can help you nail minimal fashion while being extremely easy to wear. You should refrain from wearing high socks alongside the slip-on sneakers as they might dampen the overall look.
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2. Boots

types of boots, fashion boots

Boots are a type of enclosed footwear running approximately up to ankle height. They are made of different types of materials and come in varying heel heights.

  • Hiker boots have a wide-fitting design and rugged aesthetics which can accommodate thicker socks. The boot remains firmly secured in place by a lace-to-toe closure utilizing D-ring eyelets.
  • Duck boots are waterproof so that you can creep through shallow waters while hunting duck. Industrial-grade stitching, tough leather upper, and a full rubber sole make them the ideal wet weather shoe for both genders.
  • Moc Toe boots are identified by their Moccasin-style stitching or exposed seam at the toe. They have leather uppers with hand-sewn detailing and a wedge sole.
  • Service boots draw inspiration from the military styles and feature a hardwearing sole, welted construction, and leather upper.
  • Cowboy or Roper boots are an Americana classic having a plain-toed leather upper and 8-inch or higher shaft. This pull-on construction helps in wearing them with ease.
  • Russian boots or valenki is the perfect cold-weather companion and features woolen built to keep your lower legs and feet warm.
  • Chelsea boots are a British classic which is identified by elasticated closures located on both sides of the ankle. These boots were famously worn by The Beatles and feature a low block heel.
  • Drysuit boots are worn by fishermen and diver’s courtesy of their rubber construction making them waterproof. They can be slipped right over the ankles and even worn inside other boots.
  • The oversized gumboots rise to the knee and have thick soles which help in the gripping tread. You can wear gumboots over other varieties of shoes.
  • Watertight Mukluks are meant for extreme cold weather and were primarily worn by European fur traders during the 1600s. They are made from sealskin and offer excellent insulation against cold.
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3. Clogs

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This comfortable footwear is ideal for people whose jobs require them to stand or walk for prolonged periods. The easily removable nature of clogs has made them a hit amongst doctors and nurses. The backless wooden clogs feature platform soles and low heels which can guarantee premium support and comfort to your feet. Let us take a look at some of the variations of clogs according to the region:

  • Cantabrian albarcas refers to the traditional footwear of northern Spain made out of beech, walnut, or birch wood. Thick pegs at the bottom offer ample support to the wearer as they travel through snow and mud.
  • The Japanese Geta is a combination of flip-flops and clogs comprising of two blocks of elevated wood attached to a fabric strap. These clogs are usually worn with the yukata dress.
  • Swedish clog or Traskor is crafted using alder, pine, or birch wood. They feature leather upper and wooden soles which come vibrantly painted for an alluring look.
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4. Crocs

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Source: aliexpress.com

Crocs is an American company that heralded the footwear revolution with its foam clogs. They employ an unusual elastic material known as Crostile which makes the footwear lightweight and extremely comfortable. While Crocs got initial recognition as indoor shoes, people slowly started wearing them outdoors. Travel enthusiasts especially love these shoes which can keep them basking in comfort during hectic days.

5. Flip-Flops

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Source: etsy.com

Beach vacations stand incomplete without the super comfortable and stylish flip flops which come in an array of patterns and color choices. They feature sturdy plastic toe support and a foam sole. Ladies love flip-flops as this can help them flaunt their recently done pedicure while men love them as they are extremely easy to get into and out of.

6. Jika-Tabi

jika tabi shoes, Marugo Tabi boots Ninja Shoes Jikatabi (Outdoor tabi)
Source: ninjutsushop.com

Jika Tabi or ninja shoes are worn by festival people and workers in Japan. Their USP lies in a split design between the big toe and remaining toes. These shoes were a staple of Japanese soldiers during the Second World War as the rubber soles imparted greater durability and the split aided with greater traction.

7. Moccasins

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Suede or soft leather composition adds to the comfort quotient of moccasins which get often mistaken with loafers. But the main point of distinction lies in the fact that loafers don’t have laces whereas moccasins do. The slip-on moccasins are ideal for runway fashion as they come embellished with tassels, beads, and similar artistic designs.

8. Sandals

types of sandals, Summer sandals

Sandals can strike the right balance between style and comfort which has led to their popularity as the favorite footwear of both men and women. They carry a casual vibe and can be paired easily with shorts, jeans, tailored trousers, and even maxi dresses. Sandals allow breathability to your feet making them perfect for the summer months. Let’s scan through some of its variations:

  • Fisherman sandals feature an open design with a heel band buckling in the bag and two upper straps.
  • Kolhapuri chappals find their origin in 1200s India. These handcrafted beauties come embellished with intricate embroidery and tassel work while being coated with vegetable dyes.
  • Slide sandals started as shower shoes but are nowadays worn everywhere casually. Its simple design allows sliding easily into your feet. The flat sole and horizontal wide band covering the top portion of the feet come in different color and pattern choices.

9. Oxfords

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Nail an elegant academic look with the traditional Oxfords featuring closed lacing under the vamp. The flat-heeled Oxfords look extremely sophisticated and help make a solid first impression at professional setups. Let’s now look at some of its variations:

  • Plain Oxford comprises the vamp and the quarter. It doesn’t have broguing or a leather cap over the toe box. You can opt for this elegant style for evening black-tie events.
  • Cap Toe Oxford features an additional piece of leather termed as toe-cap alongside the vamp and quarters. While these shoes are not adequately formal for being worn to a traditional black-tie event, they can surely double up as a tuxedo shoe.
  • Brogue or Wingtip oxford has an M or W-shaped cap depending upon your viewpoint and carries a more casual flair than the Cap Toe varieties.
  • Saddle oxford is a low-heeled casual shoe having a saddle-shaped decorative panel that is placed mid-foot.

10. Cleats

Cleats soccer, soccer cleats for kids, baseball cleats for kids
Source: parshaops.gq

Soccer players find their match in cleats which can bask your feet in premium comfort while at the field. They also offer a high degree of speed and stability so that you never miss a chance of scoring a goal. Cleats can guarantee the traction required on the soccer ground as you take your pick amongst a variety of colors and styles.

11. Barefoot Shoes

best barefoot Shoes, Barefoot Shoes running
Source: expertreviews.co.uk

Barefoot shoes are designed to mimic the experience of running barefoot while keeping your feet protected from various external stimuli. The articulated design of barefoot shoes has led to its nomenclature as toe shoes. They are extremely lightweight and come in various style options for catering to both sexes.

Types of Shoes for Women

  1. Ankle Boots
  2. Go-Go Boots
  3. Sock Boots
  4. Thigh High Boots
  5. Wide Calf Boots
  6. Ballet Slippers
  7. Court Shoes
  8. Espadrilles
  9. Gladiators
  10. Heelless Shoes
  11. Heeled Shoes
  12. Mary Jane
  13. Mules
  14. T-Strap Sandals
  15. Worishofer Sandals
  16. Loafers

Nothing can add to the confidence meter of ladies much like the right pair of footwear. Read on to get enlightened about the different types of footwear for the lovely ladies:

1. Ankle Boots

ankle boots for women, black ankle boots

Ankle boots reach up to the ankles and carry a funky and chic vibe. You can bank on this classic footwear for transitioning smoothly from office to casual events. Let’s look at some of the variations of ankle boots:

  • Chelsea boots run ankle-high but are devoid of laces that can cater to both formal and informal setups. These boots were worn by Queen Victoria herself and can be styled with everything ranging from casual designer jeans to blazers or a sleek suit.
  • Lita boots come with a five-inch heel and two-inch platform which makes them an extremely sturdy option. While these boots were initially worn in shades of black, it has recently evolved into cosmic prints.
  • High Heel Boots

Add a few inches to your height with the high-heeled boots which can be paired easily with flared trousers and denim. They can keep your feet protected from dirt while adding to your style quotient.

2. Go-Go Boots

black go go boots, 60s go go boots
Source: dollskill.com

Nail a retro look with these boots which are usually crafted using vinyl and come in attractive hues. Usually, they run up to knee-high and can have either lace-up, zip-up, or pull-on designs.

3. Sock Boots

black sock boots, thigh high sock boots
Source: enstock4c.top

This newcomer has already evolved as the hot favorite of fashionistas. They feature a pointed-toe design, skinny heels, and extend up to mid-calf.

4. Thigh High Boots

thigh high boots outfits, black thigh high boots
Source: lulus.com

Just as the name suggests, these boots extend past the knee and feature a heeled design. You can avail these boots in a variety of materials and color choices as it looks fantastic on being worn with a pair of skinny jeans.

5. Wide Calf Boots

wide calf boots for women, wide calf boots over the knee
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Tall ladies can find their vibe in the wide calf boots which might or might not be accompanied by heels. They have a wide calf region which adds to the comfort meter.

6. Ballet Slippers

Ballet slippers for wedding, ballet slippers
Source: hewadnews.com

Just as the name indicates, ballet slippers are worn especially for dancing purposes. They are crafted using soft materials such as canvas, satin, or leather. A variation of ballet slippers is Dori shoes which are heeled variants allowing the dancer to perform an array of dance steps by shifting her weight.

7. Court Shoes

court shoes for tennis, best court shoes for tennis
Source: daraz.pk

These shoes were once a rage amongst royal courts and are characterized by a long-pointed toe and high heeled design. While the heel height and style might vary, it can serve as a fashionable and comfortable option. Pumps are a type of court shoe that comes with varying toe styles. They fit snugly around the heel and come in an array of color and style options.

8. Espadrilles

designer espadrilles, espadrilles women
Source: enstock4c.top

The lightweight Espadrilles feature rubber soles and canvas uppers which can keep you oozing style and feeling comfortable at offices, beaches, and parties. These shoes originated during the medieval age and feature braided jute ropes running along the edges.

9. Gladiators

types of gladiators, famous roman gladiators, female gladiators

Gladiator sandals stand out as a symbol of power and confidence as they strike the perfect harmony between contemporary glam and classical aesthetics. You can style the gladiators with joggers, shorts, and even mini dresses for turning heads at every event. Gladiators might be of the following types:

  • Knee-high gladiators can deliver a glamorous appeal with their straps running up to your knees.
  • Ankle-length gladiators tag a casual vibe as you team them with denim joggers, cuffed jeans, and semi-formal chinos.
  • Ornamented gladiator sandals can help you grab the spotlight with their unapologetically bold nature. They are accompanied by embroideries, embellishments, colorful tassels, and laser cuts.

10. Heelless Shoes

heelless shoes, heelless high heels
Source: hewadnews.com

This relatively new concept in the field of footwear can create physics-defying looks which might seem a bit, Avant-Garde, for most of your choices. An angled shank remains connected with the flat support to render a lifted look to your feet even without heels.

11. Heeled Shoes

designer heels, strappy heels, kitten heeled shoes

Heels can add to the height of ladies while making them look stylish. They also tend to render a more streamlined silhouette. You can choose amongst the following types of heeled shoes:

  • Peep-toe heels come with a front opening and different heel lengths which add to its oomph factor. They look best when worn with short dresses, ankle-length trousers, and other figure-hugging options.
  • Wedge heels serve as a match made in heaven for ladies who don’t wish to sacrifice comfort by walking in six-inch stilettoes. While wedges have an elevated built, it equally distributes weight to make walking a comfortable experience.
  • Cone heels resemble a cone with a slightly wider top and tapering down the bottom. You can wear them with dresses or skirts having a flowing hemline.
  • Stilettoes are considered penultimate heels as they have a height range of 4 to 6 inches and can take some time to get used to. Be it casual events or a party, you can surely turn heads in a pair of black or nude stilettoes.
  • Platform wedges are often mistaken for wedges and are characterized by a chunky front which makes it comfortable to walk around as you team it with bodycon dresses.
  • Sling-back heels can be worn by ladies who are not very comfortable wearing pumps or stilettoes. Accompanying straps cinch them together for enhancing your overall look. While these shoes can be worn with absolutely any outfit, they look best with ankle baring dresses.
  • French heels look similar to Spool or Pompadour heels although they carry slightly more curves. These heels can add a vintage touch to your look in no time.
  • Kitten heels are usually associated with Audrey Hepburn but are loved by ladies who detest the idea of wearing uncomfortably high heels. They look best with well-fitted trousers, denim, and one-piece- dresses.
  • Oxford heels can add a Victorian flair to your outfit especially when teamed with dresses having a less defined hemline.
  • Chunky heels are an improved form of wedges that guarantee the perfect blend of cozy comfort of wedges along with the slimming elevation of stilettoes.
  • Spool heels are thicker at the bottom than its center rendering an hourglass shape to the same. European courtiers loved this curvy-heeled shoe which helps in creating balance.
  • Comma heels can mostly be seen in red carpets and runaways. They are not very high and resemble the shape of a comma.
  • Fantasy heels can be found in the shoe closet of iconic ladies as it exudes an outlandish charm. While styling, you can either let your heels do the talking or wear a matching dress.
  • A strap running around the ankle keeps the ankle strap heels secured in place as you style them with trousers, jeans, and formal dresses.
  • Cork high heels are crafted using cork material and can alleviate pressure from your feet. These heels are ideal for ladies suffering from heel sensitivities.
  • Corset heels serve as the ideal manifestation of corset style which looks best on being worn with fitted dresses and trousers.

12. Mary Jane

womens mary jane shoes, mary jane shoes heels
Source: etsy.com

This low-cut shoe is accompanied by one or more straps running across its instep. They can have pointed or rounded toes and have been worn by every woman at least once in her lifetime.

13. Mules

mules for women, mules shoes for women, mules for sale
Source: buys5683.top

Mules are footwear that is closed-off in the front and opens at the back. These serve as the perfect choice for ladies on the lookout for comfortable footwear which is easy to slip into. The best thing about mules is that they can show off your recently pedicured feet while rendering adequate support to your toes.

14. T-Strap Sandals

t strap sandals, best t-strap sandals, Dressy T-Strap sandals
Source: amazon.com

Also known as T-bar sandals, they come with a pointed toe and a strap that stretches to the ankle from the toes. The ankle remains encircled by another strap allowing the design to cover the heels and toes. Initially, the T-strap sandals had two-inch heels but now the designs have started to vary.

15. Worishofer Sandals

Worishofer slingback sandals, Worishofer sandals, Worishofer gold
Source: urbanoutfitters.com

This German sandal comes with a padded and breathable leather-lined footbed which guarantees a massaging action to every step you take. The leather upper of these orthopedic sandals features stylish perforations and an adjustable buckle.

16. Loafers

loafers for women, designer loafers, loafers on suit
Source: aliexpress.com

Loafers are characterized by thick soles and radiate a masculine vibe making them the perfect choice for being worn with denim. A slight chunk around the heels adds a subtle flair to the loafers which can easily elevate your androgynous outfits. Elasticated panels on both sides do away with the requirement of laces or shoe fastenings.

Types of Shoes for Men

    1. Monk Strap Shoes
    2. Boat Shoes
    3. Blucher Shoes
    4. Brogan Shoes
    5. Brothel Creeper Shoes
    6. Buck Shoes
    7. Chukka Boots
    8. Budapester Shoes
    9. Work Boots
    10. Winklepickers Shoes
    11. Combat Boots
    12. Derby Shoes
    13. Loafers
    14. Caulk Boots
    15. Desert Boots
    16. Motorcycle Boots
    17. Jump Boots
    18. Rigger Boots

Shoes have served as an integral part of men’s wardrobe since time immemorial. It has played a pivotal role in media and literature as a signifier of the wearer’s status. Let us take a look at some of the different types of shoes for men:

1. Monk Strap Shoes

Source: i.insider.com

Monk strap shoes serve as a great alternative for men who wish to take their footwear game to a different level. Single monk strap shoes are timeless choices while the double monk strap shoes carry a military vibe. These shoes are usually made of suede and feature a bold buckle.

2. Boat Shoes

Source: spy.com

These were initially invented by a sailor and are also known as topsiders, deck shoes, or docksiders. They can be made of leather or canvas and are specially designed for boat flooring. The lace-up and low-cut boat shoes come with white soles featuring piping around the top outer edge.

3. Blucher Shoes

Source: lottusse.com

Blucher shoes are crafted using a single leather piece that remains sewn to the vamp of the shoe. This shoe features open lacing and shoelace eyelets tabs stitched on top.

4. Brogan Shoes

Source: alligator-shoes.com

These shoes were an absolute rage during the 1700s and 1800s. They feature ankle-high designs and rank high in terms of durability. Brogan shoes have an enclosed lacing system and are crafted out of leather.

5. Brothel Creeper Shoes

Source: i.pinimg.com

The Brothel Creeper shoes have thick crepe soles and suede uppers. These shoes became a high fashion item during World War II and are considered a classic to date.

6. Buck Shoes

Source: mensstylepro.com

Buck shoes are crafted from deer hide which has led to their unique nomenclature. The lightweight nature of these shoes has made them a top choice at golf and tennis courts. The low-cut lace-up design of buck shoes has helped them evolve into a top choice of smart casual wear.

7. Chukka Boots

Source: cdn.shopify.com

Chukka boots are light and airy which makes walking in them seem easier. These boots run up to ankle height and feature either leather or rubber soles, suede or leather uppers, and open lacing. Chukka boots derive their nomenclature from the game of polo where chukka refers to a period of play.

8. Budapester Shoes

Source: styla-prod-us.imgix.net

The open lace and low-cut design of Budapester shoes make them a close cousin of derby shoes. However, the difference lies in its double stitching, a heel cap, and a wing cap.

9. Work Boots

Source: spy.com

Just as the name suggests, these boots are specially designed to assist in different types of chores while minimizing the chances of accidents. Often workplaces make it mandatory to wear these boots featuring puncture-resistant plates, insulation, and ample cushioning so that you have a comfortable time working. The work boots usually run up to ankle length or might even go a bit taller.

10. Winklepickers Shoes

Source: i.pinimg.com

This style of footwear was made famous by the rock and rollers making them a hot favorite of young English men during the 1950s. Originally these shoes had pointed toes that were about four inches in length. The newer styles are up to one inch long. The Winklepickers run ankle-high and are usually made of real or synthetic leather.

11. Combat Boots

Source: cdn.shopify.com

Military boots or combat boots are specially designed for being worn by soldiers during combat training. They offer the perfect blend of ankle stability, grip, and foot protection while working on rugged terrains. Combat boots have evolved into a fashion statement of modern-day men as they can be paired with everything for elevating your look.

12. Derby Shoes

Source: cdn.shopify.com

Get your casual style on point with the Derby shoes which feature open lacing and quarters stitched meticulously above the vamp. Wearers can benefit from better movement given the absence of fixed laces. The Derby shoes are characterized by multiple-paneled construction, elaborate toes, and durable leather soles.

13. Loafers

Source: bocage.eu

Loafers are associated with top-class aesthetics which can make you look dapper at all laid-back events. They are characterized by exposed ankle design and a lace-less build which helps in getting into and out of the same. Loafers can be further classified into the following categories.

  • Penny loafers are the most versatile options which can help you nail a neat and attractive look with their leather construction.
  • Horsebit loafers feature a metal strap at the front which looks similar to a horse’s snaffle bit. While these shoes look great with a variety of outfits, they look best when teamed with Chinos.
  • Tassel loafers feature decorative frayed or knotted laces known as tassels which hang at the vamp. There was a time when the tassel loafers were a trademark of the rich tycoons and bankers. Over time it has evolved into a common man’s favorite as you can wear them with chinos and jeans.
  • Driving loafers were crafted for being used during driving by rich people as common men couldn’t afford expensive driving leather shoes. Coming to modern times, these shoes have become a phenomenon in itself for their dapper look. They resemble slip-on shoes and deliver the same level of comfort as that of moccasins. Rubbery pebbles attached to the sole guarantee an extra level of grip as you nail a stylish look pairing up these shoes with shorts, jeans, and chinos.

14. Caulk Boots

Source: grainger.com

This style is usually sported by loggers and tree service workers for benefitting out of better traction while timber rafting and similar activities in the hillside and snowy terrain. The Caulk boots are characterized by metal studs, lace-up design, and a height of 8 to 10 inches.

15. Desert Boots

Source: i.pinimg.com

The lightweight and comfortable desert boots feature a lace-up and ankle-high design. Soft suede uppers and crepe leather soles impart a trademark look to these boots which usually come in light tan shades.

16. Motorcycle Boots

Source: spy.com

Also known as biker or engineer boots, they feature a tall build that can keep your legs protected while riding. A low heel helps in exercising control while riding the motorcycle. Usually, heavy leather goes into the composition of these boots which often come with load spreading padding to bring down impact on the wearer’s feet in the case of an accident.

17. Jump Boots

Source: live.staticflickr.com

The Jump boots were initially designed for World War II soldiers to offer adequate cushioning against parachute jump landings. These boots were made of leather and had a calf-length height.

18. Rigger Boots

Source: trailback.co.uk

Just as the name suggests, these boots were worn for safety purposes by workers at oil rigs. The rigger boots have loose-fitting which helps to pull them on and off easily. They are usually calf-length, tan in color, and accompanied by steel toe caps.

Types of Shoes for Kids

The children’s shoe category has evolved massively over the years. Today you can find almost every shoe type meant for adults in the kid’s category. They allow complete flexibility of movement as your bundle of joy takes tiny steps.

The design of shoes has undergone a massive facelift over time. While previously they used to be strictly functional, modern-day millennials wish to keep things stylish with every step they take.

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James Smith

Love to watch world-cinema and fashion runways, attended the national school of drama theatre designing and make-up workshop, worked closely in men, women, kidswear and theatre costumes designing, capable to pick the best fabrics for clients, he obtained a bachelor's degree in fashion designing, focused on runway stylization, costume consultant, garment construction.

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