Retail Orders Over $55 Ship Free to the Continental US

Footwear Terms Glossary

Posted by Barry on 9/11/2013 to Shoe Tech
Achilles – The padded area of a shoe’s collar in the heel area that cushions and protects the Achilles tendon.
 
aglet – The metal or plastic piece at the end of a shoe lace.
 
aniline leather – Leather finished with dyes derived from aniline oil. The word is used loosely today to describe any leather finished with dye that is transparent and penetrates the surface as opposed to other types of finishes that are opaque and just coat the leather. An aniline dye gives the leather a look of “depth” and is usually used only on the best full grain. It is not good at covering up blemishes but it enhances the natural look of the leather. Since aniline dyes do not create a coating on the surface, aniline leathers breathe better and are more supple than other types of leather. Semi-aniline leather is the same as aniline except that a more opaque pigment is added to the dye. A semi-aniline finish can help disguise slight color variations in the raw leather. Some colors cannot be achieved with an aniline finish which might be achievable with a semi-aniline finish.
 
blucher – A shoe with sides that lap over the vamp. The sides act as flaps that allow for greater fit variation. The Oasis Nevis and Bodin are both bluchers.
 
boxtoe – The material used to reinforce and stiffen the toe of a shoe’s upper. This ensures the toe will retain its shape. The stiffness and shape can be adjusted to add protection of the toes.
 
Brannock Device® – A device manufactured by the Brannock Device Company, Inc. used to measure the length and width of the foot in order to ensure proper shoe fit.
 
calcaneus – The heel bone.
 
California construction – A method of constructing a shoe whereby the upper is stitched to a flexible insole rather than cemented or tacked to an insole board. California construction reduces weight, allows for a more cushioned feel and provides greater flexibility than other construction methods. Most Oasis shoes are made with California construction. Sometimes called “Strobel construction” or “slip-lasting”.
 
cavus foot – A condition in which the foot has a very high arch. Because of this high arch, an excessive amount of weight is placed on the ball and heel of the foot when walking or standing.
 
collar – The area beneath the topline of a shoe. The padded area just below the ankle bone on a low-cut shoe.
 
composite – A complex material in which two or more distinct, structurally complementary substances combine to produce structural or functional properties not present in any individual component. The shanks of Oasis shoes are a composite of nylon 6 and fiberglass.
 
compression-molding – The shaping of a material by using heat and pressure to force the material into a mold. This process is commonly used to mold slabs of open-celled foam into midsoles. The process typically results in a smooth exterior “skin” on the finished part.
 
corrected grain – Top grain leather with its surface sanded to remove blemishes. The surface then receives a coating to restore an even finish.
 
counter – The stiffener or reinforcement in the heel of a shoe. It allows the shoe to retain its shape and stabilizes and supports the heel of the foot. Oasis shoes have a thermoplastic pre-molded heel counter that precisely matches the shape of our lasts. Its rigidity has been carefully engineered for optimal comfort and support.
 
denier – A unit of weight indicating the fineness of fiber filaments and yarns.
 
dermatitis – Inflammation of the skin.
 
duck – A heavy plain-weave cotton fabric.
 
durometer – The hardness of a material and the tool used to measure it. The softest material would have a durometer value of zero; the hardest would have a value of one hundred. There are different durometer scales used for the testing of different types of materials. To compare the hardness of various materials they must be measured on the same durometer scale.
 
edema – A swelling. elastomer – An elastic substance, as rubber.
 
electronic data interchange (EDI) – An electronic communications system between manufacturer/vendors and retailers. It allows vendors and retailers to quickly transmit invoices, purchase orders, shipment notices, etc.
 
epidermis – The top or outermost layer of skin.
 
ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) – A foam material commonly used as midsole cushioning.
 
ethylene propylene rubber (EPR) – A lightweight foam used as a midsole cushioning material. EPR is more abrasion resistant than other midsole foams and can, therefore, also serve as an outsole material. Oasis graspTM is a specially-formulated EPR.
 
extra-depth shoe – A shoe made on a special last that allows for more room inside the shoe to accommodate an orthotic insert.
 
findings – Small parts used in making shoes, such as eyelets.
 
footbed – The component inside a shoe upon which the bottom of the foot rests. Normally the term is used to describe removable, molded components as opposed to flat or fixed-in-place components.
 
foxing – A reinforcement covering a wear area of a shoe’s upper. The piece covering a shoe’s counter is often called a “foxing”.
 
full grain – Leather made from the outer layer of a hide or skin from which hair is removed. Also known as “top grain”.
 
gait cycle – The sequence of a single step or stride, from start to finish, which is then repeated when walking or running.
 
gore – An elastic panel in a shoe’s upper as found in the Oasis Hankin.
 
grading – The process by which the patterns, shapes, and components of one size are adjusted to create all other sizes of a shoe.
 
hallux – The big toe.
 
hand – The texture and feel of leather or fabrics.
 
heat setting – The application of heat to a lasted shoe or upper to allow the upper to conform better to the last and retain its shape after the last is removed. Also, the application of heat to the heel counter of a shoe to make it conform more precisely to the shape of the last.
 
hook & loop – The generic description of the type of fastener made by Velcro USA, Inc.
 
insole – The bottom of a shoe’s upper. In Oasis shoes, it is the fabric layer beneath the footbed and spacer.
 
instep – The top surface of the human foot between the toes and the ankle or the part of a shoe which covers that part of the foot. The medial side of the foot is not its instep, although it is often mistakenly referred to as such.
 
inventory breadth – The extent to which inventory consists of many styles or brands. Greater inventory breadth is sometimes achieved by limiting inventory depth.
 
inventory depth – The extent to which inventory includes many sizes for each style. Greater inventory depth is sometimes achieved by limiting inventory breadth.
 
lace-to-toe – A shoe with eyelets and lacing extending further forward toward the toe than is typical. The Oasis Chrissie is a lace-to-toe.
 
last – The plastic, wood, or metal foot-shaped form over which the shoe is built. As a verb, “last” is the term that describes the process of forming the upper around a foot-shaped form.
 
lateral – The outer side of the foot (the side with the small toe).
 
medial – The inner side of the foot (the side with the big toe).
 
metatarsal – One of five long bones in the midfoot between the tarsal and toe bones.
 
metatarsus – The part of the foot consisting of the metatarsal bones.
 
midsole – The layer of material between the outsole and insole. In Oasis shoes the midsole provides support and cushioning.
 
motion control – Prevention of excessive pronation, supination, and/or other movement of the foot by the use of orthotics or other design features of a shoe.
 
nap – The fuzzy or wooly surface of a buffed leather, suede, or other material. “Nap” also refers to the reverse side of full grain leather (the inner side of the hide).
 
napa – Also, nappa. Technically, napa leather is tanned sheepskin. The term is commonly used to describe any thin, soft, and supple leather. It is also commonly called “glove leather”.
 
neuropathy – Any diseased condition of the nervous system. There are at least three kinds of neuropathy that affect legs and feet especially of those diagnosed with diabetes:
  1. Peripheral neuropathy is a kind of nerve damage that affects the long nerves going to the feet. Those who experience a shooting pain from the lower back to the feet may be affected by this kind of neuropathy.
  2. Proximal neuropathy, also called diabetic amyothophy, affects the leg muscles. People afflicted with this kind of neuropathy feel that the muscles in their legs are becoming weak making it hard for them to walk and move their legs.
  3. Autonomic neuropathy is when the nerves of the autonomic nervous system become damaged which can affect organs involved in autonomic processes such as digestion, pumping of the heart and breathing. It can also cause pain in the legs and feet.
nubuck – Full grain leather that has been buffed to create a velvety feel.
 
orthopedics – The correction or cure of deformities and diseases of the spine, bones, joints, muscles, etc., of the skeletal system.
 
orthopedist – A person who specializes in orthopedics.
 
orthotic – Also, orthosis. A device or support, especially for the foot, used to relieve or correct an orthopedic problem.
 
patent leather – Any leather with a specific type of glossy finish. The Oasis Alana in the black/black colorway has patent leather trim.
 
pedorthics – The art concerned with the design, manufacture, fit, and modification of foot appliances as prescribed for relief of painful or disabling conditions of the foot.
 
pedorthist – A practitioner of pedorthics.
 
pes cavus – Foot with an abnormally high arch.
 
pes planus – Flatfoot.
 
pes valgus – A foot with a low or flat arch with its forefoot turned outward.
 
phalanges – The bones of the toes.
 
pigskin leather– Leather made from the skins of pigs. It is very strong, supple, and lightweight. It has a distinctive pattern of three-hole clusters resulting from the skin’s follicle pattern. The collar linings of many Oasis styles are made of pigskin leather.
 
plantar – Of or pertaining to the sole of the foot.
 
plantar fascia – The thick semi-elastic band of ligament-like connective tissue which supports the arch of the foot. It spans the sole of the foot from heel to ball. It protects the foot from abrasion and shock. It helps support the long arch of the foot.
 
plantar fasciitis – Inflammation of the plantar fascia.
 
Plastazote® – A closed-cell cross-linked polyethylene foam manufactured by Zotefoams, Inc. This foam is used to make custom-fit orthotics. An accurate impression of the plantar surface of the foot can be obtained by placing the foot on a piece of preheated Plastazote® and applying the full body weight. The pink layer of the Oasis AdapterTM footbed is Plastazote®.
 
podiatrist – One licensed to practice podiatry.
 
podiatry – The branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases of the human foot.
 
polyurethane foam – A polymer foam commonly used to make shoe midsoles. It tends to be heavier than either EVA or EPR. It is more resilient than EVA but because of this it can have an unforgiving feel as opposed to the way EVA will “break in” and conform more comfortably to the foot. The Oasis AbsorberTM footbed combines a layer of durable and resilient polyurethane with a top layer of EVA that conforms to the foot.
 
pronation – The rotation or “rolling” of the foot inward and downward so that, when walking, the load-bearing area of the foot shifts from the lateral side of the sole at heel strike to the medial side of the sole as the foot continues through the gait cycle. A certain amount of this is normal but excessive pronation can be harmful.
 
pull-up leather – Leather which shows a tonal change when stretched over a knob. This effect is considered stylish for some types of shoes.
 
Ritz stick – A foot-measuring device, like a ruler, for determining foot length and ball width for shoe fitting.
 
rocker bottom – Also, rocker sole. A shoe outsole or outsole/midsole assembly that has a longitudinally-curved shape allowing the foot to smoothly roll through the gait cycle. When a shoe does not have this feature, the foot may tend to strike the ground with its heel and then slap the ground with its forefoot. The rocker feature increases comfort, reduces fatigue, and reduces the likelihood of injury when walking.
 
shank – The portion of the bottom of a shoe between the heel and ball area. This area is often arched so that it does not touch the ground. The reinforcing element that gives this portion of the shoe rigidity is also referred to as the “shank”. This reinforcing shank in Oasis shoes is made of a composite material that maintains longitudinal rigidity while still allowing the proper amount of tortional flex.
 
skiving – The process that cuts a beveled edge on leather or other materials used in shoemaking. When the edges of a shoe’s leather parts are skived the seams lay flatter and the shoe has a more refined appearance. All the edges on Oasis shoes are skived and some are then folded to give an even more refined look.
 
SKU – Acronym of “Stock Keeping Unit”. For Oasis, each size and width of one color of one style is a separate SKU. Other companies may define the term differently depending on how they monitor their inventory. For example, individual items packaged together can be a different SKU than the same items packed individually.
 
sockliner – The component inside the shoe that the foot rests on. This is distinguished from “footbed” in that “sockliner” is usually used to describe a non-removable or non-molded (die-cut) component of this type.
 
split leather – Hides are cut into layers. Any layer that does not include the outer surface of the hide can be made into split leather. Some split leathers are coated or covered with a laminate to give the finished product an appearance similar to full grain leather. These “finished splits” are inferior to full grain leather because they do not breathe as well and their finished surfaces deteriorate quickly.
 
split suede – Suede made from split leather. The Oasis Leela Suede has a split suede upper. Unlike finished splits, split suede is durable and breathable.
 
Strobel board – The insole of a shoe made with California construction. The upper is stitched to the Strobel board which is not a board but, rather, a flexible fabric.
 
suede – Leather finished with a napped surface. This finish can be achieved by removing the surface of full grain leather but more typically split leather is used to make suede. Suede made from split leather is sometimes called “split suede”.
 
supination – The outward roll of the foot during normal motion. A natural amount of supination occurs during the push-off phase of the gait cycle as the heel lifts off the ground and the forefoot and toes are used to propel the body forward. Excessive supination places a large strain on the muscles and tendons that stabilize the ankle.
 
tanning – The chemical and mechanical process of converting raw hides and skins into leather.
 
tannery – A place where tanning is done.
 
tarsus – The rear skeletal section of the foot comprised of seven tarsal bones including the calcaneous.
 
throat – The central part of a shoe, on top just behind the toes at the bottom of the laces.
 
tip – A layer of leather or other material that overlays the toe of a shoe. The Oasis Bodin has a tip with a U-shape, commonly called a “U-tip”.
 
toe box – The interior of a shoe’s toe area. Oasis shoes have roomy toe boxes. A boxtoe is the component that reinforces the top and sides of the toe box.
 
top grain – The type of leather that includes the outer layer of the hide from which hair is removed. Also known as full grain.
 
unit sole – A molded sole in which the heel and outsole forefoot (and sometimes the midsole) are molded as a single unit.
 
upper – All parts of the shoe except the footbed (or sockliner), spacer, insole, midsole, and outsole. External stabilizers and cushion pads attached to midsoles are also generally not considered parts of the upper.
 
vamp – The part of the upper that covers the top of the forefoot.
 
vulcanizing – The process of treating crude rubber or latex by chemical means to improve its durability and adjust its hardness and elasticity.
 
waist – The section of the foot, shoe, or last between ball and instep.