There are many types of women's shoes and here are the names and descriptions of many common and not so common types.
Pumps - These are shoes where the foot is supported all around the shoe front, back and on both sides and can have an ankle strap. The sole is a one piece type with a heel of any size with a high heel pump often called a stiletto.
Open toe shoe - This is basically a pump shoe as described above where the front is cut away to expose all of the toes. When this is done to only expose the big toe or middle toes using a smaller cutaway it would be refered to as a peep hole shoe.
Wedge Shoe - This is any type of heeled footwear where the there is no gap below the sole meaning the full length of the base of the shoe makes contact with the ground.
Mule - This type of shoe is one which has a heel but has no support around the ankle and rear of the shoe or another way to describe it is as a heeled flip flop. These can be completely closed at the front or cut away as an open toe or peep hole shoe.
Mary Jane - This can be a flat or heeled shoe which like a pump encloses the foot all the way around it. The front of this shoe will be square or very slightly rounded with a cross strap running across the foot central between the ankle and toes.
Boots - These are shoes which completely enclose the foot and can come in flat, wedge and heeled styles. There are various types with the shortest being the Ankle high boot which reaches just above the ankle then it's the Knee high boot which stops just before reaching the knee and the Thigh high which covers the leg all the way to the thigh. Two lesser known boots are the crotch boots which reach all the way up the leg to the crotch and the Chap boot which is a modified crotch boot which has a piece of material which reaches over the hips and secured around the waist with a belt.
Sandals - These are where the sole of shoe can be flat, wedged or heeled and the upper part is made up of straps which can be arranged in any form to secure the shoe. This means that the toes and most of the sides and top are uncovered and the straps can even go up the leg towards the knee and this type of sandal is often called a gladiator sandal. Birkenstock sandal footwear are the favourite flat women's sandals often called papillio sandals as they are made under licence.
Oxford - This is the name given to a shoe which encloses the foot and is laced up along the top this can be a flat, heeled or wedge styled shoe.
D'Orsay - This is a shoe which has no sides but has a support at the heel area and the toes are covered this can be with or without an ankle strap.
Platform - this is a shoe which has a multiple layered sole to elevate the wearer.
For more information on birkenstock sandal products visit the author James Thompson's site women's sandals.
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