Footwear Terminology

Footwear Terminology

At Jean Store we are always keen to ensure that you make the right fashion choices for you. The world of footwear is full of cool jargon and terminology so we thought it would be a great idea to include a quick guide to the special terms you will encounter when choosing your shoes. Please do let us know if we have missed anything important!


A Chukka or desert boot is a leather ankle boot with eyelets and laces which became a popular casual look for men in the 40's and 50's. The silhouette also inspired the Nike Free Flyknit Chukka sneaker.


A reinforced hole for shoelaces to pass through. Eyelets are strengthened by metal reinforcements which allow you to pull laces tight without damaging the fabric of the shoe. They also ensure a longer life for your footwear and they look cool too!

Erik Koston

Koston is professional skateboarder who has been described as he Michael Jordan of the sport. He was born in Thailand but raised in California and is part of the Nike SB team. His Nike signature shoe features in the Jean Store collection.


A Gaucho is a South American cowboy and Gaucho Crazy Horse is a fabulous colour choice for the Dr Martens' Chelsea Boot!


Goodyear Welt

A welt is a strip of leather or other material that is stitched to the upper and insole of a shoe and to which the sole is then attached. The space enclosed by the welt is filled with cork or other porus material for breathability. The outsole is both glued and stitched to the welt for a secure bond. The process of fashioning shoes in this way could only be performed by hand until Charles Goodyear invented machinery that could perform the task, hence the name! The Goodyear Welt results in durable, breathable footwear with soles that can be replaced over time, giving the shoes or boots a longer life. Dr Martens boots boast Goodyear Welts. The following video is a guide to the construction of the Goodyear Welt:


An appealing camel colour by Converse with a tweedy check look that is the perfect partner for chinos, khakis and lighter denims. 

Hi Top

A Hi Top is an athletic shoe which extends to well above the ankle of the wearer. The style is most often seen in basketball type shoes like the Converse Allstar.


This is the name given to the sandal type footwear worn by native Mexicans in the pre-Colombian era. The style became a popular fashion statement in the 1960's and remains so today. This simple, comfortable leather footwear inspired the Nike Huarache trainer which features a neoprene sleeve which moulds to the foot to produce a custom fit.


A style of trainer or sneaker with a high ankle but not to the level of a high top which sits even higher above the ankle.

Nike Air

Since 1987 Nike have been producing athletic footwear with a cushioning air pocket in the heel for additional comfort and to act as a shock absorber. The feature is often visible on the exterior of the footwear.

Nike Blazer

This is a range of sneakers marketed by Nike since the 1970's. They started life as basketball shoes but soon became popular as casual sneakers with their retro cool looks.

Nike SB

The fabulous skateboard range from Nike which was launched in 2002 and which was to become a big hit with the skateboarding community. The range has since found favour as a fabulous look for casual wear.


An athletic shoe, usually a basketball style, which extends above the ankle and is even higher than a high top!

Stefan Jonoski

Stefan is a professional skateboarder, artist, writer and musician from California and part of the NIke SB team. He designed his signature Nike SB Stefan Janoski sneakers. Here's the ultra cool Janoski in action:

Vulcanised Rubber

Natural rubber is sticky when warm and brittle when cool. Vulcanisation is a process named after the Roman god of Fire and converts natural rubber to a more durable and practical material via the addition or a curative or accelerant. Vulcanised rubber is more stable and flexible than natural rubber making it the perfect material for soling shoes, making waterproof gear and even inflatable boats.

We hope that you have found our glossary to be informative and useful. You are now a footwear expert and can choose your new styles in confidence from the Jean Store collection!