You wear them on your feet every day — that is unless you're Shailene Woodley  — and whether they're classic or sexy, flat or sky-high, the shoes you choose say a lot about you. But what can you say for them?
Sure, you know you're wearing a lace-up menswear shoe, but would you be able to say if that shoe was a brogue, wingtip, or oxford? Trick question — it could be all three. Don't get stumped on the street the next time you're complimented on your footwear. Because much like the world of handbags , there's plenty to learn about these beloved accessories.
And while certain facts are hard-and-fast (we defy you to find a flat stiletto!) other rules are a bit trickier — ie: don't be alarmed if your Mary Jane's a flat rather than a heel; this pretty lady can be both! So, grab a pencil: you're about to get schooled on shoe shapes with our handy glossary.
- Boot 
- Sandal 
- Flat 
- Heel 
Footwear that covers the entirety of the foot and extends at least to the ankle.
Also called a "chukka boot," this lightweight, ankle-length style has two or three pairs of eyelets for lacing.
Stella McCartney Canvas Desert Boots  ($459)
A short boot with a vertical elastic gore on each side of the ankle.
ASOS Arizona Woven Chelsea Boots  ($50, originally $67)
A boot without a shaft.
Barneys New York Cutout Peep-Toe Booties  ($269, originally $450)
A boot that extends to the ankle and has a 3- to 8-inch high shaft.
Suede Ankle Boots  ($940)
Also called a "biker boot," this is a weighty boot with a low heel, made from protective elements like heavy leather and metal.
Rag & Bone Moto Textured-Leather Boots  ($797)
A lace-up boot originally designed for military use.
Dr. Martens Caden Combat Boots  ($190)
A midcalf boot with a moderate, slanted heel, decorative stitching, and typically a pointed toe.
Laredo Kadi Boots  ($100)
Also called a "riding boot," this sleek style includes a low heel and knee-high shaft.
Sage Calf Suede Riding Boots  ($399, originally $995)
Traditionally, a boot or shoe designed to be worn over and protect other footwear (though today the term encompasses all rain boots).
Bogs Carson Boots  ($120)
A tall, waterproof boot made from rubber or PVC.
Hunter Tall Wellington Boots  ($100)
Exposed footwear that includes an open toe and back.
A backless sandal that is held on the foot by a large strap that runs across the instep.
Topshop Hi Pool Slide Sandals  ($35)
Inspired by the shape of Roman fighters' shoes, this sandal is marked by a single strap that runs down the foot and has several horizontal straps that run across it.
Christian Louboutin Neronna Flat Gladiator Sandals  ($845)
Also called a "thong," this flat sandal is held in place by a strap that passes between the big toe and the second toe with a v-strap.
House of Harlow Colton Flip-Flops  ($60)
A sandal constructed of rubber or fabric and is designed to protect feet from shells and rocks. An enclosed version can be made of quickdrying mesh.
Teva Original Sandals  ($40)
Footwear with no heel height.
Named for the dandy Count d'Orsay, a shoe with a closed heel and toe but with cut-down sides.
Loeffler Randall Prue D'Orsay Flats  ($195)
Inspired by ballet dancers' slippers, this is a soft, closed-toe shoe.
Miu Miu Printed Leather Ballet Flats  ($490)
An indoor, flat slip-on.
Ugg Australia Cozy Knit slippers  ($130)
A slipper with a raised vamp (front part of the shoe) that has notches where it meets the side of the shoe.
Kenzo Tiger Embroidered Neoprene Slippers  ($295)
A slip-on with stitching around the toe box to create a gathered effect.
Minnetonka thunderbird moccasins  ($40)
Designed to give drivers a better grip on the pedals, this is a moccasin with a thin sole that wraps around the entire shoe.
Gommino Suede Driving Shoes ($425)
A moccasin-style slip-on with a slotted strap stitched to the vamp of the shoe, with an optional tassel or chain, and referred to as a penny loafer when a coin is inserted in the slot.
A moccasin-style shoe with an antislip rubber sole designed to be worn on a boat deck.
Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Original Woven Boat Shoes  ($63, originally $125)
A shoe that can be put on or removed without a lace or strap.
Givenchy Black Floral Print Slip-On Shoes  ($630)
A casual, rubber-soled shoe made of soft materials. Variations include tennis shoes, skater shoes, wedge sneakers, and high-tops.
New Balance For J.Crew 998 Sneakers  ($160)
A low, leather shoe that is fastened with shoelace eyelets above its vamp.
Miu Miu leather oxfords  ($359)
An oxford with a band (which is typically a contrasting color or texture) that runs from the lacing down to the sole.
Robert Clergerie Flash Saddle Shoes  ($298, originally $595)
An oxford with w-shaped material stitched to its vamp.
Barbara Bui Mesh Wingtip Brogue Oxfords  ($590)
A style marked by a distinctive contrasting color on its cap, this shoe is traditionally — though not exclusively — an oxford.
Prada Patent Leather Tooled Wingtip Flats  ($520)
A shoe with holes punched around the edge of the vamp.
Pertini Contrast Sole Suede Brogues  ($130)
A shoe with a canvas upper and rope sole, which is typically flat but can have a wedge. Originally a slip-on when created in Spain, current varieties include sandals and lace-ups.
Soludos Gatsby espadrille  ($48)
A flat shoe with a level platform.
Sophia Webster Suki Woven Flatform Sandals  ($293, originally $420)
A flat shoe with a thick, crepe rubber sole.
T.U.K. Floral Creepers  ($75)
Footwear that raises the wearer's heel height higher than the toes.
A shoe with an elastic, Velcro, or buckle strap across the instep.
Alexander Wang Manuel Mary Jane Pump  ($556, originally $795)
A shoe with a strap running vertically up the foot.
SJP Carrie T-Strap Pumps  ($355)
A shoe with a single or multiple straps that pass around the ankle.
Mango Suede Peep-Toe Ankle Boots  ($130)
A shoe with an elastic or buckled strap around the back of the foot.
Oscar de la Renta Plaid Slingbacks  ($348, originally $695)
A shoe with a cap or reinforced leather on the toe.
Pierre Hardy Laser-Cut Cap-Toe Pumps  ($559, originally $925)
A shoe with an opening in front that exposes the toes.
Zara Peep-Toe Stilettos  ($36)
A backless shoe or slipper with a vamp that can be open- or closed-toed.
Tibi Bee Heels  ($385)
A closed-toe shoe with an open back and a platform sole, which is traditionally wood.
Isabel Marant Towson Leather and Wooden Clogs  ($308)
A shoe with a low-cut front that chiefly grips the foot at the toe and the heel and typically has no fastenings.
Gianvito Rossi Mesh-Paneled Suede Pumps  ($770)
A shoe with a low heel that is usually 1 to 2 inches.
J.Crew Slingback Kitten Heels  ($278)
First worn by King Louis XIV of France to add height to his 5'3" stature, this shoe has a curved, medium-high heel.
L'autre Choes Suede Sandals  ($225, originally $375)
A shoe with a thin, tapering heel with a medium to tall height.
Jimmy Choo Agnes pumps  ($875)
A high-heel shoe with a thick sole under the front of the foot.
Charlotte Olympia Cindy Suede Platform Pumps  ($795)
A shoe with a heel that extends from the ball to the back.
Stuart Weitzman Jean Wedges  ($385)