10 Confusing Men's Shoe Terms Illustrated With Great Buys


Fashion vocabulary can be tricky! Especially when it comes to items like men's shoes, where words like "brogue," "wingtip," and "blucher" are thrown around. One particularly important phrase is "factory seconds." Often retailers of high-end items will massively discount stock with slight imperfections, meaning you can pick up designer pieces at amazing prices.

Until January 17, Allen Edmonds is cutting up to $200 off its factory second shoes. All orders receive free shipping, making this the best sale we've seen on seconds at Allen Edmonds in a year.

As such, we've used 10 pairs from the sale to illustrate some common men's shoe terms and help you learn the differences.

10 Shoe Terms Illustrated With Great Buys

Chelsea Boots

Allen Edmonds Men's Liverpool Chelsea Dress Boots for $249 ($100 off)

Also known as Beatle boots, these boots are the epitome of mod. They feature elastic or zip side panels so you can slip them on without worrying about laces.

Monk Straps

Allen Edmonds Men's Norwich Cordovan Monk Straps for $399 ($130 off)

That buckle-fastened piece across the tongue is the monk strap. They're most commonly found in singles (as pictured) or doubles (like this).

Saddle Shoes

Allen Edmonds Men's Shelton 2.0 Saddle Dress Shoes for $199 ($100 off)

A contrasting decorative panel on the instep (the part of a foot between the ball and the ankle) is what makes a saddle shoe.


Allen Edmonds Men's Saukville Suede Wingtip Lace-up Boots for $157 ($132 off)

Wingtips feature perforated patterns (also called broguing) along the edges, and the toe cap is extended and curves at the finish to resemble a wing.


Allen Edmonds Men's Union Plain Toe Bluchers for $189 ($80 off)

The defining characteristic of a blucher is that the vamp — the front and center part of the shoe's upper — and the tongue are all one piece. The lace tabs are sewn on top, a feature known as "open lacing."


Allen Edmonds Men's Neumok Wingtip Oxfords for $157 ($62 off)

The opposite of bluchers, oxfords are made with a closed lacing system, meaning the tabs are sewn underneath the vamp rather than floating separately.


Allen Edmonds Men's Brisbane Sneakers for $149 ($40 off)

Time for an easy one! Sneakers are just casual shoes — usually with rubber soles — ostensibly for athletic purposes.

Walking Shoes

Allen Edmonds Men's Voyager Walking Shoes for $157 ($82 off)

Walking shoes are typically made with comfort in mind, featuring extra cushioning and soles with treads meant for traveling on foot.


Allen Edmonds Men's Boulder Venetian Loafers for $119 ($30 off)

Loafers are slip-on shoes and almost always feature a moccasin toe (a seam running around the top on the front). They range from casual to dressy in design and purpose.

Golf Shoes

Allen Edmonds Men's Jack Nicklaus Anaconda Golf Shoes for $87 ($112 off)

Golf shoes are oxfords crafted from waterproof leather, and generally they have spikes to improve grip on the grass. This spikeless pair instead uses the sole pattern to provide traction.

Readers, what's your favorite style of shoe? Did we miss any terms you've never understood? Let us know in the comments!

Elizabeth Zimmerman
DealNews Contributing Writer

Elizabeth Zimmerman is a former Associate Editor at DealNews. She specializes in tap dancing, wearing a lot of colors, making cakes, and sneaking Beatles references into deals. Goo goo g'joob.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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All regular shoes are over $100, except the golf shoes & I don't play golf. I also don't want to buy a pair of expensive shoes. I don't like Chelsea Boots, elastic band always stretched. I don't like leather-sole & non-stitch sole. I guess no one talks about Clarks & Dr. Martens anymore. I only buy shoes with a good stitch sole (Vibram or Goodyear). If they are old & you still love them, you will probably end up taking them to the shoe cobbler to get you a new sole.
michael bonebright (DealNews)
I highly recommend "Fifty Shoes That Changed the World" -- available on Kindle for $6 -- for those that are interested in the history of shoe design and history. It's a fairly comprehensive guide.

Fun fact for i_am_mustang_man! Chukkas (or desert boots) were modeled after those worn by British forces in WWII. Origination of the style is generally attributed to Clarks, and you'll always get quality desert boots from that retailer. Coupons here, of course :) http://dealnews.com/s40475/Clarks/
I know many guys don't know what a chukka boot is - great for many modern offices with either jeans or khakis