Ladies Shoe Types – Part II

Shoe types - women

Following our first post about women’s shoe types, here is the rest of the most popular ladies footwear.

The model d’Orsay

The model d’Orsay is a very stylish shoe, which leaves uncovered one or both of the sides, revealing the arch of the foot. Elegant and refined, they are found in both high, medium and flat heels.

If they are not well made they can be uncomfortable, because they do not offer much adherence to the foot and tend to escape from behind, which is why they sometimes have an ankle strap. There are also peep / open toe versions.

Mary Jane

The Mary Jane, also called Baby, are shoes, usually round toe, they have a strap on the back foot. The name of this shoe derives from a fictional character in vogue in the early twentieth century, Mary Jane, little sister of Buster Brown, protagonist of the homonymous comic created by Richard Outcault in 1902. Mary Jane wore fashion shoes for children of that period, in shiny or patent leather, black, with low heel, round toe and a thin strap on the instep, fastened with a button or a clasp.

Moccasin (Loafer)

The moccasin has many variations, which depending on the workmanship and the presence of decorations or applications, take different names such as penny loafer, tassel loafer, fringed loafer, Venetian etc. the characteristics and peculiarities of the different models with their names and origins are explained in the article dedicated to men’s footwear, to which we refer.

In the female version the moccasins and sailing shoes, which are very similar, are often enriched with colorful or charming details such as beads, rhinestones, golden or silver tassels, etc and can have heels, even high, square and comfortable, or wedges , they can also be open at the tip (open toe), or at the heel. Loafers, also for women, are recommended as day shoes, to be combined with a casual out-fit, which preferably includes trousers or jeans.

Francesine (or Oxford), Derby and Monkstrap

These shoes, which we note together for convenience here, but which have different characteristics and a different and precise degree of formality and elegance for the male dress-code, are initially male footwear, which arrived in women’s clothing between the 1920s and ‘ 30.

The classic lace-up models are perfect paired with trousers and jeans, the completion of a mannish style out-fit , perhaps worn under tweed or black trousers with pleats on the front, in harmony with a shirt and a blazer with a masculine cut.

Oxfords, the most refined men’s shoe model, are actually incredibly glamorous even for women, both for day and evening, if in patent leather and combined with an “a la garçonne” look with a tuxedo trouser suit, while some models more feminine, with heels, they can also be combined with the skirt. They are worn exclusively with socks.

Saddle Shoes

The Saddle-shoes are shoes characterized by bicolor and seamer type oxford (from this the alternative name of Saddle-oxford), sometimes decorated along the saddle from brogue, they are very similar to bowling shoes.

They had a huge success among the American girls of the 40s and 50s, so much so that they represented a real sign of recognition among the Frank Sinatra fans of those years.

The saddle-shoes are characterized by the flat rubber sole, over which a suede upper with inserts in shiny leather and in contrasting colors is sewn, the classic is in black and white, but there are various colors, so as there are numerous female versions with high heels.

Ballroom shoes or dance shoes

The ballroom shoes are similar to the shoes of dance ballroom dancers or showgirl. They have a heel that is not too high, slightly curved, with a base that is not too wide, but comfortable, to favor balance. They can have a slightly rounded tip or be blunt or sandal.

Often they have two straps that fasten at the ankle, sometimes replaced by two elastic bands, which cross on the instep to promote adherence, but there are versions with a single strap or with a T-strap or with a simple fastening at the ankle (ankle-strap).

These models have an elegant retro style, reminiscent of the 30s. They are very feminine and chic, also suitable for heel “beginners”, who will feel safer walking thanks to the medium height and the lacing.