Boot Leathers

Boot Glossary


- A -

Arch: Concave structure of the foot.

- B -

Ball: The widest part of the foot formed by the five metatarsal heads. The "ball joint" refers to the protruding inside joint behind the great toe.

Box Toe: A stiffener at the toe of the shoe to retain shape and style.

Breathability: The ability of a shoe material to pass off foot moisture.

- C -

Cement: A term broadly applied to a number of adhesives used commonly in shoemaking. As a verb, to spread cement in a uniform layer over the surface of a work piece: upper, lining, sole, etc. Or, to join pieces together, e.g. sole to upper, by means of an adhesive, i.e. solvent, heat activated or hot-melt.

Cutting Dies: Sharpened steel dies for cutting shoe parts or for making cutouts and perforations in a shoe upper.

- D -

Dip: The curve in top line of the quarter (shaft). This curve is used for styling and the deeper dips also aid in better fitting.

Dutchman: A thin wedge of leather or fiberboard inserted between the insole and outsole of a shoe, or between the lifts of a built-up heel, to throw the foot inward or outward to correct foot posture.

- E -

Edge: The full edge of the boot sole and welt running around the forepart of the sole from shank to shank.

- F -

Foxing: The back part of a boot upper from shank to heel. This may include only the back part below the vamp line, as in a boot having a three-quarter or circular vamp; or it may include the entire back part of the upper from top edge to sole and from shank to heel, as in many types of low cut shoes.

- G -

- H -

Heel Base: The heel base is part of the outside heel. The base fits against the outsole and can be shaped for various looks. (Some examples are: Walking Heel, Cowboy Heel, Undershot Heel, etc.) The material used is leather, leather compound, or man made materials.

Heel Counter: The heel counter is placed on the inside of the boot between the lining and the outside leather foxing. The counter is formed and molded to hold the heel in place.

Heel Lift: The heel lift is the finished bottom of the heel base which must be a very good abrasive material. Acme's heel lifts are made of high quality, long wearing materials, with non-slip characteristics.

Heel Pad: The heel pad is simply to cover the unfinished heel area.

- I -

Inking: A general term describing all liquid waxes or coloring materials used in setting and finishing edges, heels, soles and top pieces. As a verb they impregnate edges, heels, soles or top-pieces with closing materials or wax.

Insole: A sole of leather or other material which is attached directly to a boot upper and welting. In some boot constructions, the sole surface forms the inside of the bottom of the boot; in others, it is covered with a sock lining of thin leather or other material.

- J -

- K -

- L -

Last: The hard plastic form over which the boot is made, and which determines the boot's size and certain style features.

Lasting: One of the most important operations of boot making requires the shaping of the upper tightly to each contour of the last, pulling and stretching of the upper so that there will be no wrinkled outer or lining parts, no bunching of inner parts, and no crooked seams.

Leather: The end product of a hide or skin after processing by tanning, that still retains its original fibrous structure, more or less intact.

Lining: Inside of boots, usually made of pigskin or a heavy twilled cotton or linen fabric.

- M -

Midsole: A sole of leather or other material placed between the outsole and the insole.

- N -

- O -

Outsole: Outermost sole of the boots, the surface of which is exposed to wear.

- P -

Piping: Lining to finish boot properly.

Podiatry: The profession of attending and treating the human foot. A foot doctor is called a podiatrist.

Pull Tab: The pull tab has three functions. The first and most important is to pull the boot on by putting the fingers through the loops. The second function is to cover up the side seam at the top of the cuff and the third function is decorative.

- Q -

Quarter: The complete upper part of the boot upper above the vamp line. The quarter may be referred to as the "shaft" in the case of high boots.

- R -

- S -

Shank: Forms the arch, made of steel, fiber, wood or plastic.

Side Welt: The side welt is stitched between front and back of quarter during closing operation. It does not really add any strength but is decorative and traditional on cowboy boots.

Skive: To reduce the thickness of the edge of a piece of leather or other material. Also know as "shaving".

Sole: The bottom piece of footwear. When used as a collective term, it includes the complete bottom part of the boot except the heel.

Sole Stitching: Holds the welting and the sole together.

Stitching: Decorative feature of the boot, sometimes needed to keep leather from dragging.

- T -

Tanning: Process of curing animal or reptile hides and skins into leather.

Throat: The top of the vamp at the base of the foot instep.

Toplift: The top layer, rubber, or composition material, attached to heels.

- U -

Upper: The entire boot excluding the bottom.

- V -

Vamp: The complete forepart of a boot upper which is attached to the insole welting. It is the most important part of the upper and the one which must possess the finest appearance and durability.

- W -

Wedge: A piece of leather or synthetic material tapered to a thin edge, used to elevate one side of the sole or heel.

Welting: Strip of leather or synthetic material between the upper and the sole to which each part is attached.

- X -

- Y -

- Z -

How to Fit Boots  |  Making Boots  |  Parts of the Boot
Boot Care Basics  |  Leather Types   |  Boot Facts Index | Boot Glossary
Boot Care for Different Types of Leathers

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