Footwear consists of garments worn on the feet. It is worn for a variety of reasons, including protection against the environment, hygiene and adornment. Usually, socks and other hosiery are worn between the feet and the footwear, except for sandals and flip flops (thongs). It is sometimes associated with fetishism, particularly in some recent fashions in shoes and boots. Some people are very passionate about fashion footwear.
A shoe is an item of footwear. Shoes may vary from a simple flip-flop to a complex boot. Shoes may have high or low heels, although in western cultures, high heels are considered a women’s style. Shoe materials include leather or canvas. Athletic shoe soles may sometimes be made of rubber.
The bottom of a shoe is called the sole. The insole is the interior bottom of a shoe, which sits directly beneath the foot. Many shoes have removable and replaceable insoles, and extra insoles are often added for comfort or health reasons (to control the shape,
moisture, or smell of the shoe). The outsole is the layer in direct contact with the ground. Dress shoes have leather outsoles; casual or work-oriented shoes have outsoles made of natural rubber or a synthetic imitation. The outsole may comprise a single piece, or may comprise separate pieces of different materials. Often the heel of the sole is rubber for durability and traction, while the front is leather for style. Specialized shoes will often have modifications on this design: athletic cleats have spikes embedded in the outsole to grip the ground; many kinds of dancing shoes have much softer or harder soles. The layer in between the outsole and the insole that is typically there for shock absorption. Some types of shoes, like running shoes, have another material for shock absorption, usually beneath the heel where one puts the most pressure down. Different companies use different materials for the midsoles of their shoes. Some shoes may not have a midsole at all. The bottom rear part of a shoe is the heel. Its function is to support the heel of the foot. They are often made of the same material as the sole of the shoe. This part can be high for fashion or to make the person look taller, or flat for a more practical use. Any shoe has an upper part that helps hold the shoe onto the foot. In the simplest cases, such as sandals or flip flops, this may be nothing more than a few straps for holding the sole in place. Closed footwear, such as boots, sneakers and most men’s shoes, will have a more complex upper. This part is often decorated or is made in a certain style to look attractive.