11/08/2010 10:22:21

Words by tcsh

Footwear Glossary

2 Season Boots

Walking boots that are suited for summer usage - i.e. The two warmer seasons (Spring & Summer)

3 Season Boots

Walking boots that are suited for use in all British seasons except from winter conditions. Can be used in the winter if snow and ice is not present.

4 Season Boots

Walking boots that are suited for use in the UK for all seasons. They are crampon compatible and can therefore be used in snow and ice.

Anti Balling Plate

A plate, usually made of rubber, that fits to the underside of a crampon which has the function of keeping the underside free from packed snow. The rubber 'pops out' with every step and therefore pushes any built up snow out.

Approach Shoes

Essentially, shoes used to 'approach' the mountain. Looking like trainers, they have a strong sole unit that will grip a variety of terrains.


A strong metal bar at the front of a fully automatic crampon that attaches to the ridge on the front of some stiffer 4 season boots.

Board Lasted

An item of footwear that is modelled by using a flat sole unit and then wrapping the upper around the top of the foot and stitching it to either side of the sole. Also see Slip Lasted


See Strap On Crampon


See Step In Crampon


See Fully Automatic Crampon


See Guidance


See Fully Automatic Crampon


A metal frame that can be attached to the sole of a boot in order to make walking in snow and ice possible. They come in a variety of types, also see; Step In Crampon, Numatic Crampons

Fell Running

A term used to describe running in mountainous environments, often involves travelling off the footpath and navigating yourself. Also see Trail Running

Fell Shoes

Shoes for running on the 'Fells' (Cumbrian mountains). They are light weight with strong, deep tread that will grip on loose surfaces.


The part of the sole of a shoe is in contact with your foot, the inside of the sole.

Front Pointing

The use of the front points of a pair of crampons to scale an area of steep snow or ice. This is only possible with climbing crampons that have reinforced front points, e.g. Grivel G14

Full Grain Leather

The upper layer of leather that, as it includes the skin surface, is the most protective against the weather.

Fully Automatic Crampon

A style of crampon that features a step in binding at the back (see Step In Crampon) as well as a Bale at the front. Usually found on the most rigid climbing crampons.


The design of shoes that actively supports your foot in order to control your natural pronation. Mostly found in running footwear, this feature can also be added to footwear using Orthotic Insoles.


(Grivel Scarpa Binding) A style of crampon attachment developed between Scarpa and Grivel that features a strong metal plate on the crampon that can be inserted into the front of some boots thus eliminating the need for a cumbersome front attachment system.

In Step Crampon

A plate that features a series of spikes that can be attached to the in step of your boot in order to offer better grip in icy conditions. These are not proper crampons and should only be used in emergencies on small areas of ice.


See Footbed


A foot shaped model that an item of footwear is designed around.


A layer, normally of foam, that is sandwiched between the outsole and the inner sole - this is where the cushioning of a shoe comes from.


A style of sole unit that designed for individuals who neither Pronate or Supinate, and therefore need no specific support. The Footbed of these shoes tend to be fairly flat.

New Classic

See Strap On Crampon

New Matic

See Step In Crampon


The part of the sole of a shoe that faces out - i.e. the rubber grip


A common condition where the foot tends to roll inwards, leading to the foot leaning in with each step. Pronation often lead to a flattening of the arch (flat feet) as well as a straining of ligaments and possible knee complaints. Opposite to Supination.


An area around the toe of a shoe that protects it from damage. It is usually made from rubber and continues around to the side of the foot.

Semi Automatic Crampon

See Step In Crampon

Slip Lasted

An item of footwear that constructed by wrapping the upper round the entire last and stitching it to itself under the sole of the foot. This creates a light and responsive shoe.

Split Suede

A type of leather that has had the surface split off to reveal a suede finish on both sides. It is light and flexible.

Step-In Crampon

A style of crampon (usually on stiffer types) that have a ski style binding at the back that has to be stepped into to get it to secure in place. These require specific types of boots that will hold the binding at the back. Also see Strap On Crampon

Strap On Crampon

A style of crampon (usually on more flexible C1 types) that have a set of tough straps in order to hold them onto a pair of boots. This type will fit any type of four season boots, regardless of the design. Also see Step In Crampons.


A condition where the foot tends to roll outwards, leading to an individual walking mostly on the outside of the foot. This can lead to straining of ligaments and twisting of the ankle. Opposite to Pronation.

Trail Running

A general term for off road running - it normally refers to low level running. Also see Fell Running


The main upper part of an item of footwear, the area above your foot containing the laces, the tongue etc.

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