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Shoe Glossary

Brief yet thorough definitions of important footwear terminology.

Schuhwissen Glossar

T

Tanning

The process that permanently transforms animal hides into leather. This is achieved with tanning agents, which transform the protein fibres in the hides into leather fibres. There are four main types of tanning methods: vegetable tanning, chrome and mineral tanning, and tanning with fats.

Toe Cap

A 1.2- to 2-millimetre-thick piece of leather attached between the upper and lining leather. Lends the toe of the shoe an elegant, durable form, and protects the foot from outside forces.

Tounge

The colloquial term for the leather tab that lies beneath the lacing. The tongue protects the part of the shoe where the lacing is attached from soiling and abrasion. It also cushions the arch of the foot against the lacing.

Top Lift

The uppermost layer of leather on the heel, which comes directly in contact with the ground. Leather versions are often additionally fitted with an abrasion-resistant ridge made of rubber or metal. In exceptional cases, the top lift is made entirely of rubber.

Tweaking

A shoe production stage in which the edges of the upper and lining are pulled over the last and fixed with small metal nails beneath the insole. This allows the shoe to first take on its three-dimensional form.

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