Glossary of Footwear Terminology, G

International Language Terminology Cross-Reference General Glossary of Footwear Types

Gage - shoe measure
See Size stick/Shoe Size [Holme, 1688] and Foot Measure

Gamashe (Other medieval spellings include: Gamash, Gamachio, Gamache)
A kind of legging of cloth, worn to protect the legs from mud, dirt and wet. 

A puckering in cloth or other material made by drawing in the material . The gathers may be formed with or without one or more draw threads.  Draw threads can be made of sinew.

See Pinking

Gingerbread Fashion
A term for a straight down, deep Channel cut on the Sole, which can damage the sole.  It is less desirable than a more shallow, or inclined cut Channel. [Devlin, 1840]

A measurement taken around the circumference of the foot at a specific point. The girths are traditionally most often taken are at the joints or ball of the foot (i.e., the widest part of the foot at the hinge where the metatarsal bones touch the ground level), the waist (which is about an inch behind the joints), which is sometimes referred to as the low instep (although some people place the low instep an inch behind the waist), the instep or high instep is the highest point of the instep, where the bump at the top of the instep protrudes. There is also a girth measurement called the "hass", which is behind the high instep, and is the highest point of the foot, where it merges with the shin, but this is not universally used (and isn't important for measuring for below the ankle shoes). Finally, there is the ankle, the short heel (the high instep to around the heel), and the long heel (the base of the heel to the high instep).

Glass Slipper
See Fitters model

See Scraping. [Devlin, 1840]

Or Balling Heels. Trimming and smoothing the Heel with a Heel Ball [Devlin, 1840] Uses a Glazing Iron.

(See Plough)

Iron tool used to form the feather in the insole. [Vass]


  1. The outer surface of a piece of leather originally bearing the hair, fur, wool, etc (note: the term can only be documented to 1607 [OED2]). Each animal has a characteristic grain pattern and the surface is normally smooth. Soles usually have the grain side downwards resting on the ground; insoles usually have the grain side upwards so that the foot rests on it. In modern shoes, and medieval shoes, the uppers normally have the grain side outward.  In the majority of men's shoes between 1580 and 1880, the grain is faced inwards. [Thornton/Swann, 1983][Grew/deNeergaard, 1988]
  2. The side of the leather that formerly was covered with hair. Removal of the hair leaves the pattern of the pores and follicles, by which the kind of animal (leather type) can often be determinect. [Goubitz, 2001]
Grain/flesh stitching (or Stabbing)
Stitching through the thickness of the leather from the grain to the flesh side.

Grease (Other medieval spellings include: Crawk, Grece, Gres  Latin: Cremium)
The rendered softened fat of some sort of animal (historically most commonly mutton tallow or “degras” (lanolin)), possibly used as some sort of lubricant or dressing by the shoemaker.

Grindery, the
The materials the Shoemaker works with (In England and Scotland). In Ireland and the US, see Findings. [Devlin, 1840]  These materials are prepared by Grinders. [Rees, 1813]

A seam that has gaps where threads can be seen or the seam can be seen through is said to be grinning.  A seam that grins is weakly stitched, and dirt can get into the seam to fray and weaken the threads.

Gum Adragant (Gum dragant, Gum dragon, Gum tragacanth).   See Dragant

  1. A semi water-soluble resin from the Astragulus which is used in medicine and some craft arts [OED 2d Ed.]
  2. Used by some shoemakers (apparently by painting on a dissolved solution, and then heating with an iron to set the seams) [Martin, 1745], and without heat as a glaze or varnish.
Gum Water
See Gum Adragant. [Rees, 1813] and Dragant

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Footwear of the Middle Ages - Glossary of Footwear Terminology G, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005 I. Marc Carlson. 
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