Glossary of Footwear Terminology, M-N

International Language Terminology Cross-Reference General Glossary of Footwear Types

Maker (Shoe Man)
The person who assembles the shoes, actually attaching the uppers to the soles. [Devlin, 1840]

Attaching the overleather to the soles.

Making Thread
Aligning a number of strands of hemp, or flax, and cering them with Shoemaker's Wax, and twisting them. [Rees, 1813]

Marginal Loops
Loops through which straps pass near the sole edge. [Webber, 1989]

A cut made in the top sole for the top-sole seam. [Vass]

Marks of production
Signs or impressions left by the manufacture of leather or shoes, e.g. tanner's cuts or awl scratches. [Goubitz, 2001]

Marks of use
Signs of wear made after the shoe was made, for example, spots of wear and tear, cuts to improve the shoe's fit and smears of tar, paint etc. [Goubitz, 2001]

Holme shows this as 
  [Holme, 1688]

Measurement taking
The recording of the most important data relating to the foot in order to draw up the necessary foot documentation. It should take place at a time when the feet are in an ideal state. The measurement-taking process has a ceremonial character. [Vass]

Of the inside of the foot, shoe or last; of the side facing the other foot.. [Goubitz, 2001]

Middle Sole
See Midsole

Middle-sole seam
The seam holding the welt and the middle sole together. [Vass]

Middle Ages
A term used, first in the Enlightenment, to describe that period between the Dark Ages that came from the collapse of the Classical Era and the "Renaissance", or rebirth of Knowledge. Today, while these terms are often still used, the intellectual value judgements they imply are not as widely accepted. For example, the Dark Ages are often generally referred to as the "Early Middle Ages".

  1. An additional sole placed between outsole and insole.  [Thornton/Swann, 1983]
  2. The sole layer or any of the sole layers Found between the insole and treadsole (outsole). [Goubitz, 2001]
  3. In Modern shoes, A layer of cushioning pancaked between the insole and the outsole. []
  4. Middle Sole. A sole between the welt and the top sole. Characteristic of double-soled shoes. [Vass]
  5. Middle Sole [Holme, 1688]
Moccasin (Hudsko or Hide shoe, One piece-shoe, single piece-shoe)
A term commonly used to refer to a single piece construction, in which the soft sole and the upper, or part of the upper, are continuous, producing a type of "foot bag". The material passing upwards from under the foot is cut in such a way as to form a well constructed foot covering with a back seam and often also a center front seam. A soft leather shoe without a heel. A reinforcing sole may be added. The term is of Algonquian origin and should not be used to refer to Medieval Shoes.. Variant terms are moccasin-boot: referring to a) a moccasin extending above the ankle; b) a moccasin with a cuff or a legging sewn on extending above the ankle; or c) a moccasin sewn to a material made of several pieces extending above the ankle; modified moccasin boot: A boot where the seam joining the soft bottom unit to the soft upper runs l-3 cm above the imprint line all around the foot, with no center front or back seam. Alternatively, the boot may have a sole which is flat; moccasin trousers (trouser moccasins): A combination garment which includes trousers and moccasin-boots. [Thornton/Swann, 1983][Webber, 1989]

Mock up (Modern terms include: Fitter, Fitter's model, Glass Slipper)
A cheap, quickly made shoe meant to test the shape and size of a given last, checking patterns, etc.

The total shape, cut, and style of a shoe. [Goubitz, 2001]

A tool for slickening stitches. See Bones and Sticks

A type of shoe.  Possibly the same as the backless shoe later called a mule.

Murdering Leather
To waste leather by inefficiently or poorly cutting out leather. [Devlin, 1840]

A different make of a standard product; may well be unique. [Goubitz, 2001]

Nail Shoe
Nails, apart from those on Roman footwear, were used as a construction method only after 1800. Some repair soles are attached with nails. [Goubitz, 2001]

Nailed Construction
  1. A method of shoemaking in which the Sole is nailed to the Insole, the Upper (q.v.) being sandwiched between sole and insole. If the nails, called hobnails,  have large heads they also serve as a sole protection. Commonly found in Romano-British shoes then not clearly documented again until the 19th century [Thornton/Swann, 1983][Saguto]
  2. A method of fixing the uppers to the bottom by using thin nails instead of stitching (See Sole/Upper constructions). [Goubitz, 2001]
  3. A method of shoemaking in which the upper is nailed to the bottom, the lasting margin (q.v.) being sandwiched between outsole and insole.
Nailing last
An iron sole shape or a wooden last with iron plating on the sole side for the production of nailed sole constructions. [Goubitz, 2001] (See Repair Last)

Needles have probably been used in shoemaking all along, although their recorded uses have generally been for closing work, such as attaching linings, cording, and so on. 

.tool4.gif (439 bytes)

A modern term. Neutral runners have arches around medium height, they strike the ground at the outside of the heel, and they push off with the big toe. []

Nippers, Shoemaker's nippers.

Holme shows two sorts of Nippers: The Shoemaker's Nippers (With a sharp point on one side, and a tack puller on the other): and Hammer Pincers (with a tack puller, a hammer head, a sharp point, and is toothed to grip leather better):   [Holme, 1688]

Return to Contents or [Next]

Footwear of the Middle Ages - Glossary of Footwear Terminology M-N, Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005 I. Marc Carlson. 
This page is given for the free exchange of information, provided the author's name is included in all future revisions, and no money change hands, other than as expressed in the Copyright Page.