Les Chaussures Is French for Shoes, Boots, and Flip-flops

Woman with various types of shoes

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Shoes, shoes, shoes... we are all crazy about them. They are the only thing that always fits. In France, shoes are a very important accessory, and would often change the whole vibe of an outfit.

Vocabulary About French Shoes

Here is a list of French shoe vocabulary.

  • Des chaussures (feminine): shoes. Watch out for your pronunciation. There are 2 S's, which makes for a strong "s" sound. There is no "z" sound in that word. Don't mistake that word with "une chaussette" = a sock. Please note that the word "un soulier" is a VERY old-fashioned word, that French people don't use anymore.
  • Une semelle: a sole but also an insert.
  • Un lacet: a lace
  • Un talon: a heel
  • Le dessus de la chaussure: the top part of the shoe
  • Le dessous de la chaussure: the bottom part of the shoe
  • L'intérieur de la chaussure: the inside of the shoe
  • Un cordonnier is a shoe maker/repairman and he works at "une cordonnerie."
  • Shoes are usually consist of "en cuir" (made of leather), "en daim" (suede), "en synthétique" (synthetic), or en toile (cloth).

Les Chaussures pour Femmes (Shoes for Women)

  • Des chaussures à talons: high-heel shoes. Not necessarily super-high, but anything over one inch.
  • Des escarpins (m): classic high-heel shoes
  • Des chaussures plates: flat-heel shoes
  • Des ballerines: ballerinas 
  • Des chaussures à plateformes: platform shoes (think Lady Gaga)
  • Un talon: a heel
  • Des talons hauts: high-heels
  • Des talons compensés: wedge shoes
  • Des mocassins (m): loafers (for men and women)
  • Les mules (f): open-heel shoes, mules
  • Des derbies et des richelieus (m): brogues

Les Bottes (Boots)

  • Des bottes: boots. Watch out! this sounds like "hot" not "hoot"
  • Des bottines: ankle boots. We also call them "boots" with an English pronunciation
  • Des bottes à talons: high-heel boots
  • Des Santiags: cowboy boots
  • Des bottes de ski: ski boots
  • Des après-ski: snow boots
  • Des bottes de pluie: rain boots
  • Des bottes en caoutchouc: rubber boots
  • Des bottes en cuir: leather boots

Les Chaussures de Sport (Sports Shoes)

  • Des baskets (f) tennis shoes, but usually referring to bulky sports shoes you'd wear to actually practice a sport, like runners. Say the final "t."
  • Des tennis: tennis shoes, but more casual. Frenchmen wear them a lot.
  • Des chaussures de randonnée: hiking boots
  • Des chaussures de cyclisme: bicycle shoes. You can actually just add any sport after "des chaussures de..." and it will work for other sports.

Plus de Chaussures (Additional Shoes)

  • Des sandales: sandals
  • Des tongs: flip-flops (say the G)
  • Les nu-pieds: another way to say sandals or flip-flops (lit. naked foot)
  • Des sabots (m) clogs
  • And of course, the famous French "Espadrilles" (f) cloth shoes with rope soles.