Definition of shoe in US English:



  • 1A covering for the foot, typically made of leather, having a sturdy sole and not reaching above the ankle.

    • ‘However, with modern ballet dance comes greater foot support through modern pointe ballet shoes and trained technique.’
    • ‘I slipped my shoes on my feet and walked out of the door.’
    • ‘But even with the assistance of modern machinery and materials, most pointe shoes are still entirely handmade.’
    • ‘For trips, coat and tie, leather shoes (no sneakers) and dress socks are de rigueur.’
    • ‘She wore a black cocktail dress with matching heeled shoes and a black lace choker.’
    • ‘Make sure your clothes and your walking shoes are comfortable.’
    • ‘She said that he sent her a get well present of high heeled shoes with an extreme five inch heel.’
    • ‘High heels, floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you stumble and fall.’
    • ‘I went out with Chloe this morning and bought some earrings and these really strappy, high heeled shoes.’
    • ‘Anyone wearing high-heeled shoes would find herself punching holes in the floorboard.’
    • ‘Traditional ballet pointe shoes provide foot support with cardboard, paper and/or leather saturated with glues.’
    • ‘She grabbed her running shoes from her closet, and a light jacket to tie around her waist.’
    • ‘As he moved though, the rubber bottom of his running shoes squeaked on a puddle of melted snow.’
    • ‘Some women also love to wear ankle wrap sandals as well as pointed toe dress shoes.’
    • ‘After she tied her running shoes, she jogged downstairs and outside.’
    • ‘For daytime use take shorts, shirts and a good pair of deck shoes with white soles.’
    • ‘I sighed, feeling irritated, and scuffed my shoe on the floor.’
    • ‘Her dress shoes clicked steadily as she walked along the sidewalk.’
    • ‘She slipped the matching shoes onto her feet, muttering at the high heels.’
    • ‘He wore black tennis shoes with dull white laces, baggy blue slacks and a white long sleeved shirt.’
    • ‘Don't tell me he's learned to tie his shoe laces as well.’
    • ‘Even the butler's polished shoes went seamlessly with the black marble floor.’
    • ‘Threatening to swamp her bedroom is a display of designer shoes with heels of varying heights.’
    1. 1.1 A horseshoe.
      • ‘The field was reduced to six when Rapid Ryan was ordered scratched by the stewards in the paddock because he was wearing improper shoes.’
      • ‘Her right hind hoof had a bit of blood on her fresh shod shoes.’
      • ‘First remove any horseshoe nails and clean the shoe with a stiff brush and water to remove packed in-dirt.’
      • ‘‘I thought she went lame coming to the line so I got off her as quick as I could, but thank God she has only pulled a shoe off,’ he said.’
      • ‘Clearing twisted a shoe on his way to the post and caused a 15-minute delay while a farrier made the repair.’
      • ‘According to Harty, the animal was administered the drug a few days before the event after pulling a shoe during a gallop.’
      • ‘Someone else who keeps his horse in a soft pasture and/or rides in soft grassy area may not need shoes at all.’
      • ‘He had a shoe taken off him a couple of strides out of the gate.’
      • ‘Watch other horses in case tack adjustments are needed or shoes are lost.’
      • ‘A bit pricey, and little complicated to fit (I had my farrier do mine) but worth every penny to not lose time to a pulled shoe.’
      • ‘Fortunately after that he calmed down and all seemed to be going as planned until two-thirds of the way through the ride when her horse lost a shoe.’
      • ‘At the barn, horses will be identified, their shoes will be checked, and on-site veterinarians will watch them walk the shedrow.’
      • ‘There is a moment of anxiety as Hills dismounts immediately after the line but it transpires that the filly has just twisted a shoe.’
      • ‘She said her horse's metal shoes could not find any grip on the smooth road.’
      • ‘There's a couple of moments where she actually manages to right herself, only to lose a shoe and lunge into another steep incline with the very next step she takes.’
  • 2Something resembling a shoe in shape or use.

    1. 2.1 A drag for a wheel.
      • ‘And the advantage to a pivoting shoe is it allows you to more easily work on undulating, round or contour surfaces.’
      • ‘Sometimes cables broke, drag shoes slipped too fast, especially on wet days.’
      • ‘Drag shoes under the wheels helped to lock them.’
      • ‘The recoil system was not efficient and drag shoes had to be used under the wheels to keep the carriage steady in action.’
    2. 2.2
      short for brake shoe
      • ‘But, when you're in four bad crashes, two wheel changes and a broken shoe, it made it one of the hardest one-day races of my life.’
      • ‘The shoes in drum brakes are subject to wear and the brakes needed to be adjusted regularly until the introduction of self adjusting drum brakes in the 1950s.’
      • ‘If your trailer is equipped with electric brakes, check the drums and shoes for wear and the brake magnet for condition.’
      • ‘Brake shoe life has been extended in some cases more than 3 times that of composition shoes.’
      • ‘When you step on the brake pedal, fluid moves the rear shoes or pads (shoes on drum brakes, and pads on disk brakes), but when applying the parking brake, the pads or shoes are held by cables.’
    3. 2.3 A socket, especially on a camera, for fitting a flash unit or other accessory.
      • ‘The above is a normal flash shoe with forward pressure being applied to the flash.’
      • ‘To get your flash far away from your camera lens, you need to purchase an external flash, and you need a camera with a hot shoe.’
      • ‘I am looking for an off camera flash shoe cord.’
      adornment, embellishment, finery, trimming, ornament, ornamentation, decoration, complement, fashion detail, frill
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4 A metal rim or ferrule, especially on the runner of a sled.
      • ‘A close-fitting metal shoe with a central opening of 12.7 mm diameter flattened the section against the ceramic plate of the transducer.’
      • ‘Modern sled runners are covered with removable plastic runner shoes which can be changed for different conditions, or when worn.’
      • ‘The protector block controller shoe is a metal shoe with a handle and a crossbar placed at a comfortable position in front of the operator's foot with the handle above and the crossbar below.’
    5. 2.5 A box from which cards are dealt in casinos at baccarat or some other card games.
      • ‘Still others say they'll bet bigger when the burn card is a little one because that leaves more big cards in the shoe for them to receive.’
      • ‘So I shuffled up my six-deck shoe and dealt to four players plus the dealer for several hours.’
      • ‘Suppose the dealer fanned out the next dozen cards in the shoe face-down and asked you to pick any two for your next hand.’
      • ‘On one hand, the dealer is trying to go through as many shoes (racks of cards) as possible in a night.’
      • ‘Last night, I passed by a table where a big player had bet $2000 on the first hand of the shoe.’
      • ‘The game is dealt from an eight-deck shoe (sometimes six decks will be used).’
      • ‘So he incorrectly stood with 12 against a deuce believing that the next card out of the shoe was more likely to be a 10 than the one after it.’
      • ‘Optionally, the dealer may use a dealing shoe to hold the cards; this is how the game got one of its names.’
      • ‘Suppose we also just happen to know that there are only five cards left in the shoe and they consist of four 10s and one 6.’
      • ‘Dealer mays inadvertently expose their hole card or the next card out of the shoe before it should have been exposed.’
      • ‘If they offer a double-deck game, the rules are different than the game they deal from the shoe.’
      • ‘The odds constantly shift as cards are dealt out of the shoe.’


[with object]
  • 1Fit (a horse) with a shoe or shoes.

    • ‘Mick left Fermanagh in 1950 as a young man of 20 and continued the family trade of blacksmithing by making and shoeing horse for hunts in England.’
    • ‘The blacksmith was the most important craftsman in the community, shoeing horses as well as repairing farm implements and many of the tools used by other craftsmen.’
    • ‘Peter trained and shod his own horses and never suffered fools gladly.’
    • ‘Why would Castillo suddenly decide to clean his gun in the middle of shoeing a horse?’
    • ‘Hector and Lalo are shoeing a bay horse; Lalo's sheepdog naps between its legs.’
    • ‘A blacksmith with an ancestor who shod the horses that took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade is hoping for a grandson - to keep the 170-year-old family firm going for future generations.’
    • ‘The men were hard at work in the vineyards, were shoeing their horses, or were tending to the cattle.’
    • ‘Later he helped the blacksmith making new springs for the same trap and learnt to shoe horses, give reading lessons and to build sheds.’
    • ‘Perhaps the best known episode in the life of O'Donohoe was when he killed a Yeoman captain in his forge after he had been forced to shoe his horse.’
    • ‘She approached two men, who were shoeing a horse.’
    • ‘Five months later a blacksmith was shoeing a young horse, which I was holding, when a gunshot landed on the barn roof.’
    • ‘He had shod his horse backwards so that the prints of the horseshoes led the Martya to look for seven years in the wrong direction.’
    • ‘A week later he wrote an additional letter informing the inspector that he had considerable experience in shoeing horses and the treatment and curing of injured feet.’
    • ‘One of the works on display at her exhibition last November was of a blacksmith shoeing a horse.’
    • ‘Buck learned to shoe horses, fix wagon wheels, and repair farm equipment.’
    • ‘He said: ‘I used to work at the Co-op dairy and remember walking the horses down the high street to get them shod.’’
    • ‘If you have a lot of rocks in your pasture and/or you ride your horse often in a rocky area; you may need to shoe your horse.’
    • ‘His family worked in Dumfriesshire for generations and he set up this competition 20 years ago to try to preserve skills in shoeing horses.’
    1. 1.1be shodwith adverbial (of a person) be wearing shoes of a specified kind.
      ‘his large feet were shod in sneakers’
      • ‘Now at ease by the fireside, his feet are shod in narrow velvet slippers with a monogram embroidered in gold thread.’
      • ‘As for the other open-mike performers: there was the sturdy young man, shod in light sneakers but with a heavy, angry foot.’
      • ‘His feet are shod in rough sandals, and his pink dress is more like a simple caftan than a kingly religious vestment.’
      • ‘Her feet were shod with black dress shoes that were slightly scuffed as if it had been walking.’
      • ‘Not to be out-done, Amelia also shod her feet and there was a duel of well clad feet.’
      • ‘Her jeans are frayed, and her shining feet are shod in battered sandals.’
      • ‘After some small talk my mother noticed Callie's ballet slippers that still shod my little feet (I was still thanking my guardian angels that Callie had small feet so I could fit in the shoes).’
      • ‘She winced at the sound of many heavily shod feet running towards her.’
      • ‘Like her he was dressed in the coarsest of undyed wool, rough with fringe at the edges, and was shod in shoes made from deer hide or pig hide, with the hair still upon it.’
      • ‘Headdresses were extravagantly plumed helmets or crowns fusing baroque and classical styles, and the masquers were shod in tightly fitting short boots, or buskins.’
      • ‘Other than that, his feet were shod in sturdy dark grey boots, and he had nothing else.’
    2. 1.2 Protect (the end of an object such as a pole) with a metal shoe.
      ‘the four wooden balks were each shod with heavy iron heads’
      • ‘The door was stout oak shod with iron and locked with three thick iron bolts into the door frame.’
      • ‘At regular intervals along the counter were great upright wooden stampers shod with iron at the bottom.’
    3. 1.3 Fit a tire to (a wheel).
      • ‘They say the proof of the pudding is in its eating and after comparison, driving as fast as possible, in every car shod with different tyres.’
      • ‘The modifications to the body design are tasteful, particularly the 16 spoke aluminium alloy wheels, shod with 225 / 40R18 tyres.’
      • ‘The front wheels are shod with 265/650 tyres and the rear, 285 / 680.’
      • ‘Wheels are 16-inch alloy shod with 225/55 tyres which just look ‘Smooth!’’
      • ‘The only giveaways, apart from the badges, were slightly flared wheel arches, wide alloy wheels shod with special high-grip radial tyres and a single large-bore exhaust pipe.’
      • ‘Now the package is being given an extra boost with revised suspension settings and larger wheels shod with wider, lower profile tyres.’
      • ‘These were, however, shod with a different make of tyre.’
      • ‘Sixteen inch alloy wheels shod with very generous 195/45 tyres are another bonus.’
      • ‘Wheels are 15-inch diameter and shod with super sticky Toyo R888 tyres, sized 195/50 front and 205/50 rear.’
      • ‘Alloy and steel wheels are newly-styled and shod with 15 inch tyres which result in improved ride characteristics.’
      • ‘I say double shod because we had two tyres on each wheel.’
      • ‘Painted five spoke alloy wheels with polished rims look cool, and are shod with Wrangler 235/70 16 all terrain tyres.’
      • ‘The car rides on 19-inch alloy wheels shod with red-striped low profile tyres.’
      • ‘However, Murphy proving to be the master tactician took a gamble that the roads would dry under the windy conditions and had the car shod with completely slick tyres.’


  • be (or put oneself) in another person's shoes

    • Be (or put oneself) in another person's situation or predicament.

      ‘if I'd been in your shoes I'd have walked out on him’
      • ‘Yes, I know that sounds strange and mildly racist, but until you've been in my shoes for that situation, you just don't know.’
      • ‘Which leads me to my second, and more confrontational, suggestion - one which I, frankly, would would be unable to resist if I were in your shoes.’
      • ‘This is your life, and this is your body, but I've thought about this, nothing else, for the last two weeks, and what I came to was that if I were in your shoes, I would do exactly the same thing.’
      • ‘I can't say I've been in your shoes, or know anybody in quite the same situation.’
      • ‘People aren't happy to hear me say that, but if they were in my shoes, looking at the whole picture, they'd feel the same way.’
      • ‘I think that is probably how I would react if I were in their shoes.’
      • ‘What other conclusion would you come to, if you were in my shoes?’
      • ‘If you put yourself in my shoes for a moment, you will understand my situation.’
      • ‘If you were in their shoes wouldn't you have been already celebrating a semi-final place.’
      • ‘He was upset about the pictures of prisoners of war aired on television and added that he would be scared if he were in their shoes.’
      situation, position, circumstances, condition
      View synonyms
  • dead men's shoes

    • Property or a position coveted by a prospective successor but available only on a person's death.

      • ‘Had he stayed in London, he felt his professional life would have consisted of, as he put it, ‘waiting to fill dead men's shoes’.’
      • ‘Promotion by seniority, waiting for dead men's shoes, is a sad blow to efficiency, for it stifles initiative and offers no incentive.’
      • ‘Most of the professions are dead-men's shoes so new eager blood really can't hurt.’
      • ‘But I'm kind of trapped by a glass ceiling and the only way up is to fill dead men's shoes.’
      • ‘A central feature of the process was the emergence of systematic by selection rather than simple seniority, the original system that left officers waiting for dead men's shoes to fill.’
      • ‘Are you up for promotion or waiting for dead men's shoes?’
      • ‘The method for promotion is very much dead men's shoes.’
  • if the shoe fits, wear it

    • Used as a way of suggesting that someone should accept a generalized remark or criticism as applying to themselves.

      • ‘If the shoe fits, wear it, I guess.’
      • ‘"Yup, if the shoe fits, wear it, Granny O'Neill used to say and right now, that shoe fits pretty damn well."’
      • ‘It kills me to write things like that, but if the shoe fits, wear it.’
  • shoe leather

    • informal Used in reference to the wear on shoes through walking.

      ‘you can save on shoe leather by giving us your instructions over the telephone’
      • ‘However, I rarely wear out any shoe leather during my searches, because I do most of my hunting online.’
      • ‘Today, when the footstreets have been worn down with shoe leather for almost exactly 15 years, it is hard to recall how radical this proposal must have seemed.’
      • ‘And as you wear down your shoe leather, remember this too: our immediate task is to put the government on notice that it has reached its sell-by date.’
      • ‘That may have something to do with the amount shoe leather he's worn out on doorsteps around Northern Ireland.’
      • ‘In pure democratic fashion, members of the group will be wearing out shoe leather delivering information directly to Calgarians to gain support for ending fluoridation.’
      • ‘What would happen to my reporting if I wore out some shoe leather in the convention hallways or out on the streets?’
      • ‘You have to go out and wear some shoe leather out and go and look at them for yourself.’
      • ‘They made telephone calls, they wore out the shoe leather, they did it the old-fashioned way.’
      • ‘I always go with the team that's been hitting the pavement, working the asphalt, wearing out the shoe leather - the Street Smarts guys who know how to sell!’
      • ‘And a number of people broke out the shoe leather, walking over the Brooklyn Bridge.’
  • wait for the other shoe to drop

    • informal Be prepared for a further or consequential event or complication to occur.

      • ‘While Francois thinks he has the best of both worlds, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.’
      • ‘And it's getting on my nerves, because it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop.’
      • ‘But part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop.’
      • ‘Normally this would be good news, since the steel tariffs were bad policy, but I think I'll wait for the other shoe to drop before I breathe a sigh of relief.’
      • ‘‘With you…’ he looked away, unable to speak for a moment. ‘I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop’.’
      • ‘Before going into the bathroom, I waited for the other shoe to drop, my wake-up call.’
      • ‘Comfort in a relationship is key, and always waiting for the other shoe to drop is to be always looking over your shoulder.’
      • ‘Rather than thanking him for the compliment, I only nod, waiting for the other shoe to drop.’
      • ‘I think owners aren't doing much now because they are waiting for the other shoe to drop.’
      • ‘We worry, and although Michelle is doing well, we wait for the other shoe to drop.’


Old English scōh (noun), scōg(e)an (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schoen and German Schuh.