Shoes in the Philippines are many a Filipina’s best friend. Shoes are one of the most fundamental aspects of fashion. Footwear has been around since the most primitive of eras. Not only are shoes a staple mark in expressions of fashion; they are also obviously vital for how you get around and go about your different activities. Throughout the centuries, footwear has evolved in many different directions, including gender specificities—both in style and function. Cultures across the globe have had their own distinct variations on women’s shoes, and some have certainly made their way to making significant imprints as to how the world as a whole constructs and designs general footwear. Ancient civilizations have been found to be the first in introducing what we know today as flip-flops. The oldest leather shoe known to the world was found within a cave in Armenia—the shoe was found to be stuffed with straw and formed with a piece of cowhide. History tells us that ancient Egyptians used sandals made with leaves and coiled grass; structurally similar to the standard flip-flop. For the longest time in ancient history, shoes were typically seen as something strictly optional. During the first Olympic games, people even competed barefoot. During the Renaissance period, heels were worn by both men and women and were utilized in a way that functioned for practical purposes: to keep one from stepping in the puddles and canals around Venice. Male soldiers even wore heels as to have a more stable stance while bowing. During the 17th and 18th centuries, heels became a symbol for European aristocracy. King Louis XIV was notorious for flaunting his legs and wearing heels in order to accentuate his physique. In this period, shoes became a mark of power, prestige, and authority. The French Revolution saw heels as decidedly out of vogue; heels leaned towards being perceived as more of a symbol of decadence as opposed to aristocracy. During this period, practical flats and booties were objectively becoming the norm. During the years of the Industrial Revolution, materials and production methods for shoemaking set the tide for the direction that shoes would move towards. Factories with machine stitching and synthetic materials allowed for the mass production of shoes. With the invention of vulcanized rubber, it is said that it was during these times that the first modern sneaker was invented. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, high heels became an accessory primarily for women. Suffragettes wore heels as an empowerment in femininity as they fought for civil rights. In the popular culture surrounding these decades, high heels became very much associated with the female stars and sex symbols of Hollywood. Roger Vivier invented the stiletto in the 1950s. While working for Christian Dior, Vivier invented the classic pump with a slender heel. This shape is still currently the staple figure and image generally associated with heels. In the 1970s and 1980s, sneakers rapidly made their way outside the courts and playing fields; high-fashion sneakers such as the 1973 Nike Cortez were first introduced and took the world markets by storm. From the 2010s and onwards, elaborate innovations seem to be reaching new heights by consistently developing at exponential rates. Contemporary women’s shoewear—such as the relatively recent invention of the armadillo heels—is currently becoming an unmistakable style to the public. Footwear has always been a significant piece of history and speaks of the time itself. Women’s shoes have always been one of the roots of a cultural blueprint. Ancient Chinese women have been known for the literal painstaking measures of their excruciatingly compact shoe toe caps. The future of women’s shoes in the Philippines and all around the world will continue to see many trends and variations; all with different touches of undeniable influence from the well-established classics. Style is something that is cultivated by individuals— a genuine expression and reaction to the times.
Women’s shoes in the Philippines and across the globe take shape in many different forms and sizes. Here is an overview that touches on the main types of women’s footwear for which the many styles revolve around:
Heels. Heels do not necessarily refer to every shoe with an apparent heel. Women’s heels are generally categorized as pumps—with a back and sides and open on the top.
Flats. These are basically shoes with no heels. Flats can either be round-toed or pointy. The most common type of flat shoe is the ballet slipper.
Sandals. Sandals in the Philippines are a type of women’s shoe that has variations in both casual and dressy open shoes. These are any type of shoes that expose the toes and/or the majority of the foot and are held together with buckles or straps. Sandals can range from completely casual footwear such as the flip-flop to formal dress types.
Evening Shoes. This category of shoes is simply more formal versions of heels or dressy sandals. They are worn with formal and gowns and or the bridesmaids’ dresses. Evening shoes are typically made with leather or satin; usually colored as black, white, or metallic. In some cases, these shoes have a small heel.
Boots. These shoes can either be categorized as flat, casual, or dressy with heels. Boots are commonly constructed of suede, leather, and sometimes rubber. Boot length ranges from ankle to knee levels, and can be worn under or over a pair of pants or jeans.
Sneakers. Primarily for sporting-type purposes, sneakers in the Philippines are one of the most casual types of women’s shoe. These are generally made of rubber soles and are lace-ups. With the many available choices of shoes in the Philippines, it is important for women to at least have the 10 essentials in their closest that cover the most general purposes for the Filipina on-the-go.
The four major groups of women’s shoes in the Philippines and all around the world (sandals, ankle boots, boots, and pumps) consist of countless stylish variations.
Ankle Heels. These are high-heeled shoes that are similar to ankle boots or pumps. Ankle heels generally hide the ankle but not the calf. What to match: Knee-length dresses, skirts, mid-thigh length down coats and jackets, shorter leather jackets, leggings, skinny jeans, miniskirts and mini dresses with tights.
Women’s Combat Boots. Heavy lace-up boots with round or square toe cap and a flat sole. What to match: Miniskirts, pants or jeans.
Chukka Boots. Ankle-high leather boots, leather or suede uppers, flat rubber soles, and open lacing. What to match: Casual pants or jeans, sweater or cardigan, loose-fit jacket, straight-cut coat, dresses or skirts.
Desert Boots. A specific variation of chukka boots, ankle-high suede boots with open lacing and flat soles. What to match: Vests, shirts, jackets, skinny jeans, pants, trench coat, leather jacket, baggy sweaters with large bags.
Chelsea Boots. Ankle-high boots that are close-fitted with rounded toe cap and elastic side panels. What to match: Shirt, T-shirt, sweater, cropped jeans, skinny jeans.
Hiking Boots. These are lace-up boots that are made of either nubuck or leather, thickened upper parts that support the ankles and a grooved flat sole. These boots typically have metal eyelets and a long tongue that covers the ankles. What to match: Thicker denim pants, solid colored or checkered shirt, hoodie, sweater, khaki pants, patterned shirt, light sweater, vintage jacket, sports pants, vest, short down coat.
Flip-Flops. These are basically open sandals with a flat sole, held with a Y-shaped strap. What to match: Summer dresses, shorts, long skirts, jeans, capri pants, skinny jeans, any skirts or dresses.
Buckle Strap Sandals. These are flat-soled, open-toed sandals that have either suede or leather upper with 2-3 adjustable buckle straps. What to match: Light chiffon dresses, denim shorts.
Birkenstock Sandals. These are sandals with orthopedic insoles and straps that commonly run with either of the soles sides. What to match: Bright pencil skirt, midi skirts, light summer dresses, cropped pants or jeans.
Sabots or Clogs. These are open-heeled thick-soled shoes with the toes and instep covered. What to match: Jeans, wide-cut pants, light tunics, long dresses, wide-leg pants, shorts, miniskirts, sailor-style clothing, white pants, striped shirts, light-colored skirts with thick fabrics.
Crocs. These sandals have round toe caps. They are covered with a runner upper and orthopedic insole and an adjustable heel strap that is optionally worn. What to match: Jeans, summer pants, miniskirts, shorts, summer dresses, pareos, swimwear, skirts.
Mules. Backless heeled shoes that usually have pointed toes. Commonly strapless and cover the instep. What to match: Any summer outfit or warm season outfit.
Booties. These are women’s shoes that cover the ankle and half of the calves. What to match: Jeans with an oversized sweatshirt, light circle skirt, mini dress and leather jacket, skinny black pants, denim shirt, light-colored sweater.
Cowboy Boots. Pointed-toed boots with a short boot shaft stopping at mid-level calf. What to match: Long or midi chiffon dress with floral prints.
Gladiator Sandals. An open shoe held together with straps and are usually close-heeled. What to match: Jeans, long dresses, skirts.
Riding Boots. Knee-length and low-heeled boots that tightly fit around the calf area. These are usually rounded in the toe area and a have a zipper by the shaft. Colors are typically either black or brown. What to match: Short and long down coats, fur coat, raincoat, poncho, skinny pants and a large leather bag.
UGG Boots. These are loose-fitted flat boots with an inside fleece and are made of sheepskin. What to match: Loose-cut coat, poncho, short fur coat, sports jacket, down coat, short sheepskin coat, thick fur coat.
Loafers. Round toed shoes with no buckles or laces. Sometimes feature tassel or metal decorations on the front. The more classic loafers are low-heeled. What to match: Skirts of any length, ankle-length pants, shorts, jeans, long knit cardigans, sweater dresses.
Flat Shoes. Close-heeled shoes with a cover on the instep. What to match: Skinny pants and jeans, pencil skirts, shorts, cropped pants, slightly-above-the-knee dresses or skirts, business suits, knee-length dresses.
Slip-On Shoes. Either low-heeled or flat shoes with the tongue usually extending to the toe cap. What to match: Bright-colored cropped skinny pants, shorts, miniskirts, cigarette pants paired with an oversized sweater, denim skirts.
Ballet Flats. Flat shoes with open instep and round toe cap. These shoes sometimes feature ribbon straps on the instep. What to match: Shorts and a T-shirt, jeans, dresses, skirts, summer dresses.
Espadrilles. Flat canvas shoes with a flexible sole. What to match: Cropped pants, overalls, tunics, shorts, summer dresses, long skirts and floppy hats, sailor outfits.
Women have always had a tightly-knit relationship with their shoes. It is sometimes said that your shoes can say a lot about you as a person. Clothes in relation to fashion and functionality are definitely one of the universal commodities that you, as an individual, can use to knowingly or unknowingly express yourself on whatever creative level you feel right. Fashion is all about attitude and confidence. You need to ensure that you make the best choices for yourself when you go shopping for clothes and shoes. Shoes in the Philippines are sold at almost every corner, Tutum Shop is an online platform that covers all ranges and varieties in clothing and women’s shoes in the Philippines. Here at Tutum Shop, we carry a vast range of products that are perfect for any occasion—everything from the most formal or flats to the sexiest of heels. You will always find yourself deep in the excellent selections that Tutum Shop has in store for the diverse demographics of our clientele. Aside from the spectacular products, we are also known for our top-of-the-line service and reasonable prices. Click here for more on the many amazing products that our team has to offer.