4 Different Types of Shoe Closures

4 Different Types of Shoe Closures

Jun 14 , 2021


Tags - Different Types of Shoe Closures

Shoes come with a fascinating history.

Not only in their construction and design, but the methods used to keep them on their feet have evolved; especially as new inventions and technologies come to light.

Today, the footwear industry is booming with alternatives to traditional shoelaces, which all come with their own set of advantages.

Most importantly, shoe closures are designed to keep your shoes, regardless of the type of closure and need to be properly fitted without causing damage to the feet.

Throughout history, shoes and their closures have evolved to keep up to date with fashion trends as well as suitably designed for different weather conditions.

Here are 4 different types of shoe closures.

1. Laces

Arguably, when we think of “doing up” our shoes, we think laces.

For good reason too: archaeologists found a shoe with a leather cord lacing system dating back to 3500 BC.

So maybe the cavemen we’re smarter than we think!

Basically, we tie and untie them every single day without giving them much thought, but there are so many different types of laces available now.

For example, we usually see rawhide laces on moccasins or boat shoes because of its durability.

Growing up, the laces on your favourite trainers were probably polyester but now, most manufacturers have upgraded to 100% cotton, which are very easy to clean.

Since then, laces have gone through many trends - we talk more about this here.

2. Buckles

We put laces first as they’re the most common but by no means were they the first type of fastening.

During the 17th Century, buckles as a shoe closure first appeared and were initially used by Roman soldiers as a way to fasten armour - as well as decorative purposes too.

Typically, buckles were made from brass, steel or silver and decorated with stones and special craftsmanship.

Over the years, buckles have come in and out of fashion; we can still see buckles on shoes, however they’re usually used with a strip of leather; e.g. women’s shoes with ankle straps.

3. Buttons 

As an alternative to buckles and laces, in the Victorian era buttons were the fashion statement women longed for.

the Reason being, buttons allowed the ankles to be strategically concealed, as during this time it was indecent to show them.

However, they were also applied to men’s shoes but by the end of the 19th century, button fastenings reached its peak of popularity.


During this time, button shoes were made from a combination of leather and fabric, and sometimes, the buttons were even made from precious materials like white pearls, which was considered “high fashion”.

Conveniently, the fastening was done up using a buttonhook, which was made out of metal or ivory, which was found to be much more practical than normal buttons. 

4. Hook and Loop Fastener 

Up until the 1950’s, laces, buckles and buttons were the only three alternatives.

Inspired by the red burdock flowers, George de Mestral invented the hook and loop fastener.

Simply speaking, this is a strip of fabric with a small hook that connects to another strip covered with small loops.

Today, this closure remains a popular way of fastening kid’s shoes because of its simplicity.

But it can be found in adult’s shoes too, such as work footwear designed for people with motorial difficulties or disabilities.

The Final Say

All in all, as technology advances, so does the way we tie our shoes.

Of course there are other types of fastenings out there; these are the 4 that still predominate shoe closures today.

In the meantime, check our ranges of 

If you have any questions contact us today.

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