Are Shoes Considered Apparel?

While reading a blog post about shoes, very often you might’ve come across the point where you question yourself, what exactly are shoes considered? Are shoes apparel or are they an accessory? While the fight goes on, many believe that they cannot be considered apparel as they just prove extra to the clothing. But at the same time, some believe that they can be counted in apparel because they are an attire to wear.

Shoes are to protect your feet and wearing them also complements your look for the day. Some shoes are stylish while some are more comfortable than stylish. Alongside many other necessary functions of shoes, one is to signify one’s look. And they do this function by acting both as apparel or an accessory.

are shoes considered apparel

Apparel is the attires that add to fashion and so are shoes. Similarly, the accessory is an item that adds to the beauty of clothing. So do the shoes. This proves why shoes can be added in any category as they resemble both. Although this question does not matter, still the quest is expected and to some extent, correct.

Along with many supporting reasons, that explain if and why shoes can be categorized in the apparel or the Accessory category, the following article will give you a guideline that’ll help solve this query.

What Is Apparel?

Before getting into explaining how shoes categorize into apparel, we must know exactly what apparel is. Apparel is any clothing or outerwear. It is attire or something that covers a certain part of one’s body. Clothes, shoes, sometimes even jewelry can be considered in apparel. Many companies design apparel nowadays and provide warmth, protection, and comfort to the feet as well as style to the customers.

Shoes, And Apparel?

Well in this perspective of explaining apparel as a part of clothing or something that covers, shoes are considered to be apparel. Flowing are the reasons that support this consideration:

  • Cover the feet
  • Protection
  • Something to wear
  • Both add to the fashion

Shoes Cover The feet:

Shoes can be called apparel because they perform the similar function of covering the parts of feet like toes, heels sometimes ankle too. It all depends on the various types available in the market, shoes that provide full covering are sportswear.

This factor of covering the feet highlights the “anything that covers” part of the definition of apparel. Hence, shoes can be considered apparel.


Another function of apparel along with covering up is protecting that particular body part. For example, when you wear a piece of clothing, it protects the body from external exposure and insects. Similarly, wearing shoes can protect your feet from the dirt that the ground possesses, also it saves from getting the hurt dye to stones and other pollutants on the soil.

This all proves to be another factor that contributes to giving reasoning as to why shoes are considered apparel.

Something to Wear:

In defining apparel, we sometimes switch to it as a wearable thing. Similarly, shoes are footwear, this supports the reason to consider shoes as apparel and helps in answering the argument.

Both Add To Fashion:

In reasoning, apparel adds to fashion. Apparel might be an attire that acts as an accessory and further supplement the outfit. The same does the shoe and adds to the look. Hence, this factor is the same for both shoes and apparel that they add to fashion. By this, we can consider shoes as apparel

Above mentioned reasons are enough to prove that shoes can be a part of the apparels category.

Why Shoes Are Not Considered As Apparel? The Other Side Of The Controversy:

At the same time, where shoes make their place in the apparel, some people do not agree. The controversy lies in the fact that fashion accessories are of two types.

In the first category, bags and eyewear make their place. And in the second one, along with coats, jewelry, shoes make their place. Alongside with this certain information, it must be considered that not all coverings can be declared as clothing. Clothing is a textile or fabric that is worn on the body. While shoes can be made of materials that vary. Hence shoes can’t be added to the attire section only.

Some Shoes Do Not Cover Properly:

Moreover, apparel provides coverings, while some shoes like styled heels do not do this job efficiently. Providing another reason to put shoes in the accessory category.

are shoes considered apparel

Accessories Vs Apparel:

The words and the definitions might show minimalistic differences. But in reality, both show a great fight of words when it comes to categorizing the shoes.

  • Accessories are an extra while apparel is the base.
  • Accessories provide an effect to the apparel.
  • Accessories are an option but Given in this regard, apparel is a must.

But the highlighting factor is that both accessories or apparel add to fashion. Hence, no matter what category shoes make their place in, they add to fashion. In addition to these factors, they also provide protection and warmth to the feet as well.


In concluding this quest, one thing shall be kept in consideration that no matter what category shoes belong to, either apparel or an accessory, shoes are a must-wear. This highlights their importance. While choosing the shoe pair, a lot of things should be considered mainly comfort.

If you have the right pair, this question of whether shoes are apparel or not, does not matter. Alongside, they do the same job as an accessory or as a part of the apparel class, they provide protection, covering, and warmth. But their accessory use becomes more prominent when they are more delicate, like heels.

This above-mentioned information was a try to help you understand the reasons to put shoes in any of the two categories, but the major answer to the question, “are shoes considered apparel?” is yes. Shoes are apparel. But they can be considered otherwise. After reading this analysis, what category do you put shoes in?

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