Perhaps you’ve heard of many native English speakers using expressions about shoes that you’ve never heard of before.
Did you understand what they meant?
If not, don’t feel bad.
Below are 19 of the most common idioms to do with shoes.
From “A goody two-shoes” to “Down at the heels”, we explain what each idiom means and give you an example of it as well, so you can start incorporating these expressions into your daily conversations.
Ready to learn some new expressions about shoes?
19 Shoe Idioms To Use Everyday
As comfortable as an old shoe:
- Meaning: Referring to something that you are very comfortable or familiar with.
- Use in a sentence: Moving back to Boston was as comfortable as an old shoe.
- Meaning: Someone that appears as if they can never do wrong, always trying to impress the one in authority.
- Synonyms: prude, straight-laced, goody-goody
- Use in a sentence: She has never missed a class. She is such a goody-two-shoes.
To be in another person’s shoes
- Meaning: To not judge someone based on their situation or circumstances.
- Use in a sentence: It’s hard to understand unless your in the other person’s shoes.
To put yourself in someone else’s shoes
- Meaning: To pretend to be in the same position or predicament as another person in order to understand what they are going through or dealing with.
- Use in a sentence: Johnny needed to put himself in Kirk’s shoes to fully comprehend how he felt.
To be shaking in one’s shoes
- Meaning: To be very afraid, fearful.
- Synonyms: quiver with fear, shudder with fear, jittery, panicky frightened,
- Use in a sentence: Katy was shaking in her own shoes she was so scared!
Dead men’s shoes
- Meaning: Waiting for a colleague in a higher position to retire or die, as a way to move up the corporate ladder.
- Use in a sentence: Stepping into dead men’s shoes seems like the only hope I have for getting a promotion.
To fill one’s shoes
- Meaning: to replace someone in their role.
- Synonyms: occupy, takeover
- Use in a sentence: “It will be hard to fill your shoes once you go on maternity leave”.
To fill someone else’s shoes
- Meaning: to take over someone position, responsibilities or duties.
- Use in a sentence: How can you fill Jack’s shoes? He is the star of this company!
Common as an old shoe
- Meaning: A person who lacks manners, low-class.
- Synonyms: “Common as dirt” , impolite, bad-mannered
- Use in a sentence: The little boy was as common as an old shoe. He must have burped at the dinner table 6 times!
If the shoe fits
- Meaning: if something applies to you personally, don’t fight it, but accept it.
- Use in a sentence: At first, I didn’t like the idea of going to medical school, but hey, if the shoe fits!
Quake in one’s boots
- Meaning: To quiver in fear, many times used in a sarcastic sense
- Use in a sentence: Riley stop quaking in your boots, the roller coaster isn’t that scary!
The shoe is on the other foot
- Meaning: When two people reverse or switch roles.
- Use in a sentence: Now that the shoe was on the other foot, Karen was much more compassionate to Linda’s situation.
Be waiting for the other shoe to drop
- Meaning: Be waiting for (what seems like) the next inevitable bad thing to happen.
- Use in a sentence: We lost our home to the hurricane, so we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Drop the other shoe
- Meaning: To complete the final or second half of a task.
- Use in a sentence: Don’t worry about it. Cove already dropped the other shoe.
Pea in the shoe
- Meaning: an annoyance, irritation
- Use in a sentence: I try to be nice, but I find tardiness to be such a pea in the shoe.
Shoe the goose
- Meaning: to perform a meaningless task, pointless
- Use in a sentence: You can water that cactus every day if you want, it will still not come back to life. You’re just shoeing the goose.
- Meaning: An allotment so small, it can barely care for the necessities.
- Use in a sentence: The school board gave me a shoestring budget for Friday’s field trip, so we are going to have to get creative when it comes to lunches for the students.
Where the shoe pinches
- Meaning: Where stress or anxiety originates
- Use in a sentence: To be honest, it sounds like your home life is where the shoe pinches.
Down at the heels
- Meaning: Shabby looking, showing signs of deterioration, not cared for.
- Use in a sentence: Unfortunately, you could tell he lost his job as he looked down at the heels.
So in just a matter of minutes, you have become familiar with 19 idioms to do with shoes.
Perhaps you’ve heard none of them, some of them, or all of them before.
Either way, they are a great tool to use in everyday conversation, as they not only will help you expand your vocabulary but sound like a native English speaker too!
As I mentioned above, these are 19 of the most common idioms about shoes. Have another one to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!