When using compound adjectives and nouns like closed-toe, there are plenty of variations out there that leave things up for debate. However, is there a right or wrong answer, or are all of the variations correct?
Which Is Correct: “Closed-Toe,” “Closed-Toed,” Or “Close-Toed” Shoes?
All variations “closed-toe,” “closed-toed,” and “close-toed” are correct. Most of it is down to personal preference, but you can use whichever one you want. “Closed-toe” is a compound noun, while “closed-toed” is a compound adjective, but both are used to modify the noun “shoe.”
Using the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, we can see that “toed” is defined as “having a toe or toes especially of a specified kind or number.” When we include the word “closed” before it in the compound word, it means that the style of shoe is closed at the top, not exposing any toes when worn.
You can see from this graph that most people tend to use “closed-toe” as the compound noun to describe the noun “shoes” when written in a sentence.
However, it’s worth mentioning that “closed-toed” is still a fairly popular choice in the adjective form, with “close-toed” slightly further behind that. We included a few more for reference so you can see that there are other variations, though these are much less common.
What Is A Closed-Toe Shoe?
A closed-toe shoe is any shoe style that closes over the toes, not exposing them. The phrase has become somewhat obsolete over the years, similar to saying something like red apple, where it’s common for most apples to be red in color.
Looking at the picture, you can see that closed-toe shoes are simply a shoe style with the toes hidden. This is the most common style of shoe out there, so it’s easy to come by them.
The only shoes that you might know that aren’t closed-toe shoes include flip-flops, sandals, and certain types of high heels. Otherwise, most other shoe types are all closed-toe shoes.
Now let’s see the words in action. We’ll include as many as we can so you can see how all of them are correct and are used in the same manner. They’re all synonymous with each other; whether we use a compound noun or a compound adjective, we’re always using them to modify the noun “shoe.”
- I only wear closed-toed shoes when I go out.
- This establishment only welcomes people with close-toe shoes.
- You won’t go very far in the wild without closed-toe shoes!
- I love a good pair of close-toed shoes!
- We need to go shopping for some new closed-toed shoes because all of mine are open-toed!
- I always find a good time to wear close-toed shoes!
- There’s never a good time to wear close-toe shoes at a formal event. Everyone wants to see your toes!
As you can see, all of the variations that we’ve mentioned throughout this article are correct. It’s mostly down to personal preference.
As a side note, when you say “closed-toed” or “close-toe” aloud, there’s often not much difference in pronunciation. In fact, it’ll be very hard for people to decipher whether you included any “D”s or left them out. That’s why it’s so open as to what way you can say it, and nobody really minds what form you use.
For anyone interested, the opposite of close-toed shoes is open-toed shoes. However, there are no alternative spellings to that. “Opened-toed” shoes are incorrect and can’t be used. Maybe that’s why people like to stick to saying “close-toed” shoes to replicate the same “open-toed” idea.
When Should You Wear Closed-Toe Shoes?
Since closed-toed shoes are the most common style and choice of shoe, it’s appropriate to wear them wherever you go.
Sports trainers are closed-toed, meaning you can exercise with them. Work shoes are close-toed, meaning you can work in them. Slippers are close-toe shoes, meaning you can lounge in them.
No one ever expects people to wear open-toed shoes unless they want to. The only exception may be at the beach, where it’s expected that it’ll be hot, and people should wear either flip-flops, sandals, or no shoes to keep their feet from getting too hot.
However, if you’re more comfortable in closed-toed shoes, you’re always allowed to wear them no matter where you are.