Signs for SHOES

This word entry contains: ASL signs for 'shoes', Deaf art, baby signing the word, and Deaf shoemakers.

ASL signs for 'shoe'

How to sign "shoe" in American Sign Language:

Meaning: A covering for the foot, typically made of leather, with a sturdy sole and not reaching above the ankle.

This sign generally refers to a pair of shoes. If talking about a singular noun (e.g. a shoe), sign "ONE" + that sign above.


Parts of the shoes: SHOESTRING, SOLE (shoes).

Baby signing "shoe"

This time-lapse video shows how the ASL-speaking bilingual baby acquires the word "shoe".

During the one-word stage, baby Juli picked up the word "shoe" with the "flat O" handshape, what looks like "more", but it's not "more". Then, the handshape evolved into the correct handshape at age 1;6. Although, the correct palm orientation evolved later at 1;9.

Each child, whether spoken or signed, develops at different pace. The video gives a general idea about how production develops, just like how hearing toddlers acquires spoken language.

Deaf Art/History

"One Shoe Off" (1807) painting by Deaf artist John Brewster, Jr.

One Show Off
"One Shoe Off" (1807) by John Brewster. Source:

John Brewster, Jr. (1766-1854) is a Deaf American artist, especially a portrait painter.

Deaf Shoemakers

Deaf Belgian shoemaker Tim Van Goethem is the 9th generation of shoemakers. He makes clogs.

Another Deaf shoemaker is Edward Pasek (1942-2016) in Wroclaw, Poland. In circa 1985, he as a shoemaker and his son (coda) as a manager started their own small family business.

And probably more out there in the world and in the past history.

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