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The shoes has a sole with a lot of gaps unlike most shoes that have a sole that's filled. What the adjective for saying there's no gap or empty space, and what's the adjective for saying the exact opposite?

For example:

The sole of my shoe was ___.

4 Answers 4


Although it's general, because it applies to more than just soles of shoes, I would use the word hollow:

2 : having an unfilled or hollowed-out space
// within a hollow tree

In other words:

The sole of my shoe was hollow.

  • 3
    A hollow sole would imply that there isn't a center layer of the shoe to most people, not that the sole has treads.
    – pboss3010
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 16:00
  • 1
    I agree with pboss3010, a hollow sole implies there isn't a filling inside the sole.
    – Ron Jensen
    Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 5:32

I would use "tread."

The soles of my shoes had deep treads molded into them.

Edit: and I would use the word "smooth" for not-filled.

  • 1
    Not sure why it was downvoted.
    – Sayaman
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 0:03
  • 1
    I like this answer. As an adjective, one could use treaded (or deeply-treaded, if need be).
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 11:11

Within the footwear industry itself, this is called a lug tread. One of the definitions of lug is "a ridge (as on the bottom of a shoe) to increase traction."

However, while you will find the phrase "lug tread" used in customer-facing advertisements (for example, here is an ad for a "Women's genuine leather lace-up boot with a lug tread rubber sole"), I would not say that it's commonly used in everyday speech. More frequently you'd hear people saying that a shoe has a deep tread or a deep-cut tread.

  • This is a much better answer than the currently-accepted answer.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 11:43

An appropriate word could be “reticulated”.

reticulate (verb) divide or mark (something) in such a way as to resemble a net or network: the numerous canals and branches of the river reticulate the plain. (Oxford)

  • Cool word, but, when applied to footwear, reituclated typically refers to the breathable fabric of the shoe material, not to the pattern on the sole. (See the reticulated Nike Zoom, e.g.)
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 11:18

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