IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic: Shoes

“Shoes” is a current topic in IELTS Speaking Part 1. Below are some typical questions for this topic and two model answers.

Here is a link to learn useful vocabulary for types of shoes: SHOES VOCAB LIST

There are useful links for IELTS speaking at the bottom of this page.

Questions for the Topic of SHOES

  • What kind of shoes do you usually wear?
  • Do you have a favourite pair of shoes?
  • How often do you buy shoes?
  • Where do you usually buy your shoes?
  • What do you look for in a pair of shoes?
  • Would you ever spend a lot of money on a pair of shoes?
  • Do you think the type of shoes someone wears reflects their character?
  • Do you think men and women have the same attitude towards shoes?
  • Are there any shoes in your country that shouldn’t be worn at work?
  • Do people usually wear different types of shoes in different seasons in your country?

Model Answers

  • Q) What kind of shoes do you usually wear?
  • A) I mostly wear flat shoes rather than high heeled shoes because I find them more comfortable. I also go for shoes that aren’t lace-ups so that I can slip them on and off whenever I need to.
  • Q) Do you think the type of shoes someone wears reflects their character?
  • A) Yes, I do. People say that first impressions are important and I think that goes for shoes too. If you see a person wearing a worn out pair of shoes, it gives you the impression that they that are sloppy. On the other hand, if you see someone wearing brand name shoes that cost a fortune, you know that the person has plenty of money to splash around and doesn’t care about costs. So, shoes can tell you a lot about someone’s character.

Useful Vocabulary

  • lace-ups = shoes with laces
  • to slip something on and off = to put them on and take them off easily
  • worn out = tatty, shabby, the worse for wear, tired
  • sloppy = not tidy, lazy, slovenly
  • cost a fortune = cost an arm and a leg, expensive
  • have money to splash around = have money to waste, to throw around


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  1. Hi Liz,
    I’ve gone through many of your videos in the past few days and they were of tremendous help.
    I have a question to ask.
    The type of cue cards we can get in speaking part 2 is far too many. If I get a cue card about which I don’t have any personal experience, for example, “something you bought seeing an advertisement”. If I haven’t bought anything that way, what am I supposed to say then? Should I memorize some sort of made up experience before the test since I don’t have any actual experience to share? I’ve once heard that if the examiner finds out I’m giving memorized answer he/she will ignore that reply of mine. What should I do?

    • Did you check the IELTS speaking marking criteria? You will see that only your language is marked – not your ideas or your answers or being on topic. This means you adapt the cue cards to suit yourself. “I would like to talk about an advert I like on TV. It hasn’t prompted me to buy anything but it’s an advert I enjoy, and I think it would influence a lot of people and result in many sales…”. Just be natural and answer like you are talking to a friend. I hope you remember that the speaking test is informal !! I hope this helps 🙂

  2. Hi Liz,

    I have my speaking test scheduled tomorrow. Is there any way I can improvise in my fluency in a day though I am aware that Rome was not built in a day?? Please help.

    • I often tell people to go into the exam with a different attitude. Some people are not good at chatting or they are shy. My advice is to take on a new persona – be an actor for 14 mins of your life. Imagine that your whole aim is to be chatty and friendly in every question. It doesn’t matter how the examiner responds. It doesn’t matter if the examiner interrupts your answers. Just take every question as it comes and chat away. Remember that the examiner isn’t interested in your ideas in IELTS speaking – only your language is marked. So, be chatty and showcase your English. Also try and add some past memories and future hopes into your answers so that you can boost your grammar score. Good luck !! 🙂

      • Thanx a lot mam..😊 this is very helpful for me.

      • Bhuvneshwari says

        You are too good Liz.. Your tips are always helpful.. I have gone through all the tips that I need for speaking and I am very excited about facing the real challenge. I am an introvert, but your tips really encouraged me. My speaking test is on 6th June 18. Hoping to have a great chat with examiner.. Thanx a lot. You are a darling and a real gem

        • Just keep in mind it is only 11 to 14 minutes of your life – so for just a few minutes forget your shyness, and be open and chatty 🙂 Enjoy the test 🙂

      • jass sandhu says

        thank u soooo much mam😊😊

  3. manpreet maan says

    Hi mam,
    Plzz give me August writing task 2 topics which are essential …..

  4. Fatemeh Roostaei says

    Hi Liz
    Thanks for your help; Your blog was so useful for me. I had IELTS exam last month 04.Mar.2017 in Iran. My speaking score was 6.5
    and the questions were as following:

    Part 1:
    1. Do you work or are you student?
    2. Music
    3. Shoes (which kind of shoes do you prefer? Why are shoes important? Did you buy shoes online? Why most people prefer to spend much money on buying shoes?)

    Part 2:
    Describe a situation which was so exciting for you and
    1.when it occurred?
    2. Why it was exciting for you
    3. what did you do?
    4. Did you talk about it to anyone?

    Part 3:
    It was about Risky situation
    1. Are you a risky person?
    2. Why some people are risky and some are not?
    3. why some people prefer to test risky situation?
    and some question like these.

    Some of my friends said they were asked about Robots and their roles in human life and Acoustic room in part 1.

    I need overall score 7, but I received 5.5 (Speaking: 6.5 Listening: 5.5 Reading: 5 Writing: 5) do you think can I get that band score during 2-3 months by self-study? On my last experience, I couldn’t cover and master all topics and skills. Please help me, Liz, especially in writing skill. What should I do???

    Many Thanks
    Fatemeh Roostaei

    • Thanks for sharing 🙂 Sure you can boost your score. The key will be to develop more accurate English, which means learn your mistakes and avoiding them. Also developing a deeper understand of IELTS and preparing topics. Please ask your friends to post their questions for their part 1 topic of Acoustic Rooms – this is a new topic and other students will benefit seeing the questions 🙂

  5. hlw liz
    M vaishali frm india
    Plzgive me some tips for reading

  6. Hi Liz,

    I can’t thank you enough for this blog. The Internet is cramped with IELTS websites but none of them is as helpful as yours. The information you give and the way in which you explain it are certainly priceless. Thank you!!

    I’ve just read this model answer about ‘shoes’ and I was wondering whether the repetition of the word ‘shoes’ wouldn’t lower my score. Wouldn’t it be better to say ‘trainers’, ‘sandals’ or ‘high heels’ instead?

    And what about ‘I think’? Would I get a higher score if I used ‘I reckon’ or ‘I consider’?

    Thanks once again, you are the best! 🙂

    • If you are explaining about shoes in general, then you will repeat the word “shoes”. If you are explaining about specific types of shoes then you need to demonstrate the range of vocabulary relating to shoes. I’ll post a page of vocabulary for this topic later this week!! Yes, it is good to use “I reckon” or “I guess” or “I suppose” in IELTS speaking but don’t use these expressions in IELTS writing.

  7. Dear Mrs. Elizabeth

    I would like to say thank a million that I have received the material of IELTS.
    I really hope that I will get better score because I want to continue studying in UK.

    Sincerely Yours

    Edi Purnama

  8. Sarvinoz Choriyeva says

    Dear Liz! Thank you for your beeing.

  9. Hi Liz,
    Hi Liz,
    I was wondering if you could help me out with this question about the reading section in IELTS.
    In T/F/NG exercises, will there always be an option of these three? That is to say, I’ll definitely find one sentence that is true, false or not given.

    I’d appreciate it if you could send me a soon reply

    • Yes, your answer will be one of those three options. There are always three options for these questions. It does not necessarily mean you will find a sentence for the NG option – if the information isn’t found in the passage, the answer is NG.

  10. Albina Hajdari says

    Hello, Liz. Firstly, I’d like to show how grateful I am to your effort and to this amazing website. It was really helpful for me. I took the IELTS Exam on 7th of January and I remember the main topics and instruction for the sections. I hope it will be helpful to the others.
    Speaking: Part 1;
    1.What is your name?
    2.Do you live in a house or apartment?
    3.How does your house look like?
    4.What do you see through your windows?
    5.What is your favorite color?
    6.Do you like the same colors now and when you were a child?
    7.What colors do you like you and your friends?
    8.What are some colors you wouldn’t decorate your room with?

    Part 2;
    CUE CARD: Explain or describe a website you use often. Why do you use it? How often do you use it? How you found it?

    Part 3;
    1.How much do you use the internet?
    2.When is the best age to start using internet?
    3.Some people think it is too early? Why?
    4.Do you think internet is used for same purposes by different age groups?
    5.Why some people do not prefer online shopping?
    6. How does the online shopping affect local shops?
    7.Which celebrity do you like in your country?
    8.Why do you like her/him?
    9.Do you think that everyone should have a celebrity book?
    10.Would you like to be a celebrity?
    11.Have you ever seen a celebrity?

    Writing: Task 1: Two pie charts and a table showing the data about online shopping in two countries (Australia and New Zealand), in 2012.
    Task 2: In some countries, school teach children a foreign language in primary school. Show your opinion and tell the advantages and disadvantages about this.

    P.s. Dear Liz, I’d like to ask you some questions about scoring, if you read this please can you tell me where to write the questions?

  11. Hi mam,
    I am from Pakistan.
    Today was my academic ielts test. Following are the questions in writing section:

    Task 1
    The following table shows number of mobile phones and personal computers in 6 different countries per 1000 people.
    Task 2
    These days more and more students going abroad for higher education. Does its benefits outweigh its problems?
    As infrared headphones are used so try not to move your head after tape started, because it will cause distortion.
    Though I attempt task 2 first but now I thought it would be better to go with task 1 first as you have to point out main features, which is easy to do with relaxed mind setup.
    Greed is curse, please keep this in mind even if many point are coming in your mind don’t get trapped and just follow the clock.
    Finally, whenever table comes try to make total first as it will help in comparison, but this is only possible when there is time left for this.

    Mam as I spend around 43 minutes on task 2 that’s why left with less than 20 minutes for task 1 in which I think I made a mistake while commenting about total of mobile phones and laptops. At one place I wrote mobile phones are owned by less people and at other wrote opposite to this. I made this mistake because first I assumed without calculating and then I calculate but then time went up😕 what do you say up to what extent this will cost me?


  12. Dear LIZ
    A question. Why we would use “THEY” in this impression:
    If yo see a person wearing a worn out pair of shoes, it gives you the impression that TEHY are sloppy person. Is it a right usage of THEY here for A PERSON?what about if we replace a person with someone for example?
    what would be right pronoun for anyone?
    Best regards

  13. thank you very much

  14. Amrit Gurung says

    Thank you so much.

  15. Thank you, for the ideas you are sharing Liz!😄 It’s really helpful.👍😃

  16. Moraima Cano Valdez says

    Thank you so much for your help. Is very beneficial to me. Next Saturday I will take my academic IELTS test.

  17. Hi Teacher Liz!

    Thank you for your very helpful website!

    My exams will be next week…please if you have time, kindly post some of the sample answers within this week….
    I will post some of the questions that I’ll remember later..

    Thank You and God bless!

  18. Phyllis Rovner says

    You have excellent material in your email. I could use it when I teach my students. However, I CANNOT copy and paste!!!! How am I supposed to use the excellent material in your emails without this ability.
    Phyllis Rovner

    • I usually type out handouts for my students. I will try and make some handouts for IELTS teachers later this year.

  19. Thanks mam for new vocabulary words .

  20. nahnud alam says

    ok thanks a lot , hoping that i will be get that trofic

  21. Thanks for your great posts.

  22. Abdulazeez Afolabi says

    Very grateful Liz for this post. I could remember in my first IELTS exam, one of the question the examiner asked about shoes was ” How often do buy shoes?”

  23. Hello Liz. Please answer me. Do you give ielts sessions online? How much does it cost ?
    Thanks a lot

  24. Mohammad Imran says


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