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Anatomy of A Shoe

There’s a lot more to a shoe than some people think. Here’s an outline of the parts that make up a typical shoe:


The bottom of the shoe, usually made of carbon rubber or blown rubber.



The fabric or leather part of the shoe.



The midsole is between the upper and the outsole. Generally comprised of called ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA), or polyurethane. The cushioning and stability devices are within the midsole.


Cushioning Devices:

The majority of cushioning comes from the ethyl vinyl acetate EVA in the midsole.


Medial Post:

Stabilizes the midsole and helps control pronation. Medial posts are found in stability and motion control shoes.



A shank is used to stiffen the shoe under the arch. This makes the shoe more resistant flexion.
The shank helps the shoe bend at the toes instead of the arch.


Describes the shape of the shoe. Describes the manner in which the upper is attached to the midsole.


Last Shape:

Last can be curved, semi-curved, or straight. Curve lasted shoes tend to be lighter and less supportive. Straight-lasted shoes are heavier and provide more support.


Last Construction:

Refers to the manner in which the upper is attached to the midsole. The type of last influences the stiffness and flexibility of the shoe.


This is the area of the shoe where the laces are found.


The area where your toes are in the front of the shoe.

The counter of a shoe sits behind the heel of the foot, and is used to stiffen the back part of the shoe, and to give it structure.

The tongue of a shoe is a strip that sits on the top part of the foot. The shoe tongue is to protect the top of the foot, and to keep the laces from rubbing the foot.