Sneakerhead: Anatomy Of A Shoe (Julia)

Basic Anatomy of the Shoe

  • Upper – As the name would suggest, this is the top part of the shoe with the laces, fancy designs and bright colors that holds the shoe together and secures the foot to the midsole. The upper provides stability and breathability to your shoes.
  • Midsole – The midsole is the padded area between the insole and the outsole that provides comfort, cushioning and shock absorption. The midsole also provides stability for your foot.
  • Outsole – Durable, outermost portion of the sole that comes into contact with the ground and is treaded for traction. The outsole comes in specific patterns for different sports needs.
  • Insole – Portion of the sole that fits inside the shoe to provide cushioning and arch support. There are a variety of insoles and you should choose one based on your individual needs and preferences.
  • Toe box – Tip of the shoe that provides needed wiggle room for the toes.
  • Last – The shape of the sole and the footprint that the shoe is built around. The last can be curved, semi-curved or straight.
  • Ankle collar – Area around the ankle that’s padded for fit and comfort.


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