Anatomy of a Running Shoe

The running shoe has evolved over the years, and different modifications have been implemented to enhance the specified purpose of the shoe. Shoes meant for speed are made differently than shoes meant for long distances. It is important to choose the right fit for your exact needs

Long-distance runners have certain requirements since those hours-long runs tend to take their toll. Plantar fascitis is a common injury among long-distance runners. It’s an inflammation or irritation that runs from the heel to the toes and can be caused by running with the wrong type of shoe. Long-distance runners require loads of cushion in the midsoles to heighten shock absorption when planting each step, and a tapered heel helps provide more support. It is also important to have a breathable shoe to prevent any excessive sweating.

Sprinters have different needs of their shoes. A flexible lasting is essential to give the runner a full range of motion when in stride. A lightweight but durable shoe tends to give better results for speed and short distance. Shoes meant for speed tend to have a snug fit, low heel height, and low weight. This allows the runner to obtain the needed minimal, lightweight feel of the shoe, but with a bit more protection, comfort, and cushioning.

With the right research and proper fitting, finding the perfect shoes for your running style should be a breeze.

7 Main Parts of the Running Shoe

The Upper
The upper is the top layer of the shoes that surrounds the foot and connects to the midsole. It protects the foot from any outside objects

The Tongue
The tongue is a separate strip on the upper. It makes it easier to put your shoes on and take them off. It also prevents the laces from rubbing against the instep of your foot.

Heel Counter
The plastic structure of the shoe that holds the heel in place is known to be one of the heaviest parts of the shoe.

Shoe Last
The shoe last is the structure and mold of the shoe. The upper is placed over this section

The Toe Box
When trying on new shoes, we normally press down on the toe box to indicate if it’s the right size. If the toe box isn’t the right size, discomfort can arise.

The Midsole
This is a layer of foam or rubber that provides comfort and support. It is the thickest part of the shoe and absorbs most of the shock from each step.

The Outsole
The rubber layer on the bottom of the shoe provides traction and durability. This part of the shoe typically shows the most wear and tear.


Written by: Dominic Ligon

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