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Anatomy of a Running Shoe

Anatomy of a Running Shoe

Everyone’s feet are formed differently so there is not one shoe that feels the same for every single runner. Running starts with a good foundation but where do we find that foundation?

 

It’s obviously at the ground level where the rubber meets the road. In general, we can say that your shoes— the pieces of leather and rubber that separate your feet from the hard concrete of the road. The purpose of this article is to make you understand the basic features of a shoe and to understand what qualities to look for in a shoe before you purchase a pair, what kind of shoes will fit your feet and the indicators to look for when before replacing them.
Some people may be browsing many blogs to find the perfect anatomy of shoes, or some of you may be running to stores to understand but here we have tried to explain you in comprehensible way so that you may be able to make informed decisions on which shoes you wish to purchase.


Check out the ins and outs of all parts of your running shoe 

Every shoe has different structure. Some are flat-footed, and some have high arches or possibly contain bunions or other bone deformities that may affect the fit of a shoe. The method to know which one is right for you is quite simple. 

 

Most shoes today are cushioned with gel or foam that are designed within the midsole. 

 

The cushioning extends the life of the midsole while simultaneously adding increased stability and shock absorption. Some of the components of shoes are not visible from the outside, while others may just sound complicated, like Space Trusstic. So here is a comprehensive running-shoe anatomy, to inform you about what exactly makes a great running shoe.


Components of the Running Shoe

The Upper

Collar and Heel Counter

The Midsole

Medial Post

The Outsole


THE UPPER

The upper of the running shoe is usually made of a combination of lightweight nylon, a synthetic which is light, washable and breathable or natural leather to reduce the total weight of the shoe.
TONGUE 

The tongue is a separate strip that fits over the top of the foot to protect the blood vessels and tendons from pressure exerted by the laces. 
THROAT 

Ensure you get a shoe with a wide enough throat for your foot. The opening of a shoe next to the toe cap. The throat is at the eye-stay where the vamp and quarter panels are one piece.
TOE TIP/CAP

Toe cap comes in various forms. It is made of thin rubber strip from the outsole with a stitch to hold it on to the upper. In the market, you can find solid toe cap such as steel toe caps, decorative stitch over toe caps which add extra protection & strength to the upper front of the shoe.
TOE-BOX

This is the area for the toes of the foot which is the space around the toes. Wider the area of the toe box, the more it will be comfortable for your toe. 
MIDSOLE

The cushioning material that is sandwiched between the upper and the outer sole. The midsole is the most crucial part of the running shoe as it determines whether the running shoe will be a shoe which is good at providing cushioning that is suitable for heavy runners or not. The sole is surrounded by air cells or gel cells for shock-absorbing quality. The two types of midsole are:

EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) The lightweight EVA will compress and lose its ability to absorb shock and is very cushiony.

PU (polyurethane )- It is usually firmer and more durable in comparison with EVA. 

Heel 

The heel is the part of the sole ankle that usually notches the rear of the shoe in relation to the front. The heel helps in reducing stress on the Achilles tendon.

Insole

Also known as sock liner –A layer of material that sits inside the shoe that creates a layer between the sole and the wearer’s foot on which the foot rests upon the insole of the shoe. The cushions based adds comfort for the wearer and is an arch support that should be removable.
Outsole

The exposed part that touches the ground and is made of durable carbon rubber or polyurethane. Outsoles are made from a variety of materials which includes the carbon rubber that has better traction. The outsole is characterized by strong grip, durability, and water resistance.

Running shoes should be designed to facilitate your feet and optimizing your field performance. At Tracer, we summarize our products in 5 basic set of protocols:

#1 Light: Lightweight shoes will help you run faster or walk smoothly. It will improve running efficiency with approximately 2-3% per 100 g reduction in shoe weight.  

#2 Flexible: The shoe flexibility should depict the foot flexibility in order to facilitate a natural running. Your biological structures will improve with a flexible forefoot shoe design.

#3 Flat : Low Heel to Toe Drop facilitates correct foot landing at the ball of the foot. In addition to this, you become more naturally balanced with gravity without adjusting body position. You have to keep in mind that the arch area of the shoe should not be pushed up too much as it prevents the arch’s natural cushioning and spring function. 

#4 Thin : Thin midsole improves sensory feedback from feet to brain. Each and every time you take a step, the foot automatically senses information from the ground. With this information, your brain responds accordingly. Midsoles that are too thick can make the sensory feedback distorted which would be like putting gloves on the hands when typing on a keyboard.

#5
 Comfortable Anatomic fit : A relatively roomy toe box is considered so the toes are not pinched together. A tight toe box will deform the foot over time and lead to problems. 


When you think of buying a perfect shoe, there are surplus options with different technologies, materials, and structures. If you want to learn more about your feet structure and the optimal option of running shoe for your feet’s health, you can get in touch with Tracer through our Contact Us form.