Whether you are a factory worker, an agriculturist, or merely a style enthusiast, there’s no way you can ever be able to deal without shoes. Thankfully, there are different types of shoes in the market today for various purposes. Therefore, whatever your need or style, you are sure to find the right pair of shoes for it. The problem for most people, however, is not understanding what the shoe is made up of.
Shoes can be pretty pricey in some cases, and when it is, you would need proper maintenance for it to last as much as it should. Maintaining a shoe requires that you do the right thing to every part of it. You would not be able to maintain each part except you know what they are. Hence, the need to understand the anatomy of a shoe. To help, we’ve researched and detailed the meaning of the different parts of a shoe in this article.
1. The Upper
As this name signifies, this is the upper part of the shoe. It is the part that encases your foot and holds it in place while you are wearing the shoe. It serves as a covering to all the upper part of the shoe. Different materials are mainly used for this part, and it mostly depends on the choice of the manufacturer and the type of market the manufacturer intends to cover with the shoe. The most common types of materials used for the manufacture of shoes are leather and rubber. Leather tops are renowned for their excellent breathability feature, while rubber uppers are mostly durable. The materials serve as protection for your feet.
This upper is a pretty complex part that can further be broken down into several different parts. The parts of the upper include:
This is a section of the upper that’s designed for the purpose of covering the shoe. It extends from the toe area to the area where the laces are located. The vamp is easily visible, so it’ll not be difficult for you to locate it on your shoe, irrespective of whether it is a waterproof work boot or a pair of bowling shoes. Bear in mind, however, that you need to watch out for the ability of this part to withstand wear and tear, considering its direct exposure to hazards and the fact that it is the part where the shoe flexes.
1.2 Toe Cap/Toe Box
From the name, you would probably be able to guess what part of the upper this is. This is the protective part of any shoe that’s designed to enclose your toe at the front. Depending on what the design of the shoe is for, you’ll find that they are sometimes stitched over to serve as an extra layer to the upper. Other times, they are simply the additional decoration on the shoe.
The second most important part of the shoe upper is the Quarter. This refers to the sides and rear of the upper. The basic function of this part is to cover the heel behind the vamp. Most manufacturers prefer to use a stiffener for strengthening the heel section of the Quarter. You’ll also find that a continuous piece of leather runs from the vamp to the Quarter in some shoe designs. Although most shoe buyers tend to overlook this part, it is still an important part that often determines the level of durability that the shoe can offer.
Away from the upper, let’s take you through some other parts of a shoe. Bear in mind that the anatomy of a shoe may differ from one type of shoe to the other. However, in this article, we will cover as many generic parts as possible.
This is the entire part of the shoe sitting below the foot of the wearer. It is the direct opposite of the sole in terms of positioning. The sole combines with the upper to make up the entire shoe. This part of the shoe typically features several layers, including:
As the name signifies, this part of the sole is located at the inner part of the shoe. The insole sits directly under the feet of the water. Its most significant purpose is to serve as a comfortable layer to the feet. Hence, most manufacturers would construct this part to come with a wide range of comfort features.
Not all shoes feature the midsole. However, heavy-duty footwear, like shoes for walking on concrete, features a midsole that serves as a layer between the insole and the outsole. This part often features a technology that reduces shock level before it gets to the in-sole of the shoe and subsequently to your feet.
From the name outsole, you probably can already guess that it is the outer part of the shoe sole. It is the part that’s exposed to ground; hence, doing some really big work. This part of the sole is the most exposed to wear and stress. It is due to this exposure that most manufacturers use very durable materials for designing the outsole. When purchasing a shoe, it is also essential to check and be sure that this part of the shoe provides enough friction with the floor to help prevent you from slipping.
The heel is another important part of the shoe that’s located in the sole area. Because of its location, the heel serves to raise the rear of the shoe, in relation to its front. There’s a heel seat located at the top of the heel that touches the upper. You’ll find that the heel seat is located at the top of the heel where it touches the upper. On the other hand, the top piece is the part of the heel that directly touches the ground when worn. The components of the heel include:
The counter is a thick piece of material that’s located at the heel of a shoe. This part is typically positioned between the upper and the lining. Its primary duty is to help maintain the shape of the shoe. In addition to maintaining the shape of the shoe, the counter also serves as an additional strength to the rear of the shoe.
This is the forward-facing part of the heel. You would usually find the breast under the arch of the sole. The breast helps for determining the room space that your front feet get in the shoe. It is important to ensure that this part is as comfortable as possible.
Most shoe manufacturers include a lining in the inside part of the shoe. These linings are specially fit in to improve the comfort of the wearer’s feet. The linings also play a vital role in improving the lifespan of the shoe.
The throat is a part of the shoe that covers the instep. This part is usually located at the front of the vamp and at the top of the toe Cap.
If you look carefully at your shoe, you’ll usually see a loose piece of material sitting on the instep of the shoe, especially in lace-up shoes. It’s the top part of the vamp and usually sits underneath the quarters.
This is a simple one, and you probably already know what it is. They are strings used for closing the eyelets and holding the shoe tightly on the feet. They come in pairs and are usually not too significant in terms of look, especially for shoes that are not designed for style.
There you have it, a detailed look into the anatomy of a shoe. Note that different shoes may have their different unique parts, but the ones explained in this article are those you’ll likely see in any shoe irrespective of type. We’ve provided enough information about each to ensure that you understand what each of them is and how they affect the use of your shoe. That said, we hope that the information provided in the article helps you understand and use your shoes more properly. Now that you understand the anatomy of a shoe, you are probably ready to get your first shoe. check out our numerous shoe guides to find out the best for your needs.