Ever been surrounded by Sneaker Heads and been left clueless by the language of the shoe? Rather than getting your aglets in a twist, check out our handy guide to the anatomy of the sneaker and put yourself on a level with those experienced hype-beasts! (Your aglets are those little plastic or metal bits on the ends of your laces by the way!)
Sneakers are designed in a crazy amount of shapes and sizes, let’s face it, if they were all the same where would the love or hate conversations stem from? When it really boils down to the nitty gritty, nearly all trainers feature the basic parts required to produce an awesome shoe. Here’s our anatomical guide to some of the major parts you might find;
- TOE BOX – On leather sneakers this area is usually perforated and on running shoes you may find nylon. Its usually a well ventilated area to minimise heat build-up.
- MIDSOLE- The section between the upper and the outsole. This is where you’ll find a vast amount of the shoes technology.
- FOREFOOT- This is the section towards the front of the shoe which sits just below the ball of the foot. You’ll usually find some flexible grooves here to assist with ease of movement.
- OUTSOLE- Hard wearing rubber is generally used here. Different brands have different ways of delivering the outsole but most will use differing outsoles dependant on the shoes designed usage. An example of this would be the circular pattern found around the ball of the foot on a Basketball shoe – the pivot point.
- HEEL- Found at the rear of the shoe. Shoe designers concentrate greatly on cushioning this area for maximum comfort.
- EYELETS- Used often for speed lacing or t provide added stability
7. INNERSOLE- Sometimes known as the sockliner, the innersole is there to provide extra cushioning and comfort. Quite often the innersole will include a heel cup and an arch support for stability purposes.
8. TONGUE- On more modern designs, known as the inner sleeve and its there to add support and provide the foot with that custom fit.
9. SHOELACES- There to hold the shoe in place and help us again to gain that custom fit.
10. HEEL PATCH- Prime spot for branding! Whilst it adds support to the makeup of the shoe, it’s an ideal spot to place the jumpman, the swoosh or the trefoil and let the whole world know which brand you’ve chosen.
11. ANKLE COLLAR- The ankle collar is reinforced or padded for comfort and support. This is particularly true in hi-top Basketball shoes.
So there you have it, there’s a whole lot more to the makeup of a shoe but this should be enough to keep you involved in the conversations in the local sneaker outlets!