The shoe is made up of various parts, each with a specific name and role. They are all important to the final composition. So let’s see all the parts that make up a shoe!
HOW SHOES HAVE CHANGED
Humanity began protecting its feet with various materials more than 50,000 years ago. It is logical to think that something has changed over time… right?
The first shoes were mainly pieces of leather wrapped around the foot and held together by laces. We can observe the first sandals between the Greeks and the Romans. Certainly in those days, fashion did not influence these garments. We have to wait a few years to notice the first changes:
- In 1300 the first shoes of different sizes and heels began to be seen.
- In the 1400s, shoes were typically pointed.
- In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they began to round and become wider in the part where the fingers rest.
The evolution of materials took hold in the following years: leather or cork soles, while the upper part was made of cotton or velvet. We also begin to see the first ornaments such as laces and bows.
Only in the nineteenth century, with the invention of the sewing machine, did the creation process become faster and cheaper. Thus, up to the present day, where they have gained an important place in fashion with different styles, colors, and materials.
HOW A SHOE IS MADE
If we talk about the anatomy of a shoe, this can vary according to the type we are considering. A lace-up shoe has many more components than a simple sneaker! Let’s see the main pieces that make up the most common shoes and their use.
The outside of the shoe is in contact with the ground. Like all other components, the sole can be made of various materials such as rubber, wood, or leather. The sole job is to provide stability, protection, and waterproofing. It is among the most important components of a shoe. The harder and more quality it is, the longer the pair of shoes will last.
Halfway between the sole and the foot. This part provides flexibility and cushioning. It is usually made of EVA or polyurethane, with various gel inserts or other technologies (often patented by various companies) to increase the feeling of comfort even more.
By the upper, we mean the upper part that wraps the whole foot. It is usually made of fabric, leather, or a combination of the two. Attaches to the midsole via stitching or glue. On modern sneakers, it is normal to find other elements that adorn the upper, both for an aesthetic question and as a reinforcement.
Mesh is another fabric often used for the upper: it offers excellent breathability and usually its design is designed to improve comfort. The role of the upper can be summarized in protection and stability.
The insole is not always present in shoes. It resides between the midsole and the foot and its job is to improve comfort. You can also purchase replacement insoles from various manufacturers, often in materials such as gel or memory foam.
The heel raises the back of the foot (at the heel). It is often made up of layers of plastic, rubber, or leather. It mainly serves to improve the angle of the foot making walking more practical.
The lining (or padding) is the inside of the shoe. It is often made of materials that improve breathability (for summer shoes) or that retain more heat (for winter shoes).
The tip is the part of the shoe where the toes reside. Depending on the type of shoe it can be composed of different materials (for example, safety shoes usually have a steel toecap ). It is mainly used to protect the toes and the back of the foot.
Knowing the various components of a shoe is helpful in choosing a pair of shoes. Lace-up shoes, usually more formal, can be quite expensive. But knowing the essential parts and their purpose, it will be easy to distinguish a quality shoe from a cheap one.
We hope you enjoyed this little guide to understanding the parts of a sneaker.
Feel free to leave a comment if you want to deepen some topic or if you have any questions in particular!
Hi, I am Brian, Lives in Mooresville, North Carolina, and Went to The University of Texas at Austin, I am a shoe lover & know the inside out of shoes. I am well aware of the qualities of top-quality boots. That’s what I’m sharing with the reader of About Shoes/book/footwear. Read More Here