Nike, Illinois (Nigg, Benno M., Biomechanics of running shoes, 119).

Anatomy of a Shoe

Various parts of the running shoe help cushion, create friction, and stabilize the foot.

Vamp/Upper: This holds the foot in place and is breathable to keep the feet cool. The collar cushions the ankle and the tongue cushions against the pressure of the laces.

Insole Board/Midsole: This is important in the shoe as this part provides cushioning against the impact force from the ground. The insole board consists of three parts:

            EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate): Lightweight, foam-based cushioning.

            Dual-Density EVA: When you double the density of something it gets stronger, firmer and heavier (twice the mass in the same amount of space).  The dual-density EVA
            is called a "medial post".  'Medial' because it is on the inside of the shoe and 'post' because it has a beginning and an end. The length of the post determines the amount of

            Polyurethane (polyurethane): Very durable cushioning. More durable/stable than EVA and weighs more than EVA.

Outsole: Has tread for traction, flex grooves for flexibility and protects from dirt/rocks. The outsole is made of two materials:


            Carbon Rubber: The most durable (same material as tires).

            Blown Rubber: Lighter, more flexible and more cushioned, but not as durable.


Achilles Tendon Protector/Heel counter: This piece keeps the heel in line and provides stability.


Wedge: This adds height to the running shoe to absorb shock. Shoes with higher heels are less stable.


Last: This is what the entire shoe is built around. The three types of lasts are straight, semi-curved, and curved., 21 Apr. 2009.