There is just something about the word shoe that makes us instantly imagine stylish footwear that looks just amazing on our feet. Be it a boot or a regular shoe, a heeled shoe or pointy toed; shoes come in so many different types it’s incredible!
Not surprisingly it has become imperative to understand the anatomy of a shoe for both manufacturers and designers but also for the people who love buying all sorts of them.
We aim to explain to you the complex intricacies that set apart one part of a shoe from another and after going through this article, rest assured, you WILL become a master on shoe anatomy!
The Basic Skeleton
The basic skeleton of the shoe comprises of the parts that make the shape of the structure. These include:
- Toe Cap
The heel is the part of the shoe that provides an elevation to the back half of the foot. The heel piece itself is made up of two parts: The heel seat is the upper part which is shaped exactly like the shoe, and the top piece is the lower part which comes in contact with the ground.
It is a layer of soft material that provides comfort to the wearer. It separates the upper part of the shoe from the rougher outsole underneath to form the sole of the shoe. A small piece of metal called a shank is inserted between the sole and insole.
The outsole is the lowermost part of the shoe. It is created from a tough but elastic material, often rubber, and makes up the shoe foundation. It serves to carry the weight of the wearer while being able to withstand wear and tear caused by friction from the floor below.
The toe cap is the front most part of the shoe. It is a critical part of the shoe regarding design because this part is the most visible and thus the crux of all the great styling.
Secondary Parts of a Shoe
Now that we have discussed the basic skeleton of the shoe, it is time to fill in the blanks. The following parts make up the rest of the anatomy of a shoe or anatomy of the boots and give it more structure and detail.
This is the whole part of the shoe that encases the foot.
This is a soft lightly padded piece which rests on top of the arch of the foot. It serves to fill in space between
This is a soft layer of fabric on the inside of the shoe around the vamp that serves to provide comfort and ease.
The vamp makes up the side of the shoe. It starts from the end of the toe cap and extends back to the quarter.
It makes up the back of the shoe right on top of the heel. Its function is to strengthen the heel as well as to cover the foot up to the ankle. Often the quarter is fitted with a stiffener which provides, even more, support to the rear part of the foot.
Eyelets are essential parts of a boot and also of many other kinds of shoes. These small holes allow the shoelace to be tied leading to both perfect fittings as well as the opportunity to create further styling to a shoe.
This is the top border of the uppermost part of the body of the shoe. It gives durability to the shoe while acting as another element for the designers to experiment new styles with.
Finally, you are a PRO!
Congratulations! Now that you know all about the anatomy of a shoe it is safe to say that you are officially a PRO in the world of designing footwear!