Running Shoe Anatomy 101

Running Shoe Anatomy 101

Shoe Anatomy

Understanding how your running shoes are constructed is the first step to finding the right pair. Here’s your 101 on running shoe anatomy, enjoy!

A running shoe is made up of three parts: the upper, the midsole and the outsole.

1. Upper: Holds the foot in place, protects the foot from rocks and dirt, usually has synthetic leather for durability, mesh for breathability and reflective material for safety.

2. Midsole: This is the most important part of the shoe when it comes to your comfort. There are three materials that make up the midsole:

EVA: 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 control.

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

*New forms of EVA or combinations of EVA and rubber midsoles are being developed at increasingly faster rates. These new foams are lighter and provide you with more durability.

3. Outsole: Has tread for traction, flex grooves for flexibility and protects you 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.

Now that you have the 4-1-1 on this popular shoe style, put your knowledge to good use at one of our 1100 stores or on