Anatomy of a Running Shoe

Anatomy of a Running Shoe (courtesy of

Anatomy of a Running Shoe (courtesy of

This image illustrates the main components of a running shoe, and can help us as a visual reference for the future.

A running shoe is primarly divided in two main components

  • a shoe upper, which is the mesh/leather/synthetic part  you insert your foot in and lace up;
  • a sole unit, which is itself split into a midsole and an outsole.

The two parts (upper and sole unit) are produced separately and hand glued together at the end of the production process.

Although the upper plays a big role in the soundness, fit, comfort and performance of a running shoe, the technologies that make a shoe a cushioned, stability or motion control shoe are mainly to be found in the sole unit of the shoe – in the midsole.

We read here the importance of absorbing the shock that comes from the impact on the ground. Your running shoe’s midsole absorbs a good part of the impact and therefore it is important to understand a few basic concepts about midsoles – so that you can choose the best running shoe for your unique style of running.

Please check HERE for a guide on running shoes midsoles.

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