What Are Those Parts of a Sneaker Called?
Sneakers, in a formal technical definition, are a popular type of footwear that has been around for decades. In our words, Sneakers are the reason we’re all in this game. Because of them, most of us got an ongoing cash flow (cha-chinggg), away from our daily boring jobs. Sneakers are the culture and world we all belong to. That shit can be a statement piece that can make or break your look! Kicks represent style, comfort, and performance! But what are they made of? What are the various parts of a sneaker that make up most of your favorite kicks?
Most Common Parts of a Sneaker – Sneaker Anatomy for Dummies
The upper is the top part of the sneaker that covers the foot. Sneaker uppers are usually made of leather, synthetic materials, or both because why not? The upper’s goal is to provide support, protection, and comfort to the foot. You see, ankle and forefoot protection happens on the level of the upper. Not to forget that the whole look, colorway, and general design of the sneaker lies in the uppers.
The toe box is the front part of the upper that covers the toes. Its main function is to provide extra protection for the toes. Therefore, the material that makes up the toe box is usually more stiff and hard. After all, when you’re runnin’ or ballin’, your whole weight could shift to the front. And that shit’s brutal if there’s no support there.
The tongue is the part of the sneaker that sits between the laces and the foot. The padding that’s usually in the tongue provides extra comfort and prevents the laces from rubbing against the foot. It also happens to be the place where you can find the shoe manufacturer’s logo. The Three Stripes of Adidas, the Jumpman, and Nike’s Swoosh all sit there.
So, the basic use of laces is to adjust the fit of the sneaker around the foot. But in the sneaker game, laces double up as a statement. That’s why many exclusive kicks come with more than 1 pair of laces. One of which always comes in a bold color or pattern. Also for an extra dash of cool, you can add some accessories to your plain laces. From the aglets to the dubrae, that shit is a whole sub-industry! If you don’t know what those are, this sneaker terminology crash course will come in handy. Sneaker laces come in a variety of materials such as cotton, nylon, or a combination of both.
Most of y’all know the small holes in which you put the laces through. These are the eyelets! They’re usually either plastic or metallic and they provide a secure attachment for the laces. Eyelets can be found on various types of footwear, including sneakers, boots, and dress shoes. Some sneakers may also have additional eyelets or loops that are located near the ankle to provide additional support and stability. The number and placement of the eyelets can vary depending on the style of the shoe and the intended use. Sometimes you can catch fakes just using the eyelets!
The midsole is the layer of material between the upper and the outsole. It’s usually made of foam or other cushioning materials to provide shock absorption and support. Midsoles can sometimes make or break a silhouette. The biggest proof of that is the iconic Air Max 1 with its visible Air bubble! This breakthrough in sneaker tech changed the industry in a shit ton of ways, especially on the midsole level.
Some More Parts That Makeup Sneakers
The outsole is the bottom part of the sneaker that comes into contact with the ground. It’s usually made of rubber or other durable materials to provide traction and prevent slipping. And when it comes to basketball and other sports kicks, the outsole comes in different patterns to cater to different play styles!
The insole is the removable layer inside the sneaker that sits on top of the midsole. Depending on the actual sneaker, it can feature foam or other cushioning material to provide extra comfort and support and reduce shock off the heels. That shit also became a canvas for designers and collaborators to get creative on!
The sockliner is a layer of material that sits on top of the insole. It’s usually a soft, breathable material to wick away moisture and prevent odor. Oh, and it’s comfy because who wants that ankle rub sore?
The arch support is a component of the sneaker that provides additional support for the foot’s arch. You can find it usually built in the midsole or it can be a separate insert.
A sneaker collar is the part of a shoe that wraps around the ankle. It is the area of the shoe where the tongue meets the upper, and it provides support and protection for the ankle. And so the collar can come in a variety of materials, such as leather, mesh, or foam. It sometimes contains padding or extra cushioning to provide extra comfort and support.
The design and height of the collar can vary depending on the type of shoe and its intended use, with some sneakers having low collars for increased mobility and others having higher collars for added support and stability. Think something like Jordan 1 High and the Nike Kobe 6!
To Wrap Shit Up…
It might sound hard to keep all these words in mind, but shit gets easier with practice. These parts of a sneaker all work together to provide support, protection, and comfort for the foot. The upper, toe box, tongue, laces, eyelets, heel counter, midsole, outsole, insole, sockliner, arch support, and toe cap all play important roles in creating a functional and stylish sneaker. Understanding the anatomy of sneakers can help you choose the right type of sneaker for your needs, and ensure that you get the most out of your footwear. Who’d want to flex that drip without the kicks being comfy? Exactly… Nobody.