The Anatomy Of Athletic Footwear

Sometimes it feels like I’m a walking stereotype, because I’m practically addicted to footwear of all kinds. The rest of my outfit doesn’t matter to me as much as my pair of heels or even flat sandals. Shoes shopping is my favorite type of shopping, even if all I’m getting is something for a workout. 

A major part of my clothing budget is spent on shoes, and I’ve recently started to wonder why I pay so much for shoes even if I don’t buy many pairs? For example, why are nobull shoes so expensive? They aren’t branded by some French designer’s name, and you won’t see them on the runway in Milan. Soon, I found myself researching the anatomy of athletic footwear, and here’s a brief summary of what I’ve learned. 

Insole

This is the padding within your shoes that is often contoured to fit the natural anatomical curves of your feed. Some shoes have extra padding in the insole to make them more comfortable. 

Midsole

Below the insole is a layer of material that is generally designed for shock absorption. This is especially important in running and other high impact sports, due to the repeated impact of the foot to the ground.

Outsole

The bottom part of the shoe, which makes direct contact with the ground. Different shoes have outsoles designed for different purposes. For example, running shoes would have an outsole that provides extra traction (grip) to allow your feet to push you forward better. Some shoes also have added shock absorption in the outsole. At the very least, the outsole of any footwear should act as a barrier between your feet and the ground, protecting you from sharp objects, hot tarmac, etc. Athletic shoes usually have flexible outsoles to allow for better movement.

Upper Shoe

The upper portion of a shoe should fit snugly to keep the shoe from slipping and sliding around, which would definitely lead to tripping. The foot is held in place by the upper of the shoe, and this part also provides some comfort. Most people prefer a breathable upper, to avoid excessive sweat buildup which could lead to athlete’s foot and the problems in that area. 

What This All Means

After dissecting sports shoes thoroughly, I’ve come to realize that there is much more going on when it comes to athletic footwear. The features of these types of shoes have a functional purpose and they are worth the expensive price. More often than not, if you buy a generic brand or cheaper sports shoe, you’ll end up with shoes that look normal but feel uncomfortable. To really begin the habit of working out regularly, you need to commit to buying the best athletic footwear you can afford. A good pair of sports shoes should be able to protect you from the potential injuries that might occur as you work out, and the shoes should also enhance your performance to some degree. At the very least, athletic footwear should make you more comfortable in your workout routine.

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