A dip in the heel lining that allows the Achilles to be cushioned.
Achilles Flex Notch
Area at the back portion of the heel to prevent irritation of the Achilles tendon.
A shoe that follows the dimensions, curves, contours and shape of the human foot. It provides a natural fit for comfort and performance.
Shape construction where the top surface of the midsole mirrors the shape of the foot to promote stability.
Located on the medial side of the outsole to provide additional support. It helps reduce the rate of pronation.
Protects and supports the foot's natural instep area.
Midfoot wrap provides superior control and support.
Asymmetric Heel Collar
This type of heel collar reduces ankle stress and strain associated with high jumping.
Oxford design where the laces come together into a “V” at the bottom of the vamp. (does not allow as much adjustment)
A folded tongue stitched in under the lace holes.
Rubber that is expanded during the molding process. The result is a lightweight, flexible, rubber outsole material which provides added cushioning and maintains durability.
Oxford shoe design using two separate lace stays allowing for better adjustment and easier access into the shoe.
Fiberboard is glued to the insole of an upper, between the midsole and innersole for stability and firmness. Good for severe overpronators.
A complete lining of the upper, from under foot to top lining. It is used to seal waterproof shoes. As in a “Gor-tex® bootie”
An oxford shoe with ornamental perforations
This nylon provides exceptional comfort, wicks away moisture, and is abrasion-resistant.
This dense rubber compound has a carbon additive that makes it more durable and resistant to abrasion.
A slip-on shoe distinguished from a mule by its higher vamp
The compressed and molded form of sheet EVA, wherein the structure and shape of the material may be contoured for improved fit and function.
Material located around the top of the heel for added comfort and support.
A construction technique wherein the upper is slipped onto the last in combination with a 3/4 length fiber board reinforcement for stability. The forefoot is then stitched together by fabric before gluing it to the midsole. Provides rearfoot stability and forefoot flexibility.
This epoxy and fiberglass shank replaces the steel shank in non-metallic footwear. Generally lighter than steel.
This type of fabric is a tetra-channel polyester, which pulls, or "wicks", moisture away from your skin to the outer layer of the fabric. It offers fast evaporation so you stay dry and comfortable.
DuPont Cordura® is a durable textile material that is easy to take care of, yet is very resistant to abraison, tears or punctures.
Designed to help absorb impact and center your foot at the point of heel contact. Achieved by adding angled flex grooves in the heel of the mid and outsole.
This refers to the shape or curvature on the base of each last. A curved last will reflect a bent-line or curvature from center heel to toe. A curved or semi-curved last is designed to work with the curvature of the human foot to promote a natural footstrike.
Custom Made Shoes
Refers to footwear that is manufactured from a 3-dimensional image of the foot and lower leg and made from raw materials.
Refers to the adaptation of stock footwear to accommodate deformities and improve function of the lower limb and foot.
A segmented heelstrike area that deflects impact to help absorb shock and slow the rate of pronation. It provides a more efficient ride because of a smoother transition through the footstrike.
A measure of thickness for fabric materials on a 1-1000 scale. A higher denier represents a stronger material.
Measure of firmness of the material in a midsole or outsole.
A wedge-shaped midsole component made of dense EVA designed for stabilizing the foot and minimizing excessive pronation. Seen on Brooks technical footwear.
A concave TPU sphere that works with Saucony's GRID® Cassette to maximize cushioning and minimize rearfoot motion.
Knit moisture management system designed to move moisture away from the foot, allowing for speedy evaporation and a dry, comfortable surface against the foot.
Dual Density Midsole
A midsole with two degrees of firmness. The firmness of the two materials is located on the inner (medial) side to help control pronation.
Dual Density Outsole
An outsole that features two materials of different densities. The result is greater traction and long-lasting wear.
A synthetic material that is similar to leather. It is soft and durable.
Scale of 1 to 100 that measures the firmness of a midsole.
Shoe Terminology: E - H
E.V.A. (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate)
A soft, cellular foam material known for its lightweight, flexible and cushioning properties. Found in most athletic footwear.
External Heel Counter
Molded collar which supports the base of the heel counter for increased motion control. It is located on the outside of the shoe surrounding the heel area.
External Heel Stabilizer
Molded TPU device designed to cradle the heel and provides medial and lateral stability, keeping the foot centered at impact.
A traditional shoe lacing that consists of eyelets set in the throat, above the edges of the shoe's tongue, held closed with a type of string lacing.
Reinforcement around the lace holes of a shoe.
A re-enforcement to the thin midsole sidewall that offers additional medial support against over-pronating.
Flat, rigid piece of material that can be found in some uppers for support and stability.
Refers to the width of the heel at the bottom of the outersole in relation to the width of the heel at the top of the midsole.
Usually found in the midsole or forefoot for increased flexibility.
Cutouts in the forefoot midsole that provide added flexibility to a shoe.
A molded and contoured removable insole placed directly under the foot.
Area of the foot that extends from the middle of the metatarsals to the ends of the toe.
Reinforcement on a shoe that provides medial and lateral support to the foot in a wrap-around way. It surrounds the entire toe area.
Full Slip Lasting
Moccasin construction technique where upper material is drawn around the last and the two edges are sewn together on the bottom of the form, providing maximum flexibility.
Top layer of cowhide. It is the strongest and most durable part of hide.
Mechanical process your body goes through while running or walking.
A system of webbing loops or rings to secure the lacing of the upper, used in place of eyelets.
Gore-Tex® fabric is created by laminating the Gore-Tex® membrane between a durable liner and a protective fabric. The membrane is waterproof, yet allows sweat vapor to pass through it for breathability.
This patented bootie is an all encompassing waterproof and breathable barrier that completely surrounds your foot. Water cannot penetrate, yet perspiration vapor can escape.
The concept that stability can be created through various approaches within the shoe design.
Outsole rubber compound containing a high percentage of natural rubber. Found on volleyball and other indoor court shoes.
Added padding to the tongue. It can be "v-shaped" or cut at an angle for mobility and flexibility
Rigid piece of leather or synthetic material that surrounds the heel for stability and rearfoot control.
High Rebound Compound
A blend of polymer that eases the heel strike at the initial point of contact and reduces pronation.
Hook and Loop Closure
This type of closure provides a secure, easy closing system.
A high performance plastic elastomer used in Saucony's GRID® Cassette and Instep Support Device™.
Shoe Terminology: I - N
A process that injects EVA foam into molds to make it uniform and durable.
The prominent area above the arch and the highest point on the foot.
A variation on Ghilly lacing which utilizes logo stripes in the lacing system to improve lateral stability.
Manufactured by DuPont®, Kevlar® is a highly abrasion-resistant compound used to reinforce high-impact wear areas such as on the toe of a steel toe work boot.
The 3-Dimensional foot form around which the upper of the shoe is built. The last determines the size and dimensions of the shoe. A shoe's last is commonly described in relation to its construction and / or shape. All shoe manufacturers use their own unique lasts.
Procedure in which the upper of the shoe is joined to the midsole.
Referring to the outer side of the shoe or foot.
Leather upper provides natural comfort and durability.
A term for a kind of strap shoe or sandal that typically has low heels, broad and rounded closed toes, and a single-buckle strap across the instep and/or around the ankle.
Referring to the inner side of the shoe or foot.
Medial Midsole Post
A stabilizing device made of denser EVA foam or plastic that is located on the medial side of the rearfoot area to limit excessive pronation.
A high density foam which maintains the shape of whatever it comes in contact with. It provides custom fit capabilities to collar and tongue linings.
Material in the upper that allows breathability. It is also lighter than leather.
The five long bones of the foot that form the instep.
A breathable synthetic material that is soft, supple, durable and easy-to-clean.
Middle of the foot between the heel bone and the metatarsal heads.
Reinforcement on the midsole for additional torsional stability.
The portion of the shoe between the upper and the outersole that provides cushioning.
A stabilizing device made from a more dense or rigid material found on the medial side of a shoe. It controls the maximum angle of pronation.
Motion Control Device
A stabilizing device made from more dense material which acts to control pronation and guide the runner into a proper gait cycle.
A backless, slip on shoe
A polychloroprene elastomer developed as a thin layer of closed cell foam.
Shoe Terminology: O - S
Orthopedic or "comfort" shoes are made with pedorthic and anatomically-correct comfort qualities, such as padded removable footbeds, wide toe boxes and arch support are made especially for those with problematic feet.
A corrective device made primarily of leather, cork or plastic which is placed inside a shoe to help correct biomechanical problems.
The bottom layer of the shoe that consists of one or more rubber compounds. The outsole design is usually configured to enhance traction.
Footwear designed to cover shoes, boots and sandals to protect them from the elements.
Excessive pronation or over rotation of the foot. Can cause or aggravate many common foot and lower limb problems. Requires the use of footwear with maximum support.
A style of leather shoe with enclosed lacing.
Patent leather is leather that has been given a high gloss, shiny finish
Constructed of open cell high-polymer PU foam which allows air to circulate freely, this breathable foam air insole is known for its superior technical performance.
Synthetic material used to make some midsoles and innersoles.
A cushioning foam used for extra cushioning, it is heavier then EVA.
A lightweight cellular urethane that can be used in sockliners for added cushion and comfort.
The natural inward rotation of the foot as it relates to the gait-cycle. A normal foot lands on the outside heel and pronates slightly to help absorb shock.
An additional layer added to the toe area of a shoe or boot.
Pumps are heeled shoes with low cut fronts and usually no fastening.
Strip of leather or rubber composition cemented to the margin of the sole, with bold stitching to simulate a welted construction.
A measure of the ability of a material to return energy or rebound.
Specially treated water-repellent nylon material that keeps the foot dry and the shoe light, even in wet conditions.
3M's reflective material for visibility during low light.
Sculpted Heel Cup
A contoured device that aids in power and leverage during push off.
Semi Curved Last
Shoe last whose shape falls between a straight lasted shoe and a curve lasted shoe.
Provides torsional stability and strength to the midfoot of the shoe
Ability of a shoe to absorb or distribute the shock of a shoe strike which is caused when the body lands with each foot strike.
Shoe construction with the upper of the shoe being attached to the midsole without the use of a fiberboard. It offers increased flexibility. Good for Supinators / underpronators.
Pre-formed liner on the inside sole of the shoe to reduce internal friction and offer cushioning.
Solid Lugged Outsole
Provides long-wearing durability and traction.
Degree of support and motion control a shoe gives to the foot during the gait cycle.
A last that adds medial (inside) stability. It is often used in shoes designed to prevent excessive pronation and provide motion control.
This is a reinforcing piece of steel which runs from the center of the heel to the front of the arch, laminated within the lasting board, providing support.
Rubber material at the front of the shoe is stitched, as well as glued for increased durability.
Little or no curve from heel to toe. It provides excellent support on the inner portion of the foot. Good for severe overpronators.
Stretch Upper Materials
Molds to the foot to enhance fit and performance.
Constructed with a thin material acting like a sockliner stretched along its perimeter, providing an excellent blend of stability and flexibility.
Foot strike where the runner puts most of their weight to the outer side of the shoe. Requires the use of footwear with less medial support and more cushioning.
A strong, light polyurethane-based leather substitute that allows for easy maintenance.
Shoe Terminology: T - Z
Thermoplastic medial post
The thermoplastic stability post aids in controlling the foot through the gait cycle and prevents over pronation.
This thermal insulation is lightweight, warm, moisture resistant and breathable, and made by 3M®.
The frontal portion of the upper that surrounds the toes.
Rubber tip of the outsole that wraps up and on to the front of the toe box.
Protective section added to the exterior of the big toe area of the shoe for durability.
The upper most portion of the collar that rests under the ankle bones
Flap that starts at the vamp of the shoe and goes the length of the top of the shoe. It is padded to offer cushioning from the laces.
Thermo plastic rubber is often used to provide durability and stability.
Thermoplastic urethane used in devices to prevent overpronation.
Less than average degree of pronation or under rotation.
Top part of the shoe above the midsole and outersole that encase the foot.
Front part of the upper that covers the base of the instep and toes.
Variable Width Lacing
A system of lacing where the lace holes alternate in an off-set pattern along the eyestay. Variable lacing allows for a custom fit on a variety of foot types.
Special rubber compound which insures high abrasion resistance and optimized grip.
Rubber sole is formed with lugs on the bottom that provide traction and shock dispersion.
Extra dense materials placed in the heel or ball of some running shoes to provide heel and ball durability.
A process of directly fusing material onto mesh or synthetic uppers without the use of seams or stitching, making for a seamless construction.