Shoe components – Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 2)

In the first part of “Why my shoes don’t fit“, we’ve discussed, that if we want to understand our footwear problems we require some better ideas of what is a shoe and how it is related to our foot. Before we start our foot observations, we’ll have a look on the important parts of a shoe – the shoe components.

Important shoe components

Have a look at the picture, which shows the most important shoe components. The blue color shoe components are not visible from outside. You really don’t need to study them; it’s just for your reference.

Of course, you’ll make a good impression in a shoe store, if you talk about “I don’t like the decoration stitching in the quarter”, instead of “…the stitching on the side” or “the vamp seems to be rather short looking” instead “the front of the shoe looks…” – sometimes the sales guys are not having a simple job to do.

Now, let’s continue with the question, what is a shoe? Easy, we simply google for “Shoe”, and get some explanations for us:

  • shoe is for protection
  • shoe is for comfort of the foot
  • shoes are fashion
  • shoes functionality due climate
  • shoes having high or flat heels (this is one of my favorites!)

That’s my be all really interesting for our alien, but certainly it makes not much sense to us, because the only answer for what a shoe is and not what it does or looks like is:

A shoe is a construction where the upper-part is lasted (pulled) over a shoe last and finally a sole is attached/stitched to it.



Was not that complicated, isn’t it.? Okay, we have not spoken about a shoe last yet, but no problem, this is how a shoe last looks like.

Shoe last

Now we know how a shoe last looks like. Why the shoe last has such an important role for shoe making we will leave it for the next part of our shoe guide series.

Please leave a comment or ask for anything you like to know about footwear. If you like to read the complete series of “Why my shoes don’t fit?” you can also download the free shoe guide with feet measurement instructions. We continue in the next article about the shoe last.

Andre Gerdes (the shoe problem solver)

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