Skip to main content

Sneaker Anatomy 101: Parts of a Shoe [Know Your Shoes]

By August 18, 2021Sneaker News, Sneakers

Parts of a Shoe - Sneaker Anatomy - AIO BotOkay, so we just need to vent a little. Who… WHO decided that parts of a shoe had to have such complicated and extravagant names?

Like “the posterior proportions of the Jordan come with the stitching of the forefoot medial to the equator to the blah blah blah!”

Not throwing shade or anything, although we kinda are, sneaker descriptions have gotten out of hand! At the end of the day, all we wanna know for real, is the colorway, if it’s comfortable, and the fit! Sure, we’re totally into finding out all about the cool sneaker technology that goes into it. But, come on. COME ON! Does it have to be that complicated?

We’re sneakerheads. Not rocket scientists.

In short, consider this rant a way of retaliating. We’re here to break down the actual parts of a shoe WITHOUT all the fancy, unneeded crap.

Sneaker Anatomy 101: Parts of a Shoe 

In order to give you a proper breakdown of the parts of a shoe, you need visualization! So, we’ve decided to break down two of the most popular silhouettes in the sneaker industry. We’re dissecting the Air Jordan 1 and the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2. This will be fun!

And, to make it even more fun, we’ve chosen two colorways that dropped in 2021. This way, if you were lucky, you can bring it out and compare it. Learning done right. So, without further ado, let’s dissect the Air Jordan 1 Trophy Room and the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Light!

Also, here’s a Yeezy size guide and a Jordan size guide if you feel tempted to go shopping after this lesson! BONUS!


Specimen Name: Air Jordan 1 Trophy Room Chicago
Colorway: White – Varsity Red – Sail – Black
Release Date: February 10th, 2021
Retail Price: $190
Average Resale Value: $2,748

Sneaker Anatomy - Air Jordan 1 Trophy Room - AIO BotTongue: The part of a shoe that covers the top of your foot. If the shoe has laces, it is usually underneath the eyestay and laces!

Eyestays: AKA the lace stay – the part where the eyelets (the small round holes) are and the laces go through.

Laces: Literal shoelaces. ‘Nuff said.

Vamp: The section of the UPPERS that covers from the tip to the middle of your foot.

Toe Box: A box for your toes! This is the part of a shoe that protects your little piggies!

Tip: The end part of the toe box – otherwise known as the front ball of the toe box.

Sole: The entire part of a shoe that your feet step on. It consists of the insole, midsole, and outsole. 

Insole: The inside part of your shoe that you can usually take out when cleaning Jordans.

Midsole: A layer between the insoles and outsoles. This is where sneaker brands hide all the best sneaker technology for extra cushioning!

Outsole: The outer part of the sole that comes in contact with the ground – provides grip, durability, and water resistance.

Quarter: The section of the UPPERS that covers from the heel to the middle of your foot.

Heel: The parts of a shoe that raises the soles. Also, where your heel is!

Swoosh: Nike’s iconic Swoosh logo!

Collar: The top part of the quarter where you put your foot inside the shoe. Sometimes it comes with extra padding for more comfort!

Sock Lining: A lining found on the inside of the shoe that peeks through the collar. Provides more comfort and breathability!

Other Terms You Might Come Across:

Throat: The front of the vamp next to the toe cap. If the vamp and quarter are one piece of material, the throat is at the eye-stay.

Dubrae: A lace-lock that’s strictly for show (for the most part). It centers the laces and tightens the shoe.

Mid-Panel: Another word for the quarter.

Aglet: The tip of the shoelaces. 


Specimen Name: Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Light
Colorway: Light – Light – Light
Release Date: August 21st, 2021
Retail Price: $220
Average Resale Value: $403

Parts of a Shoe - Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Light - AIO BotSock Lining: A lining found on the inside of the shoe that lines the entire collar of the Yeezy. It gives it a more aesthetic look.

Collar: The top part of the quarter where you put your foot inside the shoe.

Laces: Shoelaces. Not much explaining so here’s a guide on upping your shoelaces game!

PK Uppers: The part that covers your foot, 350s feature Primeknit material – except for Mono Pack. Other Yeezy models feature suede, algae foam,  or (in some cases) polyester!

Translucent Side Stripe: A defining feature on the Yeezy 350s – a translucent stripe that runs along with the size of the 350.

Outsole: The outer part in contact with the ground. Usually feature rubber and TPA sidewall. Opposite to the insoles which lie on the inside. WHICH you can also take out to clean!

Ribbed Midsoles: The part that contains the epic Boost technology for optimum comfort. Other models come with adiPRENE or EVA sole units like the Yeezy 500s!

Heel: The part of a shoe that covers your heels. Pretty basic.

Pull Tab: A cool feature amongst the earliest Yeezy Boost 350s. A hanging tag at the heel to make your life easier.

3M Reflective Strips: Three stripes (representing THE Three stripes) on the inside of the heel with reflective 3M threading.

3M: Retro-reflective sewing and embroidery thread that illuminates when under direct light.

Other Terms You Might Come Across:

Perforations: Holes punched into the uppers like with the Yeezy Foam Runners for more breathability.

Overlays: Panels that are added to layer the uppers of the sneakers – strictly for design.

Herringbone Rubber Outsole: Outsoles with the pattern of a herring fish for better traction and durability.

That’s mostly it! All the parts of a shoe that actually MATTER to us! No more sophisticated terms and weird nouns. In short, let’s call a shoe a shoe. Can we?

And now, you don’t have to be intimidated by all the big-ass fancy wordings. You know what they mean! Now, you can actually go out and cop the sneaker of your dreams without any worry. You’ve learned the basics, now you can actually learn more! Here are some of our best guides to get you up and copping in no time!

Plus, not to flex, you can always go for sneaker news from our blog. We like to keep it simple.