While many of us know our favourite shoe types and our favourite brands, how many of us actually know the anatomy of a shoe: the parts that make up your shoes?
How your shoes are constructed makes a huge difference to their fit and comfort and as part of our Shoe love blog we’re going to take apart a shoe’s structure and explain its anatomy. As well as the anatomy of your shoes, over the next four blogs we’ll also be looking at problems that result from ill-fitting shoes and how to prevent them.
Let’s start with your shoe upper. The term “upper” refers to all the parts of a shoe that cover your foot. The upper is attached to the insole, which the outsole is then attached to. Depending on the style of your shoe, the upper of a shoe can be cut from a single piece of material, or can be comprised of different pieces stitched together.
At Upper Street you can design your shoe uppers from the finest handpicked leathers, such as calfskin and kid skin, and exotic skins like snake. Or you can choose suede, satin, animal (hair calfskin) or a combination of materials in your own unique design.
Throat and Toe Box: The throat and toe box lie at the front of your shoes and are the top opening where you put your foot and the area overlying the toes. With seven core shoe shapes on offer from Upper Street there are plenty of design options for the front of your shoes including our round toe courts, pointed courts, peep toe, sandal and platform shoe styles.
Vamp: The vamp is the part of the shoe that covers the front of the foot.
Quarter – The quarter is part of a shoe’s upper, which covers the sides and the back of the foot. In some shoe styles, the quarter is a separate piece that is sewn to the vamp of a shoe.
Counter: The counter of a shoe wraps around the back of the foot and is used to give the shoe structure. In shoe styles such as sandals there will be no counter, which means there is less support for the foot. If you’re not used to walking in high heels or want support, it is recommended you design a shoe with a full counter e.g. a court or platform shoe.
Check out our seven core shoe shapes for design options. You also have the design option on our shoes (not sandals) to add a counter back which can be in a contrasting colour and material.
And last, but not least the…
Lining – The lining of a shoe is the inside material that touches the foot. Linings cover the inside seams of a shoe and the material used can make a big difference, to not only the ‘feel’ of the shoe on the foot, but also how much your feet sweat.
All Upper Street shoes are fully lined with leather, never synthetic materials, giving you the ultimate in comfort and breathability.
Upper Street shoes come in a huge range of sizes from the petite 33 (UK 1.5) to the generous 43 (UK 10) with 4 width fittings. We also offer free alterations to fit and we’re so confident that you’ll love your final design that we’ll refund you if you don’t!
To book an appointment in our London Studio, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0845 680 9365.
If you can’t make it the studio but still want to see our full range of luxurious materials, visit our Upper Street Swatch Store.Whether you’d like to experience the richness of our suedes, feel the silken quality of our sumptuous Italian satins or visualise our glossy patents as a shoe, you can order as many swatches as you want!