• hikingshoes4all

The Anatomy of the modern Hiking Shoe

Updated: Jun 23

A perfect balance of comfort, support, durability and purpose.

There is a lot of jargon surrounding the composite parts of Hiking Shoes and a lot of these terms come from the manufacturer’s themselves.

There are however some basic component parts for all shoes, so here's an overview to help you understand when making your choice for your new Hiking Shoes.

Stability and comfort has to come top of the list for any type of outdoor footwear, but waterproofing, protection, traction and breathability will also play a factor in your choice depending on the purpose of your activities; whether Hiking, Trail Running or Mountaineering, summer or winter.


The most popular materials manufacturer’s use:

UPPER: Leather, Gore-Tex, suede and synthetic fabrics

MIDSOLE: EVA and memory foam

OUTSOLE: Rubber and Vibram

Glossary of Terms

ARCH SUPPORT Sits with the Insole for support

EVA Ethel Vinyl Acetate (Foam) for comfort

EYELETS For laces, sometimes hooks are used

HEEL TAB For easy pull on

HEEL COLLAR For ankle comfort

HEEL COUNTER Supports the heel above the Midsole

INSOLE / FOOTBED Adds comfort and support

LACE GARAGE Small pocket on the tongue, provides a housing for your laces

LUGS Deep protrusions under the outsole for added traction

MIDSOLE For support and comfort with cushioning, absorbs shock

OUTSOLE Provides traction, protection and shock absorption

QUARTER PANEL Sides and heel section of upper

TOE BOX Front area of the shoe for the toes

TONGUE Sits under the lacing for comfort, and also keeps out debris

UPPER Protects and supports, keeps the foot in place within the shoe

VAMP Front and centre of the upper, covering the foot


VIBRAM Vulcanized Rubber offers stability and support

I hope this article has been useful in your pursuit of your new Hiking Shoes!

If you like the look of this shoe, it's the Merrell Women's Siren Edge Q2 Hiking Shoes.

Find them on Amazon Here


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