Researching running shoes often means learning lingo that you don’t use in everyday life. An upper? Toe spring? Heel-toe offset?
To help you get caught up, here is a guide to common running shoe terms, in pictures starring the 2015 Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini:
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Mesh fabric that covers the top and sides of the foot from heel to toes and helps cinch down the foot to the shoe.
Firm reinforcement around the heel, either placed externally or built into the interior of the shoe.
Heel Crash Pad
Built-up and segmented cushioning underneath the heel that aids in absorbing footstrike impact.
Difference in millimeters between the foot's height off the ground in the heel and in the forefoot. Also known as the "heel-toe drop." (The term "zero-drop" means a shoe has a level platform.)
Various materials (foam, gel, plastic and even air packets) and thicknesses offer varying levels of support, cushioning and flexibility.
Bottom layer of the shoe (usually made of rubber) that contacts the ground and provides traction.
Fabric and foam footbed lining the interior, often removable.
Upward arcing design at the front of the shoe, aimed to increase forward momentum.
Front end of the shoes that covers and protects the toes. (The very front of the toebox is called the toe bumper or toe cap.)
Strip of fabric that runs up the top center of the shoe to provide protection and comfort between the lacing system and foot.