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  Q: What is a shank?

  A: updated (02/02/2012)

A shank is a piece of metal placed between the sole and insole. This is a reinforcement which allows a shoe to bend naturally, and to avoid any unnecessary discomfort to how the foot naturally bends.

Below is listed a selection of common terms explained.

Apron - The section of an upper, part of the middle surface.

Backstrap - Joins materials together at the rear of the upper.

Cork - Usually added to give shock absorption.

Counter - Section of the upper placed at the rear of the shoe.

Eyelets - The holes which the laces go through, sometimes made of plastic and metal to increase the last ability.

Featherline - The section where the upper meets the sole.

Heel - Rear of the sole which supports the foots heel.

Heel breast - The section which begins at the front of the heel.

Insole - A strip of material placed within the shoe on top of the sole, if your foot needs extra support for an arch, then an insole can be bought. Some come with perfume included to cover bad feet smells.

Lining - Usually covers the complete shoe interior except the insole.

Outsole - Is the part of the sole which touches the ground. Rubber is used because its water proof. Dress shoes have leather shoes usually, but they leak water in damp conditions.

Tongue - Strip of material placed behind the laces so they do not dig into the foot, also helps when putting a shoe on.

Upper - This is the top part of the shoe, and attaches the foot to the sole. Can simply be straps for sandals.

Wedge - Extension of the heel to provide a flat line of sole.

Welt - A piece of fabric which connects the sole and upper.


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