Deconstructing a running shoe. Part 3: The outsole

In part 3 of our series deconstructing the shoe, we look at the outsole, the poor cousin to the upper and midsole.


The outsole is kinda like Ronnie Woods of the Rolling Stones.

Keith+Richards+Ronnie+Wood+Barclaycard+Present+jG_38hrhwvll.jpg

He has all the chops and does all the hard work, but Keith Richards gets the credit! I bet most people think of the outsole as primarily the shoe component responsible for grip. Granted this is a big and important role, but the humble outsole is, and can be a lot more than that.

The outsole is largely responsible for the flex characteristics of a shoe, how durable it is, how it grips on a myriad of surfaces, how much feedback the shoe provides to the athlete, the weight of the shoe, AND, it can have a huge role in pressure, shock and impact attenuation. In short, the outsole rocks, baby!

Okay, so let’s break it down a bit in relation to this veritable symphony of usefulness.

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical

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