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What is the Midsole of a Shoe?

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One of the most important parts of a shoe relational to comfort is the midsole. 

What’s the Midsole of a Shoe?

The midsole of the shoe is sandwiched between the outsole and the upper. It is the cushioned material directly beneath your foot in the shoe.

The midsole can be made of a variety of materials. The material the midsole is comprised of will help determine the cushion or stability of the shoe. 

running shoe anatomy

What is the Midsole of a Shoe Made of?

There are a couple of types of foam that midsoles can be made of. The first, EVA foam, is short for Ethylene-vinyl acetate. Eva foam is soft and cushions your feet as you run.

Another option is PU foam. This is made of polyurethane and is a denser, heavier option than EVA. It provides excellent support. 

The color of the midsole often gives a visual of how much support they offer. The whiter the midsole the less support they have. Shoes with more gray in the midsole typically have more support.

The midsole also has other elements to provide cushion such as gel and/or encapsulated air. Lastly, stability shoes can also have a thermoplastic urethane (TPU) medial post. This adds a layer of extra stability and control for those who overpronate. 

What Does a Midsole Drop Mean in Shoes?

The drop of the running shoe measures the difference in thickness of the midsole between the heel and forefoot. A traditional running shoe drop is somewhere from 10 – 12 mm. However, there are now shoes that tout a low or zero drop, as people strive to join the natural running movement. 

There are also companies that make shoes somewhere in-between.

Shoe companies such as New Balance and Saucony offer shoes with a low drop of 4-6 mm. 

What is the Purpose of the Midsole?

Tasked with providing cushion and support, the midsole is an important part of the shoe. Since runners have different needs in both cushion and support, it stands to reason that midsoles of different types and brands of shoes vary tremendously. 

When searching for exactly the right shoe, the shoe midsole is something worth investigating. 

Now that you’re familiar with the midsole, let’s learn more about the outsole. Click here to get a snapshot of the outsole of your shoes.

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