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Shoe Fitting Guide Shoe Specifications Upper The upper is designed to wrap around your foot and provide both flexibility and support. The materials used in the upper depend upon the sport the shoe is being used for. As an example court shoes are generally made of leather for durability, while running shoes use a combination of synthetic materials to obtain a lightweight, well ventilated and supportive shoe.

Innersole The innersole serves the purpose providing comfort and support within the shoe. Some shoes eg Rockport have specially designed innersoles for increased support.

Midsole The main function of the mid sole is to disperse the forces generated when a person's foot comes in contact with the ground during physical activity. Depending on the sport involved these forces can be up to six times an athlete's body weight. The most common material used in the construction of footwear midsole is a rubber composite called EVA Ethyl Vinyl Acetate. Different brands will also have their own specific designs of cushioning systems and support features incorporated within the midsole. A style of mid sole found frequently in sports shoes is a dual density midsole. This type of midsole combines materials of varying hardness within the same shoe to provide additional stability. A pronation block is the most common example of this technology.

Outsole The outer sole is the striking surface of a shoe. It is designed to provide traction and durability as well as flexibility depending on the shoes design. There are 3 main types of material used in out soles: -Rubber, which is used in basketball, tennis and cross trainers to provide non-marking traction and external durability -Gum rubber, which is used with indoor court shoes eg: squash or indoor soccer. A non-marking compound designed to offer maximum traction on a wooden playing surface -Carbon Rubber, which is a compound used mainly in running shoes due to its hard wearing properties. However, although being a more durable compound, these outer soles have the disadvantage of being a marking sole, and are not advised for surfaces such as tennis courts, where they will leave marks on the court.