Although shoes are an essential part of our everyday routine, have you thought about the different features of a shoe? There are up to 30 individual components used to make up just one shoe. Thus, constructing a shoe involves many technical features. A critical general component of a shoe is the upper, encompassing the entire top part of the shoe that covers the foot. It is designed to keep the foot secured to the sole and plays a vital role in the shoe’s aesthetics, durability, and comfort. ISO 24265:2020—Footwear – Test Methods For Uppers – Resistance To Rubbing Using A Rubber Strip specifies test methods for uppers in footwear.
Anatomy of a Shoe
Many technical features of a shoe come from the upper: the part or parts of a shoe that cover the toes, the top of the foot, the sides of the foot, and the back of the heel. Uppers can be made from a variety of materials, with the most popular being leather, satin, suede, and canvas. Athletic shoe uppers are often made of a breathable mesh fabric. Uppers for sandals and flip-flops may be simple straps. Parts of a shoe’s upper can include the following:
- Toe Cap: the front of the shoe (generally rounded, pointed, or squared) that provides space for the toes.
- Vamp: the middle part of the shoe where the laces are commonly placed and is often made out of a breathable fabric or has perforations to allow air to flow around the foot. It covers the front of the foot as far as the back as to join the quarter.
- Quarter: the part of the shoe that covers the sides and back of the foot and is often padded to provide extra cushioning and comfort. In the heel area, it is often reinforced with sturdy material for support. If the shoe is whole cut, the quarter and vamp will be the same piece of material; however, in most they are two separate pieces of material.
- Tongue: the element found on shoes that have lacing that provides a covering over the top of the foot while allowing the lacing to adjust the fit. It may be attached to either the quarter or the vamp.
- Throat: The front of the vamp next to where the toe cap ends, or the area where the base of the tongue is attached the vamp.
- Eyelets: The eyelets of the lacing section of the shoe may be included in the quarter or in the vamp, depending on the style. A lacing section allows the fit of the shoe to be individually adjusted and opened for ease of putting on or taking off.
- Puff: a reinforcing element (in addition or instead of the toe cap) inside the upper to shape the toe box.
What Is ISO 24265?
ISO 24265:2020 specifies a method for the determination of the rubbing resistance of leather and synthetic materials using rubber. The method establishes testing conditions that are similar to those of the practical use of footwear subjected to drastic stress, as is the case of hiking or children’s footwear, where the upper of one of the shoes is expected to rub with the sole of the other. ISO 24265:2020 is applicable to all types of leather and synthetic materials intended for shoe uppers.
Origin of the Term “Sneaker”
The term “sneakers” was coined in the 1880s. In 1887, The Boston Journal referred to shoes as “sneakers” for the first time. This word was used at the time by boys to describe tennis shoes, noting how quiet the soles were on the surface. The rubber sole that was just invented was quiet, so the wearer could “sneak up” on others. In comparison, hard leather shoes are noisy as someone wearing leather footwear would be heard and spotted. In 1917, American advertising agent Henry Nelson McKinney utilized the term sneaker because of how well the rubber sole made the wear stealthy.
ISO 24265:2020—Footwear – Test Methods For Uppers – Resistance To Rubbing Using A Rubber Strip is available on the ANSI Webstore.