Essential Foot Anatomy & Comfortable Footwear

  • By Shaherazad Umbreen

Essential Foot Anatomy & Comfortable Footwear

Dear Leading Ladies,

Have you ever dreaded the thought of a full day in high heels, or a night out where you either have to pack a pair of flats or feel the pain just a few hours in to the evening? 

Well, now there's no need to feel that pain anymore!

This article explains the essential anatomy of the foot, the components of a good shoe and how you can wear heels in comfort for up to 18 hours (yes, that's right 18 hours!) in both comfort and style.  This is the shoe hug your feet have been waiting for.  Read on and stand tall in extreme comfort heels.

Essential Foot Anatomy for Comfort

The foot is one of the most complicated, most sensitive and most frequently used parts of the body.  Our feet make up a relatively small surface area of our entire bodies, but they carry our whole weight and help us to balance.  When a heel is added below the foot it can totally disrupt the body weight distribution, unless the weight is channelled skilfully down through the heel instead of to the ball of the foot.

We spend about 33 percent of our lives on our feet, either standing, walking or running.  Made up of moving parts, our feet are also full of nerve endings that communicate with the rest of the body.  A well designed high heel shoe, therefore, should not only make you look good but should also be comfortable and promote effective body weight distribution for easy and pain free mobility.

Shoes by Shaherazad 18 hour comfortable heels

To help ensure extreme comfort, there are some key mathematical calculations which should be built in to the shoe.  The toe spring, for example, is an essential allowance between the bottom of the toe of the shoe and the ground (the toe of the shoe will very gently tip up rather than sitting flat against the ground); it is used in order to accommodate the rocking motion associated with walking.  Another important design calculation is the space from the tip of the wearer's toes to the end of the shoe which is called the overmeasure.  The overmeasure is a maximum of 15mm but allows essential movement inside the shoe during the action of walking, standing or running.  

The heel enclosure is also important in that it should correctly adjust to the ankle during movement (if too loose or too tight it can cause blisters and discomfort).  The sole also needs to be flexible enough to allow for comfortable walking.


The heels you see at Shoes by Shaherazad are designed and tested to function not only whilst standing but also whilst walking.  It is important to us that our shoes are reliable as well as stylish.  Shoes have a direct effect on foot health and ultimately on the health of the whole body.  Although our heels are not designed for running (no heels should be used for running!) we do test them under extreme circumstances to make sure that the comfort continues well throughout the day.

 Woman walking dog in heeks

A human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, more than 100 muscles, a huge amount of blood vessels and nerves, a number of tendons and ligaments as well as the visible skin, nails and tissue.   The foot is incredibly complicated and so I have taken the biology of the human foot into serious account when designing my shoes for long lasting comfort. 

Essential Shoe Anatomy for Comfort

Shoes consist of considerably fewer main parts than the foot itself, but each is still designed to work with the movement of the foot.  

The upper is everything on the shoe above the sole.  It is made up of pattern pieces which are sewn together.  The measurements of the pattern pieces are crucial in ensuring that your foot feel hugged when it is in the shoe and not wedged in.  At Shoes by Shaherazad the uppers are made of cowhide, lambskin and goatskin depending on the style and finish of the design.

Made in England Shoes

The lining is important in keeping the internal parts of the upper in place by properly supporting it in all of the right places.  At Shoes by Shaherazad we promise never to use pigskin as lining in any of our shoes.  Pigskin is one of the cheapest hides around and takes away from the luxurious hug that a high end design can give you.  We use cowhide, lambskin or goatskin to ensure softness and enduring luxury.

The toe puff helps to maintain the shape and height of the front end of the shoe.  It is a piece of semi-rigid material that is heat moulded to the shape of the toe area.  

The shoe sock creates the surface that touches the bottom of the foot.  It covers the footbed and in the case of our shoes, consists of a piece of luxuriously fine leather.  This is also where the Shoes by Shaherazad branding is placed.

Verity Rushworth fashion tweet


The shank acts acts as a crucial supporting bridge between the heel and the ball of the foot.  It can be made of steel, nylon, wood or leather.

An outsole is the bottom part of the shoe that touches the ground.  Outsoles can be made from various materials.  At Shoes by Shaherazad we ensure that this element of the shoe is not made from leather but from a special resin.  This is because leather outsoles are slippery on wet surfaces and lots of our customers in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and beyond need to wear their high heels in both wet and dry weather.  A non-leather sole, in our thorough testing experience, is the safest and most comfortable option for a number of different weather conditions.

The heel is a raised support of hard material, attached to the sole, under the back part of the foot, usually made of hard plastic and then covered in leather.  The small plastic bottom tip of the heel is called a top-piece and is designed to be easily replaced after natural wear and tear.

The Award Winning Shoe Model: 18 Hour Heels 

At Shoes by Shaherazad our best selling shoe is the 18 hour heel.  This is because it is engineered to be worn for up to 18 hours with poise, grace and elegance.

These special heels are designed for up to 18 hours of pain free wear.  Regular heels normally cause excessive pain on the balls of your feet.  But not with Shoes by Shaherazad as these use a unique technology which works by embracing the science of gravity and body weight distribution.  The anatomy of the body, feet and heels work together to create an amazingly comfortable feeling.

Woman jumping in heels

With my heels your body weight is effectively distributed throughout the entire shoe.  The weight is guided down through your spine and legs, and then down the back of the heel, so that a minimal amount of pressure goes across the ball of your foot. 

The shoes have won a number of awards in the UK and beyond.  Need to see more proof?  Visit the 18 hour heels product pages to see our live customer reviews or check out our independent reviews in the press here.

Whether you love blush, black or mulberry, there's a pair of Shoes by Shaherazad which will suit your busy day (and your feet) perfectly.

Shoe Hugs,


Shoe Empowerment Officer

Shoes by Shaherazad


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