12 Parts of a High Heel: Their Names and Functions?

Here are the 12 parts of a high heel:

  • Upper
  • Outsole
  • Vamp
  • Toe spring
  • Toe box
  • Platform
  • Heel
  • Heel cap
  • Lining
  • Sock
  • Insole
  • Counter

So if you want to learn all about the parts of a high heel, their names, and their functions, then this article is for you.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Labeled parts of a high heel.
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#1 Upper

Does it cover the upper side of your foot? If so, it’s a part of the upper section of your high heel. The upper part is supposed to go over your foot, your toes, both sides of your foot, and the back of your heel.

The upper is usually made of one or more kinds of material that it’s sewn from the back or the side. It’s also referred to as the ‘top’ or the ‘shaft.’

The upper is where the decorations are placed and it’s the most visible part of your high heel. Most women choose their high heels based on how the upper looks.

#2 Outsole

The outsole is the bottom part of your high heels. It’s the part that’s most exposed to the ground. They’re usually made of a wide range of materials like leather, rubber, wood, PVC compounds, plastic, cement, and glue. They could also be a combination of some of them.

They’re always shaped well to fit the style of the high heels. They’re made to be durable, which increases the lifespan of your high heels.

However, outsoles tend to be the first part to start deteriorating. Yet, you could easily take them to a shoemaker so they could replace them for you.

#3 Vamp

The vamp is the part of the shoe that goes on top of your foot. It’s part of the upper. It has a lot to do with how tall or short your leg or foot can appear to be.

There are two types of vamps in high heels: high vamps and low vamps.

High vamp high heels show little skin, while low vamp shoes display more of your foot. Low vamp high heels go great with skirts and dresses, while high vamp high heels are more suitable for shorts.

#4 Toe Spring

The toe spring is the curvature on the bottom front of your high heel. Shoes that are completely flat have zero toe springs.

What’s the importance of toe spring, exactly? It’s of great importance when it comes to walking. It helps with your forward motion as you walk.

It could also be the reason why your feet hurt when you wear your favorite shoes for a long time. They tend to weaken your foot muscles.

#5 Toe Box

The toe box is literally a box for your toes. It’s where your toes go inside your high heel. Most high heels tend to have a small toe box, which adds a lot of pressure on the front of your foot. Others have a good-sized toe box that provides ample room.

Toe boxes come in many shapes like pointy, round, or square. This helps define the style of your high heel.

#6 Platform

The platform is an additional part in the front part of your high heel. They can add a few more inches to your height, which can also make your shoes a little less uncomfortable.

The platform helps decrease the strain on your feet. However, really high platforms increase the chance of a sprained ankle.

The flatter the platform the more comfortable it is. They’ll give you the nice look and height of a high heel and the comfort of a shorter heel.

#7 Heel

This is the defining part of your shoe. It’s called a high heel, after all. Heels are usually 3-4 inches high, which is the most comfortable length for most women.

However, some ladies prefer higher heels that can go up to 5 inches or more. There are so many different types and lengths of heels.

#8 Heel Cap

Also known as the heel tip or the top lift, the heel cap is the very bottom of the heel. It’s the part of the heel that protects it and touches the ground.

It’s usually replaceable since it’s easily damaged. It’s typically made of different types of plastic, metal, or rubber to provide durability.

The cap is attached to the heel through a metal nail. It helps decrease the clacking sound made by the heel.

#9 Lining

The lining is the material used on the inside of your high heel. It goes around all parts of your foot: the toes, the sides, and the back.

The lining is added to absorb any sweat and make your heels more comfortable. It also covers the stitching of the shoes and makes them more breathable.

#10 Sock

The sock of your high heel is the part where you can see the logo of the brand. It’s where the bottom of your foot lies inside the shoe.

It’s usually a thin layer of material. Yet, luxury high heel brands add some cushioning to provide more relief and support for the foot.

#11 Insole

The insole of your high heel determines whether it’s of high flexibility, low flexibility, or no flexibility at all.

It offers foot comfort, support, and warmth. It also helps you decide whether your shoe fits you well or not.

Insoles are also known as ‘footbeds.’ They can be easily removed and cleaned. They’re usually made of memory foam, regular foam, gel, or leather.

#12 Counter

The counter is where your heel rests, it’s the back part of your high heel. A good heel counter will protect you from getting any blisters.

It goes around the backward tendon of your heel, where it provides support and reduces the chances of your shoes slipping off your feet.