Definition: The shank of the shoe connects the heel to the forefoot, keeping the shoe (and foot) from collapsing while walking. Shanks were originally made of steel. Many are now made of plastic and work just as well as steel and don’t set off alarms at the airport!
To determine if a shoe has a shank, turn the shoe sole side up and try to bend downward it in the middle. If it has a shank, the shoe won’t collapse in the middle. If the shoe bends at the forefoot, that is good. The shank doesn’t extend that far. Look for whether the shoe bends right in the middle.
Benefits: When a shoe does not have something connecting the front to the back, the foot doesn’t have what it needs at mid-stride. This means the foot and toes have to work harder, causing stress on the arch, forefoot and toes. The shank provides stability to the shoes, relieving this stress and helping the foot keep moving forward.
Text: Copyright 2007-2013 Carole Romig Image: PFA Professional Shoe Fitting
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