Shoe Dissection

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I've cut many of my shoes in half to reveal their construction. The most obvious feature this reveals is the thickness and shape of the midsole foam. Notice that even shoes like the Altra "zero drop" do not have a flat midsole per se, but rather the midsole undulates with varying thickness along its length. You can also see the padding that is included in the heel and along the tongue. Note that many of these shoes have had the toe box cut open to improve comfort and reduces the risk of blisters.

The Hoka Bondi. The midsole is thick, but not as thick as it appears from the outside. Notice the rapid tapering of the midsole ahead of the ball of the foot.
The Altra Olympus. This has a similar thickness to the Hoka, but notice the more gradual tapering of the midsole.
A comparison between the Altra Olympus and Hokas.
Hoka Conquest. Here you can see the holes in the rear of the midsole, presumably to soften the rather firm foam that is used.
Hoka Stinson Evo Low
Brooks Pure.
Saucony Hattori. The upper of this issue is thinner and more flexible than most, so it looks like the heel is cut away when in fact it's just the material flopping in the photograph.
Skechers GOrun Ultra. See the full review for details of this somewhat complex shoe.
Altra Torin.
Mizuno Cursoris. You can see the patches of more resilient outsole underneath the shoe, as well as the black denser foam used in parts of the midsole.
Asics GT. This issue uses multiple different densities of foam, shown here by the different colors.
Adidas Energy Boost. The phone used in this issue looks a little like Styrofoam/polystyrene, but it's actually remarkably tough to cut. You can also see a small indent in the top of the midsole where the foot pod would go.
Saucony Virrata
Nike Free. The deep slices into the midsole make the Nike Free remarkably flexible for its cushioning.