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What is Stack Height? | Running Shoe Terminology | Find Your Stride | Edinburgh Podiatrist

Two weeks ago we posted a blog post on running shoe terminology, with a focus the term 'drop' used to describe the difference in height between the heel and front/toe box of a shoe. Today, we will delve a little deeper into this terminology, shedding further light on its significance and impact on your running experience. Stack height or 'stack' refers to the vertical distance between the ground and your foot when standing in a running shoe. It encompasses both the midsole and outsole materials.

Runner taking to the street
Have you considered how the thickness of your trainers sole might impact your running?

Understanding stack height is crucial as it directly affects several factors that contribute to your overall comfort, performance and running experience. By increasing or decreasing the stack height, shoe manufacturers can alter the cushioning, stability, and responsiveness of the footwear. Consequently, this can have a profound influence on your running stride, gait mechanics, and in some cases injury prevention.

Primarily, the stack height determines the level of impact absorption provided by the shoe. A higher stack height generally indicates greater cushioning, ideal for long-distance runners or those seeking additional shock absorption. On the other hand, lower stack heights are often preferred by faster runners, as they offer a more direct ground feel and enhanced responsiveness.

However, it is crucial to strike a balance when choosing the stack height that best suits your running style, physique, and running surface. An excessively high stack height may sacrifice stability, potentially leading to ankle sprains or pronation related issues due to altered ground reaction forces. Alternatively, an extremely low stack height may compromise your comfort, causing discomfort or impact-related injuries.

In conclusion, stack height plays a role in determining the comfort and performance of running shoes. Finding the right balance is essential to ensure optimal cushioning, stability, and responsiveness while minimizing the risk of injuries. As you explore different running shoe options, make sure to consider the stack height and its suitability for your individual needs. Stay tuned for more blog posts on running shoe terminology, there's lots more to consider.

Find Your Stride!

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