Skaters Sneakers
February 11, 2005 12:56 PM   Subscribe

ShoeFilter? Six months ago, I bought a new pair of Skaters sneakers. Recently they started to make a weird "clack" sound while I was walking, and I discovered that protuding from a small hole in each sole, close to the heel, is a solid-looking metal strip, about 1cm wide and 1mm thick, looking as though it's been slowly grinding its way out. What are the strips for? Is it really necessary to reinforce the rubber with metal?
posted by gentle to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
I've had something similar in my shoes before, but they were all heels, with a thinner sole, not sneakers. I figured it was something to mantain a level base on the angle of the heel, so they wouldn't fold in half. Can't imagine why they would be in sneakers, other than to add an extra bit of fun to airport security on trips.
posted by Kellydamnit at 1:02 PM on February 11, 2005

My understanding is they are anti theft devices that intentonally break within an hour or so of walking around in the shoes. As a side, that's the real reason they want everyone to take off their shoes at airports, because the things set off the detectors.
posted by aspo at 1:16 PM on February 11, 2005

Best answer: I believe those are called shanks, and they are there to provide arch support and increase durability of the shoe. They do cause problems in airports, and are in all sorts of shoes. They may not be necessary if you have good arches, but they are very common.
posted by dness2 at 1:21 PM on February 11, 2005

Response by poster: aspo, the strip can't be an anti-theft device. I just removed the inner whatchamacallit layer of one of the shoes, and discovered that the strip was riveted to the cloth part of the shoe, on which the sole is attached.

I believe dness2 and Kellydammit are right. Seems like poor engineering in this case. I love these shoes to death -- I wonder if the store will pay for the repairs.
posted by gentle at 1:31 PM on February 11, 2005

Slightly related, if you need arch support you can get it through orthotics without having to have a metal strip in your shoe.
posted by grouse at 2:01 PM on February 11, 2005

Seems like poor engineering in this case.

Though perhaps not from the company's perspective... *cough* planned obsolescence
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 4:15 PM on February 11, 2005

This is pretty common. They keep the sole of the shoe 'springier' much longer than they would if they were just plain leather or rubber.

My Raichle alpine hiking boots, which are superb, have a shank big enough to make into a belt knife in the sole. But most of my good shoes, Mephistos and Kenneth Coles and so on, have 'em too.
posted by ikkyu2 at 3:01 PM on February 12, 2005

I have shoes with anti-theft device built-in. You can have it discharged, and it will go awhile then start setting alarms off again! Had the shoes for years, still happens. Fortunately, most places pay no attention to shop lifting alarms.
posted by Goofyy at 12:25 AM on February 14, 2005

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