An athletic shoe is described having an external heel counter member made of a resilient material, such as rubber or other elastomer for greater stability and comfort. The external heel counter is bonded to the outer surface of both sides of the heel portion of the shoe upper and extends around the heel. A multi-layered shoe sole is provided including a heel wedge layer or other raised heel portion for raising the heel of the foot above the bottom surface of the toes. The shoe sole also employs a midsole layer which extends the entire length of the shoe. In one embodiment the bottom edge of the external heel counter member surrounds the rear portion of the midsole layer and is bonded to the top of the heel wedge layer. In another embodiment the bottom edge of the heel counter member is turned under the heel and is bonded between the shoe upper and the midsole layer.