Curved last soles for athletic shoes are disclosed, including one embodiment wherein cleats are arranged with gripping edges in the arch and heel that are perpendicular to the longitudinal axis passing therethrough, whereas in the toe cleats are arranged with gripping edges that are aligned in rows that are perpendicular to a line generally defining the direction of travel while the athlete abducts his or her feet during the propulsion phase of running. Cleats in the ball portion of the sole fan out to provide a smooth transition from the cleats in the arch to the cleats in the toe.
In a second embodiment the cleats are disposed throughout the sole in rows which maintain a perpendicular relationship relative to the longitudinal axis of the heel, but the orientation of the gripping edges of the cleats in the toe and ball portions are varied in such manner as to compensate for the aforementioned abducting effect. Cleats of two different heights are provided, relatively tall ones in the ball, relatively short ones in the toe and arch and both heights in the heel.
In a third embodiment especially intended for racing, the cleats are closely spaced between curved-bottom grooves in a very lightweight sole of expanded synthetic rubber. The cleats are aligned in bar-like rows which are oriented to compensate for the aforementioned abducting effect.