This section is dedicated to the people who aren’t familiar with popular basketball shoe tech. It is very widely used by popular brands and they are very important to achieve optimal performance.
This article lists some of the frequently used shoe technologies. Knowing more about shoe tech terminology will help you understand shoe reviews better.
DISCOVER BASKETBALL SHOE TECH
BOOST – adidas’s prestige cushioning system, which is made from thousands of small foam pellets. It is present in shoes midsoles and are designed to be extremely responsive. When a step is performed, the foam deforms and right after the step, it turns back into its starting shape granting the movement more power. The Rose 6 Boost has been one of the best shoes with BOOST implementation to date.
adiPrene – In this technology, adidas implanted the viscous material located at the heel which absorbs shock, significantly reducing the impact especially during running. It protects the heel and joints from stress and injury.
BOUNCE – Newest cushioning system seen on the Rose 773 IV and D Lillard 2.0. Its focus is on energetic play and a very springy/bouncy feel. So far, the technology shows its benefits on the shoes.
adiPrene+ – An older cushioning system, made of standard foam. It is reasonably firm and works similarly to boost or BOUNCE. Still being used on models such as the D Lillard 1.
StableFrame – A hard material layer placed in the insole. It provides extra stability, foot lockdown and absorbs heavy movements, preventing ankle rolls. An older version of the technology exists and still being used now, called SprintFrame, which is pretty much the same thing.
TORSION SYSTEM – arch support system that’s basically a plastic frame between the forefoot and heel areas. Seen on the latest Crazylight Boost 2.5.
TECHFIT – special material that’s very durable, sustains quick movements properly, light and breathable. Used on the jaquard upper version of the D Lillard 2.0.
NON-MARKING outsole – Pretty much does what it says. The outsole is designed in a way that it doesn’t leave any makrs on the ground no matter the movement.
Primeknit – Soft upper material that’s extremely light, breathable and stretchy. Not durable, but very performance friendly for quick guards.
ClimaCool – This technology provides ventilation to the foot. It features small holes in the midsole. The vamp is made with the Pearlescent canvas textile which provides a smooth, satin-like finish.
ClimaWarm – This technology uses the natural heat generated from the foot, maintaining it inside the shoe thus keeping the foot comfortably warm throughout, while getting rid of the excessive sweat at the same time.
Head here for an official & full list of adidas’s technologies.
ZOOM AIR – Nike’s most popular cushioning system, which consists air bags and works similarly to boost – deforms on step and grants power to the next movement. It is present in fairly small units that look like capsules and have different shapes on different shoe outsoles. This is a very widely used cushioning for Nike’s basketball shoes, one of the more successful being the LeBron 13.
Lunarlon – Another cushioning system made out of foam that’s a lot lighter than the ZOOM AIR cushioning, made to be a bit firmer and ultra responsive. Used effectively on the Kobe 10 and the latest Kobe 11.
Max AIR – Nike’s oldest cushion system that’s made of air bags which deform and reshape on movements. Used pretty differently on shoes, so the feel isn’t identical to every shoe. Implemented very well on the upcoming KD 9.
FLYWIRE – A layer with cables that goes under the shoe’s upper and it’s connected to the laces. That results in better lockdown, support and stability.
HyperFuse – A tight and durable material used on the uppers of shoes. Its main benefits are durability and support. It is also mixed with mesh which is in the mid section of the layer.
FlyKnit – a soft knitted upper material that’s made to be very flexible and soft, but also pretty durable and lightweight.
Air-Sole – This technology features pressurized bags of air usually placed in the midsole under the heel or forefoot, or both. They are designed to provide additional cushioning and durability.
VaporMax – A well-known Nike shoe technology, the VaporMax is directly connected to the sneaker’s upper, foregoing the need for a “midsole” or an “outsole.” This material is designed to increase “spring” and flexibility.
Zoom – This technology uses thin and lightweight cushioning under the heel and forefoot, designed to absorb impact load.
Shox – This technology features an arrangment of small and hollowed-out columns in the midsole which supports the heel. These columns are chiefly made of polyurethane. This is designed to absorb impact from the heel strike and at the same time provide increased “spring” while running.
Head here for an official & full list of Nike’s technologies.
FlightSpeed – A fairly new cushioning system for the most recent Air Jordan shoe models. It looks and feels like ZOOM AIR with a couple of new additions and improvements. It was recently used in place of FlightPlate, but then made into a brand new cushioning system. For example, the Air Jordan Super.Fly 4 uses FlightSpeed very nicely.
FlightPlate – A flexible bridge between the heel and forefoot areas. It is made to fully unlock and use the ZOOM AIR cushioning potential, make the step transition smoother and more responsive. It is very well-used on models like the Air Jordan XX9.
Flight Web – Similar to FLYWIRE, it is a webbing system that’s connected to the shoe’s laces and grants foot lockdown, stability and support.
Performance Woven – One of the best knitted upper materials. It is made to strech where it needs to and be firm where support is needed. Similar to FlyKnit or Primeknit.
FastFit – The latest Air Jordan 33 features a whole new shoe technology: the revolutionary FastFit locking system, which replaces the traditional laces. It features a series of cables connected to a single strap or tab. Simply pull the strap, and voila! Your foot is perfectly locked to a true fit, in just a single pulling motion. It saves a lot of time and saves you from hassle as well, which is usually experienced when tying shoelaces.
Charged – Under Armour’s most popular cushioning system made to be light, responsive and balanced between court feel and bounce. The most popular model featuring Charged is the Curry Two.
MicroG – Previously standard cushioning system made out of thin foam, which is softer, bouncier and offers more impact protection.
SpeedForm – A synthetic Upper material that’s very well balanced between support and mobility, is very breathable and comfortable.
HOVR – Under Armour’s latest cushioning system is designed to provide extra cushion plus energy return to your foot. The key element of the HOVR is the “Energy Web,” which consists of a mesh fabric that envelops the cushioning foam. The Energy Web fabric keeps the foam in place and maintains its shape. Any impact is absorbed by the foam and is instantly returned to your foot, this time in the form of energy.
That covers the most popular and recent basketball shoe technologies in a basic manner. Most of the shoes made today use these technologies to benefit the player with additional comfort and performance.
Stay tuned for update to this page if any major brand updates their technologies, discards them or creates something new.