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.
Here I will list the most used tech and explain what they do and why they’re important in a simple manner. This will also help you understand my 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.