Innovations in athletic footwear

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It’s surprising just how advanced and unique men’s athletic footwear has become. Styles are manufactured for anything from sports like basketball, baseball, football, soccer, golf, rugby, and wrestling to activities like track and field, running, cycling, training, walking and more.

Basketball Shoes

I’m sure many of you recall the very first Nike Air pumps back in the 90’s. There was that basketball shaped button you could push, as well on the Reebok pump version, which filled the air cushioning around your ankles for extra support. Back then, this was the coolest invention and the commercials suggested you’d be able to jump super high, leap, bound and dunk like some sort of super hero.

It was quite ridiculous when you think about it, but it definitely turned heads.

Today’s sports brands have come a long way in perfecting their styles with top of the line performance details, while maintaining that “cool” factor of visual appeal.
 
 

One example is this men’s Adidas adiZero Crazy light basketball shoe. These shoes are cut high to support your ankles and are super lightweight, at only 9.8 ounces. The material is not only lightweight but also completely breathable. It has EVA cushioning, which provides comfort as well as absorbing impact and shock.

Pictured: Adidas adiZero light basketball shoes, $129
 
 

The lower styles by Under Armour like this one are my favourites. They are simple, yet trendy and can be worn casually with your best pair of jeans. They are extremely lightweight, breathable, with a molded insole, adjustable forefoot strap and superior traction.

Pictured: Under Armour Micro G Black Ice Low Basketball Shoes, $110 and Under Armour Micro G Black Ice Basketball Shoes, $60
 

Running Shoes

There are definitely some interesting details and styles in running shoes, which I’d like to touch on. Something that stood out for me is a model with what’s known as Reflex technology.

From a side view It looks like rubber teeth attached to the bottom of the shoe and is usually a bight, contrasting colour. The Reebok style below with Reflex technology has 76 flex sensors, designed to help your feet move and flex, supporting the natural movement as you run, flex and jump.
 
 

Pictured: Reebok Realflex running Shoes, $90

Other popular styles such as this Nike LIVESTRONG running shoe, simulates the injury protection benefits of running barefoot and has a comfortable, lightweight, second skin like structure.
 

Pictured: Nike LIVESTRONG Free Run+ 2 Running Shoes, $90

Trainers:

This Reebok zigzag training shoe definitely has an interesting look. I’ve found that there are a lot more styles with this type of odd-looking performance sole. This particular style has large zigzag flex grooves, which claim to “propel you forward with every step.”

Pictured: Reebok Zig Sonic Training Shoes, $80

The Nike Shox technology on the heel provide responsive cushioning for impact protection. This shoe also offers multi-surface traction, durability as well as ultra lightweight support and comfort.

Pictured: Nike LIVESTONG Shox Agent, $155

Like I said, it would be impossible to go through all the styles of athletic shoes in one article but above are some of the main design and performance highlights.

Some of the top brands continue to be Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Under Armour, ASICS, and New Balance for best quality performance footwear.

COMMENTS

Brandilyn at 23 Aug 2011

Dude, right on there brthoer.

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