Top Cushions For Impact Protection!
Cushion in a basketball shoe is a very important component for players of any size, shape, or playing style. Basketball shoes employ a variety of cushioning systems with varying characteristics such as responsiveness, impact protection, bounciness, or court feel. Most cushioning systems focus on one or two of these characteristics, since it is very difficult to make, for example, a cushion that provides excellent protection from impact and excellent responsiveness. Today we are going to break down our Top Cushions for Impact Protection. Impact protection is very important to us here at The Sole Brothers, since Don and Sammy play a lot, and my ankles, shins, and knees suck. If you are a bigger player, play a lot, or need a shoe that will be easy on your joints, then a cushion that provides good impact protection will help spare your legs from excessive fatigue, shin splints, or knee issues. Even the best cushion will not totally prevent you from sustaining an injury, although minimizing the amount of pressure and impact your legs and joints sustain will help you perform better and reduce soreness. In this discussion, we will going to only talk about the raw materials or tech by itself (measure the quality of the tech in its own right, not necessarily how it is used), then we will talk about a shoe that used the cushion in question that we tested to discuss how a particular cushion is used. Be sure to tell us in the comment section which cushion is your favorite, and also check out Don and Sammy’s breakdown of the Top Cushions For Impact Protection below.
4. Jetlon (Brandblack)
Brandblack’s Jetlon foam provides serious impact protection allowing you to play all day without shin splints or pain. Jetlon takes care of your knees due to its softness while still providing good court feel and responsiveness. The Brandblack Blackhawk and J Crossover 2 both utilize Jetlon and implement it well.
3. Zoom Air (Nike)
Nike’s Zoom Air technology is primarily known for being bouncy and responsive, but it does provide good impact protection when implemented correctly. A great example of Zoom Air providing excellent impact protection is the full length Zoom Air insole used in the Nike Lebron 11. If you are looking for impact protection, your best bet will be full length Zoom Air, but that is not always the case. The problem with Zoom Air is that Nike does not implement it very well, they either thin it out or use unlocked/locked units in the forefoot (Jordan uses this setup in their shoes) which are not ideal for impact protection.
2. Bounce (Adidas)
Bounce is a foam cushioning system from Adidas that attempts to be a good all around cushion. Bounce is a soft cushion, with the Adidas D Lillard 2 utilizing a thick slab of it, that provides good impact protection while also feeling bouncy and responsive. The Adidas D Lillard 2 and Light Em Up 2 both use Bounce and provide excellent impact protection.
1. Boost (Adidas)
Adidas’s Boost cushion is the best cushion for impact protection, no contest. The impact protection must be experienced to be understood. Boost is also somewhat bouncy but the amazing softness does come at the expense of responsiveness. Response is not very important to Don or myself, but Sammy highly values responsiveness in order to feel explosive. Whether or nor Boost is the ideal cushion for you largely depends on how much impact protection you need versus how responsive you need the cushion to be. If you need good impact protection and also want a responsive cushion, Boost may not be good for you. The Adidas D Rose 6 is the best use of Boost technology, as it is very thick in the heel and decent in the forefoot. The Crazylight Boost 2015 uses a thick slab of Boost in the heel, but it uses a stiffer and more responsive foam in the forefoot, which is a poor use of a great technology. Adidas looks to make better use of its Boost cushion going forward, as the upcoming Crazylight Boost 2016, Crazy Explosive, and D Rose 7 shoes all use full length Boost. Boost is simply an amazingly comfortable cushion, and if you need impact protection, Boost is the best tech available.