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My Top 5 Foam Cushion Systems


My Top 5 Foam Cushion Systems

I’m constantly asked which foam cushion is the “best”. There really is no right or wrong answer to the question as it all comes down to personal preference. However, I can share with you my personal opinion on the matter in terms of which I like the most. I’ve broken it down to 5 foam cushion systems, the brands you will find them in and my reasons for choosing them.

Check out My Top 5 Foam Cushion Systems and feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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59 comments
  1. This section has further advanced my opinion of the CP3 VI AE being the best all around shoe for me. The cushion provides just enough impact to not sacrifice the low court feel. Amongst the other obvious features, those kicks are on point.

    I really thought that Adidas would introduce the Rose 4 with Boost as their basketball entry.

    1. It wouldn’t be very smart since Rose just got back from injury so if he got hurt again in the rose 4 with boost cushioning then everyone would blame boost cushioning and it would hurt the chances of seeing another basketball shoe with boost cushioning. They should just make it a team shoe before incorporating it into signature models.

          1. Yeah I agree with Nightwing, cushioning or lack of cushioning isnt what causes injury its you physical condition and how much wear and tear you put on you body which leads to injuries. I’m just saying since boost has never been used in basketball people will probably blame it if causes an injury even if its just a coincidence. Zoom air has been around for a long time and there are some people who have and haven’t seriously injured themselves playing in zoom air. So that’s my point if they put it in a team shoe then more NBA players will wear them, since only a handful of players wear Rose’s sig shoes. Now if somehow all or most the players wearing the team shoe get injured then that would mean there is something wrong with the shoe.

      1. I don’t agree that everyone would blame the new technology on Drose being injured, if he indeed gets injured. He tore his acl wearing dated technology as well. My previous point about kobe tearing his Achilles is that no one blames the shoes so if he switches to a new technology very few will blame the technology as well

        1. Yeah and there are people who blamed Adidas for Rose’s injury, I’m not saying they are right or wrong lol. All I’m saying is people are going to want to believe it was the shoes fault, since so many people think “its gotta be the shoes” this is the a result of sneaker culture that was influenced by Jordan’s sneaker advertising. Even Kobe has poked fun at Adidas shoes after signing with Nike. He said in a video “if you wanna break your foot, wear that shit” referring to the Adidas Crazylight. The real truth is no one likes to blame Nike because they’re shoes are so popular and no one likes to call them out because because they afraid they’ll get hated on. You just got to have your own opinions and support a brand because they make a quality product not because the are popular. And that is a rare thing to see in sneakerheads these days.

          1. Either way when a superstar athlete gets a foot/leg injury on court it doesn’t look good for the shoe model and shoe brand.

  2. Great write up Nightwing. Lunarlon is good but I’ve found it to be just a little too mushy in some shoes. Micro G is very good. I love Podulon and wish Jordan Brand would use it more. If they had used that in the heel of the Super Fly 2, then I would have bought 3-4 pairs. I’m really curious where the cushioning technology goes in the next couple of years with the recent improvements in the foams…

  3. Hey Nightwing, what do you think about Cushlon? I know you liked the Penny V. I personally love the Penny V, especially the cushion and the combination of materials. IMO it performs alot like the Lebron 9 Elite but for a better price.

  4. Used UA bionic spine for a 5 week indoor basketball camp this summer. From 8:30 am to 5pm, 5 days a week for 5 weeks, the shoes handled Great. Been wearing for the past few weeks on outdoor courts and they are showing wear but the cushion is about 20% less than when I started.

    The cushion is still holding up well.

  5. excited to see your review on the anatomix. I have a feeling that the lebron xi is gonna be incredible, full length lunarlon on top of full length air.. That might be the future!

      1. NW

        You’re right about hexalite i got carried away. But I disagree on 3D foam. The set up in the Answer 3(maybe 2) with DMX was maybe one of the better Answer shoes.

      2. Sorry it was the Answer 2. IMO it was the best looking Answer after the 5. And actually 3D foam returned for the 4 & 5 after being absent in the 3 I believe.

        1. The answer 2s were beast other than the traction bc Reebok decided to make the midsole and outsole one piece… Never understood that. But i think those had a DMX Ipak in them along with the 3D Ultralite. Never played in anything after the 2 other than the IVs retro but Im pretty sure the 3 had the same setup. The Answer IV had DMX foam, now that foam sucked lol.

  6. Last comment on thread promise.

    If someone buys a $40 UA shoe that is one less Nike/Jordan shoe he buys. Loyalty is built over time and I am sure UA would love just to have their shoes out there and spread by word of mouth and social media (inc your videos). Hopefully for UA over time as more people become loyal to the brand they will step up to higher priced shoes.

    1. Thats true but I see far too often, “oh, they perform great? Cant wait until I see them at Marshalls.” Thats just my thoughts though, im sure there are ppl willing to pay retail no prob.

  7. ive seen boost in a low end model with the cage of plastic adidas was known to use.. inside it said boost.. they been working on it for a while..

  8. Nightwing….if you’re serious about switching the foam, I bet a good shoe repair place could do it at a reasonable price!

  9. I mean I guess foam is better in terms of impact absorption. But I just really like the idea behind air bags, it is just so cool to have air bags under your feet. And they tend to last longer than foam. Anyway, just my thoughts that air bags will always be on the market.

  10. Hi NW, I remember your review on the boost shoes on Kicksoffcourt wherein you did a vlog. If I can remember right you mentioned that boost foam has minimal energy return or something like that. I may be mistaken.. Can you confirm?

  11. Was thinking of the bandsaw “mod” as well, but on my kobe 8 lunarlon insert. I bought an arch support and was looking for ways to make it fit in my kb8 while keeping the lunarlon which i love.

    Glad i dont have a bandsaw as well, my DIY’s turnout to be disasters all the time haha

  12. Great work! I’m big on Asics gel. I wish they would make a basketball shoe. They could kill with the colorways. They’d have more than the Kobe’s!

      1. same here. I love the Cons way back then they were good and relevant. I had the Larry Johnson ones, 2 iterations. pretty amazing shoes with the contraptions that get your feet locked up like a psycho with a straitjacket. a dope straitjacket.

      1. they still do make basketball shoes. although the old ones you are talking about, that is if you are really that old, is that the asics basketball shoes back then looked more like a cross between casual and trainers. they were pretty light and comfy.

        1. It would have been early 90s that I had them, I think it would have been when I was in grade 6 at school. They didn’t look like a full on basketball shoe, but I think they were geared towards basketball. I thought they were pretty good shoes at the time. I found them quite comfortable.

  13. I usually rotate shoes that have foam based cushion to avoid that the cushion gets “punched down”, do I have to do that with air based cushion systems?

  14. And, have you considered trying Asics Volleyball shoes? I usually play in volleyball shoes and find then quite ok for basketball moves.

  15. I like this post
    I have the hyperdunks 2012 and the lunarlon, after like about 5 or 6 months has bottomed out
    right now, specially the heel, feels so hard
    This makes me so curious about microG, I have to test it out!!

  16. Hi nightwings,

    You say that the micro g lasts a lot longer than lunarlon, that mean, micro g last as long as the air bag cushionning?

  17. Did a lot of reading today on what I missed NW, and I’d like to say thanks for writing this up.

    I now have a bit of an idea of what foams are in place in different brands’ shoes.
    I also like the Boost foam on my Revenergy Boosts more than the Lunarlon on my HD2013s, though my HDs feel like they’re molding according to my foot a bit.

  18. I would like to try the anatomix spawn or the clutchfit drive but i am always hesitant because all of the basketball shoes i wore throughout the years had zoom air and it was very good, not sure i am ready to take the leap with an all set up

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