Image via Nikestore
Image via Nikestore

At Sneaker Report, we've got all of your performance-related needs covered. Whether you're looking for the right shoe for your first marathon or just want to check out the latest offerings from your favorite brand, this is the place to be. Still, with all the sneakers we test, gear we try, and sports we watch, there's always something new to learn.

Our team knows all about Nike's Zoom Air and Under Armour's Micro G cushioning, but we thought it would be interesting to hear it from the horse's mouth. We chatted with five different brands to find out why cushioning is important and what sets their proprietary setups apart from the rest. Some of them surprised us (check out how quickly Nike's Shox tooling is dismissed), while others were less helpful. Everything from basketball to skate shoes are covered, so continue on to get the rundown on sneaker cushioning straight from the source.

Riley Jones is a freelance writer from Charlottesville, VA and a contributor to Sneaker Report. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things pop culture, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.

RELATED: The Complete History of Cushioning Technology in Sneakers
RELATED: We Chatted 5 Running Companies Our Sneaker Questions, Here’s What They Had to Say

Nike
Image via Blogspot

Nike

Q: What’s Nike's most popular cushioning tooling?
A: “It depends on the shoe.”

Q: How about for running and basketball?
A: “Our lunar shoes use Lunarlon cushion for a springy feel. Our Zoom Air shoes use Zoom Air units encased in Cushlon for a plush, responsive feel.”

Q: I'm interested in Lunarlon. Will it make me jump higher or run faster?
A: "I would be happy to take a look for you, one moment."
(10 minutes later...)
"The Lunarlon technology proves stability and support and should help you both run faster and jump higher."

Q: Really? So I'll be able to slam dunk?
A: "Not necessarily. It will boost your performance but it not a performance enhancer. It is a different type of cushioning that will provide more stability when running and more support when jumping."

Q: How about Air Max and Shox? Are they still around?
A: “We do have the Air Max 2014, which is a great shoe for walking and running. We no longer carry the Shox.”

Q: Is there an ideal cushioning for each sport/activity, or does it just depend on the athlete?
A: “It mainly depends on the athlete and the preference of feel. Running shoes typically have more cushion due to the constant pounding on the ground. Training/Basketball shoes will have less cushion and will be lower to the ground for more side to side support.”

UA
Image via Under Armour

Under Armour

Q: I was curious about UA's Micro G cushioning. For starters, why does cushioning matter for an athlete?
A: “Well the cushioning is important because the athlete doesn't want to put a strain on their body. For example if you have good cushion on your feet its better for your knees and ankles.”

Q: What activities is Micro G suitable for?
A: “Yes the Micro G cushioning with the 4D foam. The Micro G cushioning is in everything from running to basketball shoes.”

Q: And what about different sized players, is it going to work as well for a center as it does a point guard?
A: “Thats wear [sic] the 4D foam comes into play, the 4D foam will actually mold to the wearers feet for a more comfortable locked in fit, with the same cushioning”

Q: Do you know if the Micro G/4D Foam combo is something you guys are going to continue to stick with, or is there maybe something new in the works?
A: “Def. going to stick with it, it also helps keep the shoes light as well”

Q: One last question, what's the most comfortable cushioning you've felt in a performance sneaker?
A: “I was really surprised how comfortable the Evo Spines or the Apollo. Prob Apollo 1st then Evo. The heel cup on the Apollo sets it apart”

DC Shoes
Image via Ask Logo

DC Shoe Co

Q: Why is cushioning important for a skater?
A: “The cushioning is very important for a skater because it provides comfort as well as support. Especially if you like to do tricks and have a good time while skating, the cushioning is very important.”

Q: Can you tell me some of the cushioning setups used by DC?
A: “Let's use our Performance wrap cupsole construction for example. It's designed to offer a more sturdy fit and more protection. This will be great for someone who needs protection when landing. You're going to need this cushioning to ensure the impact is properly absorbed and not harmful to you. You can find this feature in our Crisis Tx Se Shoes. It can vary depending on what you want and need from your skate shoes. I also encourage you to review the product details and features listed for our skate shoes below Recommended For You on the product page.”

Q: I'm pretty hard on my kicks and I need something that will hold up well, what would you recommend?
A: “I would suggest our Cole Pro TX SE Shoes. It's great if you are hard on your shoes because of the Clean Toe that has no stitching, which will help avoid damages and blowouts.”

Vans
Image via Ahoodie

Vans

Q: Why is cushioning important to for a skater?
A: “More cusion is not as hard on the knees or heels”

Q: Can you tell me about some of the cushioning used by Vans?
A: “Not sure what you mean.”

Q: What sorts of cushioning does Vans use in their skate shoes?
A: “UltraCush Lite adds the highest level of impact cushioning while single-wrap Pro Vulc construction delivers improved cushioning also featuring the Vans original Waffle Outsole. - See more at: http://www.vans.com/shop/mens-shoes-skate/chima-ferguson-pro-cork-rubber-red#sthash.RhsJV5nv.dpuf”

Q: Ok great. Is Vans cushioning suitable for both vert and street skating?
A: “Yes”

Q: Ok, because I trend to beat up my shoes quickly and I was wondering which setup might be the most durable
A: “These are our most popular sk8 shoe http://www.vans.com/shop/SearchDisplay?storeId=10153&catalogId=10703&langId=-1&beginIndex=0&searchSource=Q&sType=SimpleSearch&searchTerm=chukka

Image via Rung Blog Run
Image via Rung Blog Run

Brooks Running

Q: I was wondering about cushioning in running sneakers. Why should I care about it?
A: “The cushion helps absorb the shock"

Q: Ok, but why does that matter to me? Why can't I run in my sandals or Chuck Taylors?
A: “Well you could run in those, but they won't provide support or cushion so that may be more painful to run in”

Q: Do Brooks shoes use any special kind of cushion? If so, what is it?
A: “Yes. We use BioMogo and DNA cushioning, they help absorb shock and disperse the impact when running”

Q: What sets these cushions apart from the rest?
A: "
There is different technology in them that helps absorb shock and disperse impact more efficiently than other cushioning systems"

Q: Can you tell me about some of the technology? Sorry I am new to this
A: "The technology is proprietary. Most shoes have a EVA based cushioning which is a foam like material....each brand is a little different"

Q: So what is the Brooks BioMogo and DNA made of?
A: "BioMogo is a EVA blend and DNA is a gel like substance"

Q: Will they help me run faster? I'm trying to beat my marathon time from last year
A: "Well it can be beneficial for your training to have good shoes. The shoe itself will not necessarily make you faster though"

Riley Jones is a freelance writer from Charlottesville, VA and a contributor to Sneaker Report. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things pop culture, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.

RELATED: The Complete History of Cushioning Technology in Sneakers
RELATED: We Chatted 5 Running Companies Our Sneaker Questions, Here’s What They Had to Say

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