It all starts at the sole.
As Nike continues to innovate their performance materials such as Flyknit and Flywire, it's easy to overlook the technology that holds it all together. Support begins at the sole, and all those top tier materials that make up your favorite silhouettes really serve no purpose if there's no traction pattern that properly grips the court. Over four decades of research and development by Nike have led them to produce some of the best outsole patterns to ever grace the hardwood, and now it's time for a little history lesson.
There's been many different approaches to outsole patterns by Nike over the years, all based on the various surfaces that the game is played on. From the Nike Air Raid for outdoor use, all the way up to the most recent innovation in traction with the Hex-Zoom design, Nike constantly pushed the envelope to deliver players with the most advanced and highest performance soles in the game. Most patterns were inspired simply by observing the game, and pin-pointing different needs and design elements to get the optimal grip on whatever surface. Most recently, the Kyrie 1 outsole was specifically tailored by designer Leo Chang after watching Irving play and made a tread to support his quick, multi-directional lateral movements. Check out some of Nike's outsole advancements over the years below, and hit up Nike Inc for the full feature.