Nike Shox

Nike Shox

Shox is a shoe feature first released by Nike in 2000 that is incorporated in several of their flagship athletic sports shoes. The shoe design includes a support system feature, which is an arrangement of small hollow columns in the midsole supporting the shoe’s heel, which are made primarily with polyurethane.

There are different formations of the shox technology, but most models include four circular columns in a square formation to provide cushioning. Later variations in shox models added one or two additional shox, 25 mm high, though they may vary in height; as well as triangular and rectangular shox that Nike claims provide better stability. Some shoes have midsoles made entirely of Shox, like the TL series.

Nike claims that Shox not only absorb impact from heel strike while running, but also claims they ‘spring back’ and add more power to a runner’s stride. Aside from this alleged boost in speed, the Shox is supposed to provide superior shock absorption with high-tech elastic foam. Actor Hugh Laurie of Fox’s ‘House’ is said to have had 37 pairs of size 12½ Shox that he wore on the show and off set. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is also a fan of, and wears Nike Shox. In 2006, ‘BBC News’ reported that Nike had filed a patent infringement suit against rival Adidas, claiming that a range of their trainers replicated its technology.

In 1984, designer Bruce Kilgore began researching the Shox project design. Inspiration for the shoe is said to have come from viewing indoor track sprinters appear to ‘bounce’ after impacting the surface of the track. Nike developers experimented with many materials that were unable to provide the runner with sufficient support and also returning a small portion of energy to the runner following impact with the ground. Ultimately, polyurethane was developed as the key component to the Shox system success.

When Nike released the first Shox based shoe in 2000 it attracted considerable excitement. The new millennium energized consumers with hopes for new technologies, which contributed heavily to Nike Shox’ early success. During the 2000 Summer Olympics, the brand saw a tremendous boost in popularity when Team USA’s Vince Carter dunked over a 7’2″ center from Team France in a pair of Shox. Carter’s dunk would become a major influence on Shox’ advertisement strategy and the dunk was dubbed ‘le dunk de la mort’ (‘the Dunk of Death’). In 2019, Nike re-released the BB4 ‘Olympic’ colorway. Vince Carter sported the shoes in different colorways throughout the 2018–19 NBA season.

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