Nike’s New Systems-Based Approach to Basketball Sneakers

The Nike Greater Than Series caters to the individuality of athletes and their actions

Nike releases new sneakers daily, but their research and development teams are planning these years in advance. A surprising innovation arrives today, 31 March: three basketball sneakers born from the sportswear giant’s new Greater Than Series, which strives to produce footwear fit for several types of athletes within the same sport. In the same way that signature sneakers (for the likes of LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo or Kyrie Irving) are crafted to the specifications of the given player, these three new silhouettes—the Air Zoom GT Cut, Air Zoom GT Run and Air Zoom GT Jump—accommodate an array of playing styles at all levels.

For basketball—with players of varying heights and weights, responsibilities, top speeds and jumping abilities—sneakers that work for a shorter, quicker point guard may not be the best style for a tall center. As such, Nike rethought the way they designed basketball shoes for the Greater Than Series. Rather than drop sneakers intended for basketball players, individual styles will emphasize particular movements—RUN, CUT and JUMP—and promise to amplify the performance of the described athlete.

“All basketball players cut, run and jump at various points in a game. They all possess those corresponding skills, but they might be stronger at maybe one or two of them,” says Ross Klein, Nike’s Senior Creative Director for Men’s Performance Sport. “This whole family of shoes can play ball, depending on any which way you want to move. The difference is that because one area is the focus for each silhouette, we’ll help enable the player’s ability to do that one thing that makes them ‘greater than.'”

Pulling features from sneakers designed for other sports (with parts from Nike Running, Soccer and Basketball footwear models), the design team landed on three unique styles embedded with technology for other actions. However, the final design is an elevated version of basketball sneakers past, not some sort of universal solution.

The Air Zoom GT Cut debuts tomorrow, 1 April, throughout China. The other two silhouettes will release later this year.

Images courtesy of Nike