Anta Sports has launched KT6 – the latest generation of the signature sneaker of NBA all-star Klay Thompson. The basketball shoe is equipped with a shank made of composite materials.
This iconic basketball shoe features a variety of material technologies, including a carbon fiber shank thermoplastic composites for mid-foot support and a smooth transition from heel to toe.
Continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites are strong and lightweight. They provide superior stiffness without adding much weight to shoe parts, such as the midsole, toe kick and shank. The shank is a supporting structure in the shoe that runs beneath the arch of the foot.
Anson Zheng, senior director of Anta’s basketball category and designer of KT6, says:
“The excellent properties of carbon fiber composites can significantly improve the torsion stiffness of basketball shoes and help smooth the transition from heel to toe. The carbon fiber shank, together with the highly responsive midsole and shock-absorbing module on the heel, makes the KT6 a truly high-performance kick on the court.”
Versatile Material for a Sports Icon
In this latest KT silhouette, the X-shaped shank must be very thin to meet the weight specifications, but also strong enough to fulfill the torsion requirements. Maezio composites offer not only stiffness at low density, but also a great deal of design freedom – It can be stacked layer by layer at different angles to form sheets that are tailored to specific performance and mechanical criteria. For the design of the Anta shank, the orientation of the carbon fiber has been optimized to provide high stability, while the thickness is limited to just 1-millimeter to achieve a lightweight feel.
Thompson is expected to wear the KT6 in the upcoming 2020-21 NBA season, which is not expected to start before Christmas due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Designed for Scale and Sustainability
Anta requires a carbon fiber composite material that is easy and efficient to process even on a larger scale. As thermoplastics, Maezio composites can be thermoformed efficiently at high yield rates and low cycle times, which is associated with cost reductions for millions of parts per year. The principle recyclability of the material, thanks to its thermoplastic matrix, offers added value for footwear brands that want to focus more on sustainability.