Today it's not at all unusual to find running or other athletic shoes with some sort of patented air compression technology for improved performance and comfort. That innovation came about because one shoe company, Avia, took some inspiration from the Apollo space suits. In the 1980s, in an effort to keep its shoes from wearing down as quickly, Avia turned to Al Gross, an aerospace engineer who had worked as a design engineer in the Apollo program, particularly around the design of spacesuits.
The Apollo spacesuits (and later spacesuits) featured a "convolute system," a series of bellows in the joint areas that expand and contract (compress) every time the wearer moves, giving suit designers control over how much joint flexibility can vary in a spacesuit.
Gross ported this technology over to Avia's shoes, creating a “compression chamber” system in the midsole. Each “chamber” was a pressurized shell, with horizontal bellows for cushioning and vertical columns for stability. By varying the shape and thickness of the compression chambers, shoe designers could alter the cushioning of the shoe.
Similar technologies are found in a number of different shoe brands today. Though everyone still agrees, no matter what shoes you wear it's easier to perform a dunk on the Moon.
(Image source: NASA)