An outer sole for an athletic shoe is disclosed. The outer sole includes a base formed of a relatively thin resilient material and having a heel section, an arch section, a forefoot section, a toe section, an upper major surface and a lower major surface. A plurality of discrete traction elements extend downward from the lower major surface of the base at spaced transverse and longitudinal locations, and include a plurality of discrete heel and arch traction elements located about longitudinally spaced locations in the perimeter of base in the heel and arch sections respectively. A rear shock attenuating area extends generally along the central longitudinal portion of the heel and arch sections. The rear shock attenuating area is substantially devoid of traction elements so that the relatively thin resilient material of the base in the rear shock attenuating area depresses downwardly during foot strike to attenuate the force of foot strike.