An athletic shoe having a midsole subassembly formed of a lower layer and an upper layer, the lower layer having a rear higher density portion terminating short of the front end and integrally bonded with a lower density toe off pad portion into which the toes can sink during toe off. The upper layer extends beneath the heel and forwardly, terminating short of the toe area. This upper layer and the toe off pad have cooperative transverse grooves which are located relative to each other and to vertical flex grooves in the medial and lateral sides of the shoe upper, to enable the shoe to flex in a smooth curve with the foot. This upper layer has overlapping, laterally tapered wedge portions of different density and an integral, upstanding heel stabilizing cup, one portion from each wedge. The outsole has portions of different densities, the heel and ball portions of greater density for wear durability.