A cushioning element for use in a shoe is disclosed. The cushioning element includes four fluid-filled support chambers which are compressible but not collapsible, and which are disposed at different locations throughout the midsole of the shoe. The element also includes four variable volume fluid reservoir chambers which are collapsible to reduce the volume thereof. The reservoir chambers are controllably linked in fluid communication with the support chambers so as to be selectively in full communication with or isolated from the support chambers. By selectively isolating one or more of the reservoir chambers from one or more of the support chambers, and collapsing the isolated chamber, fluid may be moved from one support chamber to another at a different location, thereby increasing the stiffness of the midsole at a selected location.