The protective padding (cushion) of the shoulder pad is made of open cell foam. Within the foam are thousands of tiny air cells. By adhering the outer fabric to the foam, a sealed environment is created trapping the air inside of the cushion. When an outside force is exerted on to the shoulder pad shell (load spreader), the force causes the shell to push on the cushion, forcing the air to move within the cells of the foam out 360 degrees, thereby lessening the blow from being felt straight in to the point of impact. There is a much wider area of dispersion, resulting in less trauma to the body.