A cantilever wall uses an upturned L- or T-shaped section and the additional weight of the soil resting on the footing in order to resist lateral load. It uses the cantilever cross-section to convert this lateral pressure to a vertical load. Usually, cantilever walls are made of reinforced cast-in-place concrete or of masonry, though in the latter case the foundations would still be made of concrete. These walls use less material than gravity walls.
A counterfort wall is a form of cantilever wall with the addition of vertical supports along its face in order to buttress the lateral load. These buttresses may be buried or exposed on the outer side of the wall. They convert the lateral load of the soil to a vertical load.