Nike VaporMax, walking on Air
Nobody in the footwear industry thought that when Nike presented the Nike Tailwind in the late 70’s that it would revolutionise the sector as they knew it. These small capsules of air shook the foundations of what it meant to own a pair of sneakers.
Comfort was not enough any more. The new standard was to be able to walk on air. And after years of research and development, the Swoosh people had got there. They could imitate the feeling of walking on air.
Nike Air Max 1, the silhouette that started everything
The style that would form the basis of Nike’s designs for decades, and showcase the amazing technology behind the shoe was without doubt the Air Max 1.
Appearing in 1997, the shape and style, with the visible air capsule on both sides, is now synonymous with quality, style, function and performance. It was a real first in the history of sneakers.
This was typical of the Swoosh brand from day one. Innovative and forward thinking in design, with the capacity to develop and deliver new technology for all parts of the shoe. And it certainly didn’t stop with the Air Max 1 in 1997. 2016 saw yet another leap forward in innovation. Nike were back to claim their throne as leaders in innovation and set the footwear market on its head once again.
Nike VaporMax Flyknit, closing the circuit
The Nike VaporMax Flyknit, presented for the first time for the Air Max Day in 2016, took the sneaker even closer to that ever present goal – being able to walk on air.
Made of almost 40,000 individual pieces, almost double that of an engine in a small vehicle, it was a design feat never seen in the industry.
The complexity lies in the sole of the VaporMax. The task to build the first Air Max in history that could deliver high performance while running was a design challenge that only the Swoosh team, with years of innovation and experience could deliver. Without ruining the iconic silhouette they were able to bring together a cushioning soft enough to help the runner feel comfortable, along with a high reactivity that guarantees an energetic performance.
In addition to this they also had to consider how to bring down the weight of the shoe, removing as many layers as possible, without compromising the design or the performance. This is where the innovation continues. Traditional shoe making materials had to be rethought or disposed of completely, for example the use of glue.
The results were phenomenal. The impact of the Nike VaporMax Flyknit has been so big that the Swoosh brand has started using the VaporMax sole for some of their most iconic sneakers over the last year. Since we cannot enumerate all of them, we have chosen 3 hybrids that have been the center of attention this year.
Nike VaporMax 97
The VaporMax 97 has been one of the hybrids that most caught our attention. Its upper part was identical to the Nike Air Max 97, a design that seduced all the industry when it was launched in 1997.
Inspired by the Japanese bullet train, Christian Tresser managed to create much more than a shoe. The result was a timeless icon that was able to cross any geographical border thanks to a daring design and a specific color range.
With an upper part faithful to the original essence of the Air Max 97 and a VaporMax sole full of creativity and innovation, this sneaker has become one of the trendiest silhouettes of the moment.
Nike Vapor Max Plus
After a successful year thanks to the launching of the Air Max 97 on the market, the next challenge taken on by the American company in the 90’s was to replicate this success – but with a new silhouette that would be accepted into the hearts of sneaker lovers everywhere as much as the classic designs and the Air Max 97 had been.
Nike turned to Sean McDowell, a well-known sneakers designer for a design with personality and style. Drawing inspiration from the palm trees of Florida, he created the Nike Air Max Plus, also known under the nicknames Tuned or Tn.
It quickly became a new icon of the brand and a best seller. And now is the source of another hybrid, the VaporMax Plus. With the design of the upper staying true to its Air Max Plus roots, and the upper sole taking advantage of the innovation from the VaporMax, the result is a clean and stylish aesthetic that has won the hearts of the public.
Nike Air VaporMax Inneva
Finally, we have to turn to the most entertaining hybrid of all now incorporating the VaporMax sole. The innovative upper part of the Nike Free Inneva is characterized by a colorful weaving that wraps the VaporMax sole. The result is a neat and futuristic silhouette.
The playful color range of this pair increased its visibility and gave it a prominent presence on the market.
The Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit managed to give a breath of fresh air to the company and represents the latest innovation for running by the Oregon brand. These sneakers show the world how innovation can lead to ever higher levels of performance in training and help athletes overcome their biggest challenges and push further and harder than ever before.