The Nike Air collection changed the shoe game forever. Nike first dropped its Air Cushioning Technology back in 1979 (developed by Frank Rudy, a former NASA engineer) and the shoe game has never been the same since. What this innovative technology did was embed Air Cushioning inside the midsoles of Nike’s running shoes, forever changing how athletes approached athletic performance footwear. The first sneaker to be graced with such technology was the Air Tailwind in 1978, replacing traditional-molded EVA soles with urethane pouches filled with gas.
The first Air Max 1 dropped in 1987 and featured the first visible Air unit and was created by Tinker Hatfield, who took inspiration Paris’ Pompidou Centre (which is known for its deconstructed architecture). Hatfield actually came from an architecture background and was first hired to design a few buildings on Nike’s Oregon property. In 1985, he requested to try his hand at designing footwear and the rest is history! Not only was he successful in applying his architectural knowledge and background to designing sneakers, but it was obviously a move that ended up paying off for both the legendary designer and the shoe giant.
And over the years, Nike only perfected their Air Cushioning Technology, providing even more comfort and cushioning in their Air Max sneaker. But what Nike didn’t expect is that Air Max series would do more than help athletes on the track, but make the biggest statement in streetwear fashion.
The Nike Air Max series has since then grown to become a sneaker icon, with fans and sneakerheads, alike, dropping serious cash on the latest model. So what makes these sneakers so coveted by streetwear aficionados everywhere? It could be a combo of its striking Nike Air unit and stylish design cues that have earned it a spot in locker rooms everywhere in addition to becoming the “it” shoes for serious sneakerheads.
Since the first iteration dropped by in the ’80s, Nike has released subsequent models, which each improving on the last, upping its style and function in every possible way. In fact, Nike banks on sneakerheads and die hard Air Max fans holding their breath each year for new releases and they didn’t disappoint for 2018. The latest model is the Air Max 270 dropped back in February and, boy, were fans elated on the package. Just last year, they were blown away with the highly coveted new-look VaporMax Flyknit, so Nike knew they didn’t to hit it out of the park with their
To outdo their last hit, Nike dropped the Air Max 270, which is their first lifestyle sneaker. That just simply translates to being an all-day wear shoe rather than designed for sport performance. It’s “270” moniker plays to the fact that you can see 270 degrees of visible air within the Max Air section. But just because it’s Nike’s first lifestyle Air Max doesn’t mean it sill was made with the same rigor as its sport performance predecessors; Nike just made sure to make it live up for everyday wear with its form-fitting zoned mesh upper that allows more breathability and flex than before, in addition to is molded dual-density form layer that gives off a smooth transition from heel to one’s forefoot. The 270 also sports the tallest Air Max heel in the 31 years of the shoe’s history – 32 millimeters to be exact. According to Nike, it’s supposed be a design take on the idea of “comfort as a weapon,” so that your comfort is a tool against your competition on the court or in a meeting.
But a true Air Max lover can’t deny its styling cues that are a throwback to the early-’90s icons like the Air 180 and Air Max 93, but yet, create something totally different and modern. You’ll notice the shape of the Air Max 180, as well as its pink heel cup that becomes the 270’s huge Air bubble. The show borrows the tight sock-like fit from the 93 model, perfectly combining the style from two past icons to form a radically new design that will surely become a legend on its own.
Now, sneakerheads are left debating where on the icon spectrum the 270 will fall amongst other greats like the Air Max 90, Air Max 95, Air Max 97, Air Max 180, Air Max Plus, Air Max 360 and Air Max 2015! But one thing is for sure – Nike will only expand on the lifestyle aspect of the Nike Max and we can’t wait to see where that takes the most beloved sneaker of all time!