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Sometimes you see it, sometimes you don‘t. If you‘re dead you don‘t care about it, if you‘re alive you should.
Not only crucial for human life, but sometimes a way to make a life more enjoyable if altered correctly.
Nike wasn‘t always called Nike, just as Nike Sneakers didn‘t always feature an air pocket in it‘s midsole. Back in 1965 Phil Knight and his former track coach Bill Bowerman founded a company called Blue Ribbon Sports with the main porpuse to help the running community get access to the best running shoes.
It was not until the year 1971 that the dynamic duo (Bill & Phil) decided to name the company afer the Greek Godess of victory.
Around that time new-called Nike started producing the Nike Cortez, the first track shoe created by the Oregon based sportswear company that got released at the peak of the Olympic Games in Mexixo.
The time and way they introduced the new shoe played a major role in paving their pathway to success. It was the Influencer-Marketing of the 70‘s.
Even though the Cortez was one of the most innovative running sports products at the time making 800.000$ in sales the year it was released, it was the Nike Tailwind that broke all the records innovation wise.
It was the first sneaker that featured the famous AIR technology by Nike, a total game changer at the time with the goal to create a shoe that‘s lighter, bouncier and more comfortable.
Creating such an innovative concept wasn‘t easy back in the day, because where would you get all the ressources needed from?
Man on a mission
That‘s one of the reasons why they got former NASA engineer M.Frank Rudy on board who took inspiration from the astronaut helmets used in the Apollo mission and implemented it in sneakers.
With the Vapormax revealing the most and the Tailwind revealing none it seems like Nike wanted to treat their newly discovered Air technology like a wrapped christmas present, revealing more and more of it year after year.
It was the Nike Air Max 1 that was designed by Tinker Haven Hatfield that first showcased a from-the-outside visible air pocket.
If you take a look at the picture above you can see where Mr.Hatfield took his inspiration for creating another stepping stone for Nikes success. The centre pompidou in Paris, France.
It’s what is on the inside, that matters
You ask what are these pockets made of and is it really air that‘s inside of them?
The bubble itself is made out of polyurethan(your household sponge is made out of polyurethan foam) paired with other materials to enchance the capsules stability.
The AIR itself is not really air, instead of oxygen Nike uses ethane hexaflourid and sulfur hexaflourid, so called supergases.
While this is more in-depth information, you may be interested in the fact that Nike Air can actually inflate itself.
The material polyurethan is porous to oxygen while reacting the exact opposite to the gases that are inside of the bubble, resulting in oxygen coming into it but not going out of it again.
As the technology evolved so did the design and the requirements from athletes and fashion afficionados. After the Air Max 1 came the Air Max 90, the Air Max 180, the Air Max 93, the Air Max 95 and the Air Max 97 that featured the first full length air bubble, that streched from the heel to the toes and offered maximum comfort and protection.
9 Bubbles, 1 Concept
One of the latest innovations by Nike is the Vapormax, combining 30 years of technology and bringing us, what the company calls, the rebirth of air.
No foam, no rubber, only 9 air pockets on each shoe with the goal to provide a sensation of walking on air.
As we gathered some feedback from the community here‘s what you can expect from an Air VaporMax if you don‘t use it for running.
– Groundbreaking technology
– Innovative design
– Lightweight product
People using it for athletic purposes should be cautios though, feedback from the running community is not that good. „The bubbles feel like a stud poking into my soles now after 20 miles of usage“ said a follower.
The design is flawless in our honest opinion, something different and just like the first Air Max it might change the industry forever.
It might not be perfect right away but it‘s really exciting to see where the VaporMax is going to take future products by the oregon based sportswear manufacturer.
The latest addition to the air family is the Air Max 720, which features the biggest visible air bubble to date. Comfort really comes into play when faced with repeated hard impact as it is the case when you do your beloved cardio sessions.
You hardly likely wouldn’t have used them for running anyway, but the Air Max 720 is the first Nike Air silhouette labeled a „Lifestyle“ Sneaker instead of a running shoe but going for a jog in those 720’s seems like a fun thing to do.
Nike‘s Air technology was and is until this day something we‘d like to see used in different variations, forms and areas especially now that we were able to see what kind of things can be done with it.