“This is definitely a step into the future for us from where we’ve typically been with Air Max. We feel where it’s taking us and what it’s going to inform in the future is really promising,” Brett Holts, VP of footwear at Nike, told Footwear News.
During a press preview of the shoe in New York City today, the exec described it as “the most runnable Air Max.” The brand set out to remove as many layers as it could between the foot and the Air unit. The stripped down Air VaporMax — which is seven years in the making — is essentially a full-length Air unit and a Flyknit upper, and weighs in at less than 10 ounces.
The shoe is without a midsole or outsole, forcing Nike to toughen-up its exposed Air unit. To keep it from puncturing, Holts said the brand added TPU layers to the unit to give it added thickness, and integrated rubber on the shoe’s high-wear zones.
Nike used runners’ pressure data to focus on where they need the brand needed to place the air in the shoe, and outfitted the Air VaporMax with a two-piece Air unit that boasts 25 pounds per square inch of pressure throughout.
“We’re giving people the purest expression of what it’s like to run on an air bag, our ultimate cushioning,” Holts said.
The shoe arrives late spring and will retail for $190.