The newest Air Max borrows from two classic Nikes for something entirely fresh.
Nike’s Air Max series has consistently put out some of the most beloved and game-changing sneakers ever. The Air Max 1 kicked things off in 1987, and 30 years later the VaporMax pushed the limits of just how much Air a sole can handle. (Turns out the answer is “as much as the sole itself.”) For 2018, the Swoosh is dropping a brand new silhouette that combines two classic Air Max sneakers from its past—the Air Max 93 and Air Max 180—to create something entirely new and modern.
Now, if we didn’t know that those two shoes were the inspiration for the 270, we might not even be able to tell. But look closer and you’ll see the overall shape of the Air Max 180, as well as its classic pink heel cup, which here becomes part of the shoe’s massive Air bubble. From the 93, the shoe borrows its sock-like fit—which Nike helped pioneer 25 years ago with the former’s then-radical neoprene lining.
Which bring us to the number 270. After all, 93 and 180 equal 273, which was the name of the sneaker in prototype versions. So what gives? Turns out Nike went with “270” to highlight the 270 degrees of Air that the sneaker has, wrapping all around the heel towards the midfoot. That’s significant: though the 270 is the first ever purely lifestyle Air sneaker (previous versions are all technically running sneakers), it also has some serious tech via the tallest Nike Air bubble ever—32 whole millimeters. As you might expect, that makes the Air Max 270 an insanely comfortable shoe. Nike told us it’s meant to tap into the idea of “comfort as a weapon”—in other words, if you’re more comfortable than your opponent on the court, in a meeting, or at brunch, you’ve got a leg up.
Like the Air units on all VaporMax shoes, the Air Max’s bubbles are made in the United States at Nike’s new Oregon factory. So not only are you getting a fresh sneaker, but one that comes loaded with some fresh Oregon air. The black and pink version you see here releases on the first on February, but expect a lot more colorways—like a coveted triple black version— to hit shelves on Nike Air Max Day (March 26).