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n addition to edgy design, the extra Air Max technology made the shoes a real fashion statement. But you didn’t really see world class athletes Nike Air Force 1 Flyknit Low Damen winning events with these things during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Nike-sponsored athlete Michael Johnson wore custom-made gold spikes that had virtually no cushioning. Obviously, a sprinter wouldn’t wear squishy trainers on race day, but the idea brings us back to the fact that there is no singular technology that makes shoes better for everyone.
By the end of the 90s, trends in the running shoe industry were heading more towards the sensible than the sensational. New Balance and Asics emphasized things like quality construction and increasingly personalized options for stability Adidas ZX Flux Femme Fleur and cushioning. Nike, on the other hand, went off the rails with the Air Max technology.
After the Air Max 95 proved that pressurized sacks of gas weren’t just for the heel of the shoe, Nike basically inched its way towards a completely air-filled Nike Air Max Thea Damen midsole. The Air Max 97 came with one giant air pouch that stretched from the heel to the ball of the foot.
Then Nike introduced something called Tuned Air—apparently different types of pressure in different parts of the shoe did something—in the Air Max Plus. Tuned Air involved adding mechanical elements to the shoe that would provide the right amount Adidas NMD Damen of support in the right areas. (Nike was actually heading in the right direction with this custom cushioning idea.) There was also a whole line of shoes featuring Zoom Air technology which Nike says “turns the pressure of each step into ultra Nike Air Huarache Femme responsive energy for the next.” By the time 2006 rolled around, Nike did the inevitable and release the Air Max 360, a shoes with visible air that stretched from heel-to-toe.
So we’ve gone from “Air Max” to “Even more Air Max” to “Literally the maximum amount of Air Max that will fit in a shoe.” Here’s the entire evolution, from 1987 to 2015:
If Nike’s marketing team were telling the truth, these sneakers should’ve been bouncing runnings towards personal bests left and right. If Nike’s commitment to leveraging technology to empower champion athletes were legitimate, we should’ve seen Olympians Nike Air Max Tavas Femme standing waving to the crowd while floating on a layer of Air Max gadgetry. But that never happened.