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The iconic Nike Air Max family keeps getting more iconic—now with a revamped take on a storied sneaker. This week, as part of an investor presentation at Nike’s famous
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Beaverton, Oregon headquarters, the
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sportswear company officially unveiled the Air Max 270. While it isn’t as extreme of a silhouette as this year’s hyper-designed VaporMax, it’s still a bold new look for the Air Max family. In true Nike fashion, the Air Max 270 pays tribute to the sneaker’s past while injecting an energizing jolt of modern design.
During the design process, Nike had taken to calling the new kicks the "Air Max 273," as the shoe combined elements from the Air Max 93 and Air Max 180. Eventually, though, the designers settled on 270—meant to represent the 270 degrees of visible air on the sneaker, a feature that was first included on the Air Max 93. The hybrid silhouette features a breathable mesh upper accented with an oversized (and eye-catching) Air bubble on the heel, a white foam forefoot, and “Air 270” branding at the
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ankle. All told, the Air
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Max 270’s elastic body and slip-on construction lands somewhere in-between the retro heyday of a classic Air Max and the futuristic vibe of Nike’s more envelope-pushing kicks. No official release date has been set, but a good guess is that the shoe will release as a part of Air Max Day 2018.
As the Swoosh continues to face increasing competition from Adidas, the company is looking to capitalize on the success of its always-popular Air Max lineup. (It’s also rumored that the Air Max 93 will make a return next year.) The VaporMax was a big swing at an unconventional style, and luckily for Nike, it’s a risk that seems to have paid off. The Air Max 270 isn’t quite as outlandish as shoes like the Vapormax, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of its own hype. It’s not easy to keep a thirty-year-old sneaker
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looking fresh, and Nike’s designers have managed to keep footwear fans lusting for new Air Max shoes year after year. And just like the VaporMax sole, the 270’s oversized Air unit will also be made in Nike’s new factory which is just down the road from the company’s main campus in Oregon.
The Air Max is loved
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for many reasons. It’s famous for being the first Nike sneaker to feature a visible air bubble in its sole—and the fact that design icon Tinker Hatfield (the man behind Air Jordans 3 through 15) designed the original Air Max 1 and Air Max 90 definitely doesn’t hurt. The Air Max 270, then, is a fitting link in the Air Max chain. It's emblematic of one of Nike’s go-to formulas for success: infuse cutting-edge technology with a nostalgic vibe. More often than not, the result is a buzzy, breakout pair of kicks.
The 270 is NIKE’s first
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ever, 100% lifestyle AIR MAX; its heel — 32 freaking mm tall — contains an enormous degree of heel volume displacement, way beyond that of the 1987 air safari, or the max thea, or any other predecessors. they’re so large that some have described the 270s as comfy trampolines, and yet, the shoe design
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nearly turned out even bigger — say what? designboom interviewed NIKE AIR MAX creative director dylan raasch. dylan had nothing but passionate things to say about the newest member of his AIR MAX fam; he even suggests that the playful design, in certain circumstances, could be a symbol of hope.
The ‘270’ in its name signifies the 270 degrees of air seen within its Air Max Unit, which happens to be the tallest one yet at a whopping 32 milimetres! Designed for all-day comfort, the mixed mesh upper and dual density foam ensure ease on the go. The shoe also features three-layer Hyperfuse detailing on the midguard and toe for superior stability. Talk about high tech!