The Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit Utility Running Shoe puts function at the forefront. A functional design makes it easier and faster to lace up, while the mid-height collar hugs your ankle for total comfort. Building on the original, this take features added cushioning between your foot and the innovative VaporMax cushioning. It's a bold look for a quick run.
A full-length layer of foam between your foot and the VaporMax unit provides a softer and more supportive feel than the original. As you run, you still get the lightweight, bouncy feeling, but with more stability.
Two stretchy straps across the midfoot work with the laces to help keep your foot from shifting within the shoe. A toggle lets you quickly cinch and lock the laces, so you can adjust and go.
In conjunction with the foam, the latest innovation of Max Air cushioning helps protect against the impact of your foot landing as you run.
BEHIND THE DESIGNThe Air VaporMax represents a new era in Nike innovation. "It's changed our whole philosophy on how we design for Air", says Cushioning Innovation Designer Zachary Elder. With the VaporMax, the designers wanted to truly capture the feeling of "running on air". The designers started by restructuring the Air unit so they could attach it directly to the upper. "That was the biggest challenge", says Tom Minami, Senior Footwear Designer—but it was worth it. "Without any midsole or sockliner, you get to feel the Air in a whole new way". In previous Air Max models, the goal was to fill the sole with as much Air as possible, but with the VaporMax, the focus is on using the Air efficiently. "As you step down, each lug gets pushed into the Air unit, ramping up the pressure", Elder explains. "As you step off, the pressure releases, creating that springy bounce". After the seven-year journey from ideation to release, Elder and Minami are excited for what's to come. "I'm super-proud of the product", Elder says. "This new approach is going to be a huge turning point for Air – and for Nike".
Flyknit OriginsNike Flyknit technology was inspired by feedback from runners craving a shoe with the snug (and virtually unnoticed) fit of a sock. Nike embarked on a four-year mission with teams of programmers, engineers and designers to create the technology needed to make the knit upper with static properties for structure and durability. Then the precise placement of support, flexibility and breathability—all in one layer—was refined. The result is a featherweight, form-fitting and virtually seamless upper. This unprecedented precision maximises performance while reducing the material waste of traditional cut and sew by an average of 60%. The equivalent of six recycled plastic bottles are used in every pair of Flyknit shoes, saving millions of kilos of material from reaching landfills.