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One of Nike Sportswear’s most exciting new products has a lineage that’s instantly recognizable. Charged with updating a classic of Nike design, 1987’s Air Max 1, the Nike Sportswear Footwear Design Team dialed up technological innovations and re-mastered the performance and design of the original to create the Nike Air Maxim.
“We took the original Air Max 1 design brief and ran it through a present-day filter,” says Nike Sportswear Design Director Jesse Leyva. “We tried to solve the very same problems Tinker Hatfield did with the technology of that time, using the technologies and Nike sporting innovations of today and tomorrow.”
Like Hatfield, Leyva and his design team focused on lightweight stability and cushioning. The result is a staggering 66% weight reduction from the original, with the Air Maxim coming in at a mere 10.1 ounces. This dramatic weight reduction can be attributed to several key features:
Introduction of the innovative Acespan Mesh, a lightweight material developed for the 2008 Nike LunaRacer—coupled with Flywire Technology—that debuted in the 2008 Zoom Victory Spike, the lightest, strongest running spike ever made. It drastically reduces weight while creating an upper that moves with the foot and is stronger than ever. Deployment of a three-piece injected Phylon midsole, optimizing cushioning and support. Use of lightweight screen-printed Swoosh design trademark and eyelet details, which further reduces the overall weight. From the turf to the court to the street, the Air Maxim 1 is set to let you perform on air in any situation.
To ensure that its heritage remains true, the Air Maxim 1 still features its trademark suede heel counter and rand in original Sport Red, a revolution in its own right back in 1987.
“From a performance standpoint we had no intention to take a step back,” Leyva insists. “It was paramount to be true to the original design brief and make a running shoe that can perform to the highest standards, while retaining its original design lines and iconic color. We’re very proud of the results.”