Since debuting as part of 2017’s Air Max Day rollout, Nike‘s Air VaporMax model has undeniably become a streetwear favorite. With the unique full-length Air sole unit serving as the standout factor that has captured the hearts of sneakerheads and fashion enthusiasts. Yet many are unaware that the revolutionary sole system is actually part of Nike’s push for sustainability.
Nike recently offered a step-by-step illustration and some impressive statistics for the production of the VaporMax Air unit. According to the sneaker giant, the Air soles are constructed of 75 percent recycled material and are made exclusively at what it calls the Air Manufacturing Innovation Plants located in Oregon and St. Louis.
The 10-step process of creating a VaporMax Air Unit begins with two sheets of thermoplastic polyurethane being fed into a thermoforming machine. A heating system warms the sheets to the desired temperature so that clamps can be set in place. Clamping creates molds which offer a guide for the shape of the Air units. Trimming down the molds forms the recognizable shape that becomes more apparent after an edge cleanup process. Then pressurized nitrogen is injected into the molds to inflate the Air bags that make up the sole system. After a final inspection, the soles are sent to Nike factories to complete an array of sneaker models. Additionally, 90 percent of the excess scrap material accumulated in the aforementioned production process is reused.
In case you missed it, Nike recently executed new diversity initiatives following its recent scandal.