Nike‘s concept-driven N. 354 sub-label has debuted its newest silhouette: the Air Zoom Type. A street-ready sneaker inspired by Nike Running‘s record-setting Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, the Air Zoom Type takes a top speed track ethos and distills it into a silhouette optimal for daily wear.
Available in both a black colorway with vibrant teal, red and volt accents plus a more subtle white and grey with volt, the design boasts a thick double-stacked EVA foam midsole with two Zoom Air pucks in the forefoot and a full-length TPU shank. This provides a similar sensation of propulsion to the aforementioned Alphafly NEXT%, but is more than just a repackaged design aesthetic: its deconstructed look is a direct nod to the Alphafly NEXT%’s original prototypes.
“We took the original prototype (seen directly above), scanned it and then reverse-engineered it for daily wear,” said Lee Gibson, Nike Design Lead. “For example, the TPU plate provides some of the modulation of the Alphafly’s carbon [fiber] plate, but doesn’t give as aggressive of a rocking sensation.”
Unlike the other N. 354 silhouettes — which are typically inspired by unreleased designs from Nike’s archival department — the Air Zoom Type was created in real time alongside the Alphafly. “Rather than just repackage an aesthetic, I felt it was authentic to create a true connection to the innovation story,” continued Gibson. “We achieve that by drafting off the initial concept and idea, ultimately delivering a really raw, visceral version of the performance runner.”
Apart from this process-geared homage, the Air Zoom Type offers a soft perforated suede upper, honeycomb-printed Swooshes, bold tongue branding and thin rope laces. The breathable tongue nods to the influential Lunar Racer and a modernized waffle outsole salutes Nike co-founder founder Bill Bowerman‘s iconic traction patterns.