In their race to be one of the greats in the Industry, Nike has always emphasised innovation and technological advancement. Over the years they have pushed the boundaries of sports performance to new horizons, especially in the footwear category.
We take a look at 3 such technologies that have raised the sneaker standard- Nike Zoom Air, Nike Air Max, Nike Shox. Those three have been some of the most dominant in their sector, and are currently in the market.
We take a closer look to identify what gives them the edge and which one you should opt for.
Nike Air Max is the revolutionary cushioning and one of the most popular in the world. Its origins were in the creation of space helmets for the Apollo mission. A slight tweak to fit it into shoes and Nike Air Max was born!
It consists of a special gas pressurized inside a tough, flexible, urethane skin. After each step or jump, the Air-Sole unit pops back to its original shape. The fascinating factor; the Air unit never collapses! The heavy gases contained within do not escape but the membrane allows outside air to enter, which keeps the cushioning as responsive on the 200th time as the first.
Moreover, the Air unit displaces heavier midsole materials, reducing the weight of the shoe without sacrificing performance. Lighter shoes allow the athlete to expend less energy thereby enhancing overall performance. Although intended for sports and performance, the Air Max has become a staple in the athleisure and sports fashion circle.
One of the more famous, Nike Zoom Air has been on the forefront of cushioning technologies. The innovative and explosive cushioning system is optimized for speed and agility. Conceptualised in the 2010’s for aerospace purposes, it was introduced to the world in 2016. Despite being the lightest foam from Nike, it provides the greatest possible energy return for forward propulsion, up to a whopping 85% return!
The construction comprises of pressurized air and tightly stretched miniature fibers that absorb impact and responsively snap back for quick movement. Thereby, the stress on joints, muscles and tendons is significantly reduced. As of now, its popularity is steadily on the rise and, with further upgrades, is only expected to grow further.
The return of a forgotten legend, Nike Shox was the highlight performance shoe back in the 2000’s. Looks can be deceiving and Shox at a glance appears very simple – they’re like shock absorption springs for your feet. However, there’s much more going on behind the scenes.
Comprised of hollowed out, energy-efficient foam columns called ‘pucks’, these are paired with a Pebax foam dispersion plate to deliver a stable and responsive feel. When the heel strikes the ground, the resilient pucks absorb and channel the energy to produce a spring-like effect. The added bounce effect made it a go-to for basketball back then. With an improved design, the Nike Shox makes a return to the court and the streets.
To conclude, Zoom Air is the energy-return champ, Air Max is the definition of style meets tech and Shox adds the much needed ‘bounce’ to your step with an innovative silhouette. The best one for you, would be the one that best matches your requirement.