The Latest Shoe From Nike: Air VaporMax

Find out how Nike’s Air VaporMax shoe performs on the road with our full (honest!) review.

Side of Nike VaporMax shoePhoto credit: Nike

Nike lost its sole with the new Nike Air VaporMax. Just in time for Nike Air Max Day on March 26, Nike is launching a new shoe with that same air technology but with a twist. You may recognize Air Max models because of their squishy soles and side or bottom window that would show you the air chamber. Nike went and got rid of the rubber sole with the new shoe, so you are literally running on air.

The shoe is said to be the most-researched and tested shoe (eight years from conception to retail) that Nike has put out to date. “There is a wow-moment when you put your foot in the shoe – it feels so natural,” says Nike’s Jared Whiteside, EKIN manager (a Nike product expert program, which is Nike spelled backwards). “The upper is all about simplicity, but where the magic and technology is is in the sole.” The full Air Max sole not only offers cushioning for impact but also bounce-response to the impact for a better run.

The Nike Air VaporMax Shoe Review

I got the chance to test out the shoe with an early preview and a 4.5K run. We ran with Melissa Bishop, a Canadian Olympic track athlete, who was enthusiastic about the launch of Nike Air VaporMax before our run. “I’m an 800-metre runner, so having [these] shoes that can perform and have been tested to perform is a huge advancement on what I’m doing on a daily basis.”

The Flyknit upper (a flexible, seamless fabric) is super breathable, and the sole (despite lacking the traditional foam support) is bouncy and comfortable. The heel-strike on the pavement wasn’t as jarring as it could be in other shoes. And while you don’t have to be a sneakerhead to expect a shoe made of “air” to be light, it honestly felt like we were running in slippers. An urban or road run is best for these kicks.

Air Max History

In 1987, the year that Complex called “the best year in Nike’s 40-plus year history,” Nike came out with Air Max. It was the first Air shoe with a side panel so you could see the air compartment. And since that grey, white and red model (which design has seen a few throwbacks over the years, including the current Nike Air Max 1 Ultra 2.0 LE), the shoe blends between trainer and athleisure. However, the latest Air Max treatment with VaporMax is a performance shoe that just might bounce your running to the next level.

Hand holding Nike Air Max 1Photo credit: Nike