May 12, 2017 | By WGSN Insider
Apr 04, 2017
By Dan Bisson
Within the footwear industry Nike is best known for its innovation and technology directions. With each new footwear release it retains its title as one of the most influential sneaker players around the world. Case in point: the new Nike Air VaporMax sneaker, which highlights the return of air bubble soles.
Historically air soles were pumped with as much air as possible but the newest Nike creation uses a reduced amount. Nike’s Cushioning Innovation Designer Zachary Elder explains more: “As you step down, each lug gets pushed into the Air unit, ramping up the pressure,” Zachary continues. “As you step off, the pressure releases, creating that springy bounce.” Intelligent designing is at the forefront, recycling the foot and body’s natural strides and motions.
The prominent runner and cupsole silhouettes dominate the sneaker markets so it was only a matter of time before air looks added to these constructions. Gel pockets continue to gain momentum for both women’s and men’s uppers and outsoles, updating classic 90’s design aesthetics. MSGM, Raf Simons x Adidas, Asics and Anta are also pushing the air bubble look, perfect for both low and high performance, as well as lifestyle activities.
Raf Simons x Adidas
MSGM have applied the air pocket to the sole heel, resulting in a lifestyle women’s shape. The sports world continues to influence the casual and formal markets, forming the ultimate comfort footwear shapes.
Lightweight and durable, air bubbles reinforce the rise in stylish comfort footwear. Brands are gradually introducing the fresh direction, developing rubber and gel materials to create distinctive sneaker components. Designed to cushion and support the underfoot, the technical detail provides flexible looks for lifestyle and active silhouettes. Pockets are built into the designs, forming practical commercial and contemporary shapes for the men’s and women’s markets. Shades of blue and clear rubbers are strategically placed to create cushion pockets for the heel, toe, quarter and tongue.
The time has come to ‘walk on air’ and reap the rewards of innovative design directions.
Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.