It’s not every day you see a brand-new sneaker design. When so many sports brands are re-issuing or re-iterating tennis classics or models from the past (the ’70s is a fave decade), the recent showing of Nike’s VaporMax, presently designed with Comme des Garçons, is as refreshing as Vicks VapoRub.
Revealed at Comme des Garçons’s spring/summer presentation during the recent Paris Fashion Week, the VaporMax, in either black or white, appeared to be a sensible shoe consistent with the collection. Given what CDG was showing, it was not likely that the models would have appeared in stilettos—CDG isn’t that kind of brand anyway. The VaporMax, with its full-length, visible air soles, is the ideal footwear to bear the weight of what seemed to be heavy sculptures-as-clothes.
Screen grab of the Comme des Garçons spring/summer 2017 show on YouTube, featuring the Nike VaporMax (left)
Nike’s air soles are doubtlessly one of the brand’s most compelling shoe features, and the new version will attract staggeringly enthusiastic response when it’s launched in February next year. The VaporMax was, in fact, announced some seven months back, but it was only last week that we got to see them in monastic motion.
Despite its new silhouette, Nike fans will recognise the aesthetic of the brand’s air sole, here still much along the lines of the Air Max, a sole technology that debuted in the Air Max 1 in 1987. The innovation has not ceased and has spawned close to ten iterations with no diminished appeal to the original Air Max, which stills enjoy yearly updates and is a collector favourite.
The black version of the Nike X Comme des Garçons VaporMax
The sole structure of the new VaporMax
On the VaporMax, the air sole is now a complex of air pods in various shapes that are placed at key points that correspond with the vital areas of the underside of the foot for increased support and flexibility. We have not test run a pair, but it is reported that these shoes, with their Flyknit upper (that allows you to slip into the shoe like a sock), are incredibly light, a boon to sneaker fans who are used to and prefer the buoyancy of the Roshe Run.
But CDG did not only show one shoe branded as a collaboration. Two styles were worn on the catwalk—the other is an all-white, high-top take of the Air Moc. This is a major collab between Nike and CDG if you include the Dunk High shown during the men’s show in June. For Nike-wearing CDG fans, 2017 will be a boom year.