With an air sole that looks very much like an elevated heel, is the Air Max 270 Nike’s most striking silhouette of the year?
It has been a prolific 2018 so far for Nike. Hot on the heels of the wildly successful VaporMax and its kindred styles, Nike launched a rather unusual silhouette under the Air Max banner: the 270, named, according to the brand, after an internal reference that pointed to the 270 degrees of visibility of the mid-sole of the Air Max 93, which, together with the Air Max 180, inspired the new shoe.
While most brands are rushing to release chunky sneakers to cash in on the dad shoe craze, Nike has not really joined the mad dash in an obvious way (okay, there’s the M2K Tekno, but that’s really released in the shadow of more forward models such as every piece sitting atop the VaporMax mid-sole). The Air Max 270, primarily a “lifestyle” shoe, is a lot sleeker than it looks and, in fact, does make our wide Asian feet look narrower through its well-shaped Flyknit upper. Clunky may be for now, but streamlined and beautifully contoured, we are certain, is forever.
The 270’s real draw is, to us, the heel. The Air Max unit at the back is 32mm high, which is the tallest ever sported on any Air Max. Organically shaped, with a butt that would not be out of place in a Zaha Hadid building or alongside Kim K’s derriere, the air sole gives the impression that they’ll give you extra lift at the heels, but they do not. It’s visually misleading, just as the Louis Vuitton Archlight is—you see a sneaker that may cause the mid-foot to arch, but it does not. The 270 has only a gentle, barely discernible lift at the heel, which causes the foot to inch slightly forward when in stride. It is, therefore, best to wear the 270 with socks for added internal traction even when Flyknit fans would not.
Although out in January, we did not really get to see the shoe in large numbers until recently. We are lured by this colour way: the ashen slate and black (rather than the black and white version, which is the preferred fashionista colour combo). The ashen slate is a variant of baby blue, and the sweetness/gentleness of the colour is a perfect contrast to a sneaker that seems to tower with might, but is really a gentle-to-feet giant.
Nike Air Max 270, SGD229, is available at Nike stores and Seek. Photos: Jim Sim