It’s always a big deal when Nike release a brand new silhouette. In the first months of this year we saw teasers of a space-age looking new model. Then finally, in March Nike blessed us with the VaporMax, featuring visible air units all round and incredible flyknit technology.
Before anything was actually announced, we kept seeing the at this point unnamed new Nike trainer everywhere. Clearly Nike had handed out samples to up and coming designers to feature in their runway shows, a great marketing tactic. Korean designer Hyein Seo, who is definitely one to watch, decked all their models out in the VaporMax for their FW17 show in London, sparking mass media attention.
Shortly after, French fashion house JOUR/NÉ did the exact same thing. This time with a personal touch of pearls below the laces added. Once again, the crowds loved it and were left wondering when this mysterious new Nike model would be available to the public.
Comme Des Garçons
Needing no introduction, the Japanese CDG brand are huge, one of the biggest names in fashion. Having collaborated with Nike before, it was no big surprise when they debuted their very own take on the VaporMax during their SS17 runway collection in Paris. Not just a custom either, this collaboration was going to be released to the public, and it did. Releasing in two colourways, all black and all silver, it came in very limited numbers and retailed high.
However as always, this didn’t stop sneakerheads and high fashion fanatics worldwide snapping them up in no time. This collaboration actually released before the “OG” VaporMax model, serving almost as a teaser, hyping up the punters more for the main course.
Pure Platinum and University Red
When drop day for the “OG” VaporMax finally came about, Nike released two different colourways, with one being slightly more limited than the other. The limited version was known as the “Pure Platinum and University Red” edition. Being a limited release, Nike actually offered an interesting promotion offering people the chance to get the sneaker guaranteed – with a slight catch.
For the chance to buy a pair, you could download the Nike+ app, and go on a tracked 5 kilometre run. If this was done successfully, Nike gave a free pass to get the limited edition pair, no queuing, no stress, the pair was reserved for you.
The second and more widely available colourway to release was titled simply “Pure Platinum”. This is the VaporMax that most people know as the “OG” release. A lot of sneakerheads actually preferred this to the aforementioned version, due to it “flowing better” and looking “less like a running shoe”. On the initial release it was a big hit, selling out in stores worldwide, although much to trainer enthusiasts surprise it actually restocked several times, giving more people the chance to get their hands on a pair.
In my opinion, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, often releases are so limited that many people who have queued for a pair they’ve wanted for a while are left disappointed.
Nike have always been huge on their marketing campaigns, this is to be expected considering they’re one of the biggest multi-national companies in the world. However they really pushed the boat out with the release of the VaporMax. As I mentioned previously they created hype via the runways worldwide prior to the release. Following this, leading right up to and past the release they launched a massive advertising campaign, with billboards being erected in popular locations worldwide.
The idea of this was to appeal to people who wouldn’t usually be after a brand new Nike release. This is because the target market of the VaporMax wasn’t just sneakerheads. It was also aimed at professional and amateur athletes worldwide. In my opinion, this worked, you don’t have to go far in London to see someone on a run, wearing a pair of VaporMax – it’s been a huge success.
Always pioneering new technologies, Nike are usually at the forefront of trainer features and materials in the present day. The VaporMax especially is packed to the brim with the latest innovations. Of course, it features a Nike Air sole, first used in 1978 on the Air Max 1, it’s come forward lightyears since then. The sole used on the Nike Air VaporMax consists of over 39,000 individual components, and took Nike fifteen tries to get it just right.
The shoe features a flyknit upper, a material that has been used for a few years now, and also the lightest upper material Nike have ever produced. The difference with the VaporMax is that the flyknit material is quite literally fused to the sole, rather than being traditionally glued. Each sole that’s made for a VaporMax model is inflated in custom made machinery, and then goes through a vigorous inspection process. Soles that don’t make the cut are reground and then made into new ones, keeping in line with Nikes environmentally friendly policies.
Releases to Date
Since the original release of the VaporMax was such a massive success, Nike have continually been pumping out more colourways at an unstoppable rate, with each one being a massive success in their own right. Notable releases have been the “Oreo” colourway, pictured below which was another phenomenal success, along with the “Triple White” colourway. VaporMax have also been made a lot more widely available as opposed to other limited sneaker releases, they’re now being stocked as general releases in more accessible footwear stores, not just the elite boutiques.
Nike VaporMax Triple Black
Another edition of VaporMax definitely worth a mention is the triple black. All-black colourways have always been a favourite with sneaker fans worldwide due to the simplicity. With the VaporMax it just seems to work perfectly, it’s almost like the shoe was designed for it. In my personal opinion, this is the best VaporMax to date, and it definitely seems to be the most popular with the consumers.
One reason a lot of people a huge Nike fans, is their consistency to collaborate with other brands, artists and creatives alike. In my opinion there’s nothing more interesting than a decent collaborative sneaker, and the sportswear giants always pull it off well. Although the VaporMax is still a new silhouette, and by no means a classic yet, there’s already been plenty of rumoured collaborations.
OFF-WHITE c/o Virgil Abloh VaporMax
Recently, images have been floating around the internet of a leaked OFF-WHITE c/o Virgil Abloh VaporMax. Having seen Virgil put his personal touch on a few Nike models lately, such as the Air Jordan 1 and Air Max 90, this came as no surprise to us. None of his collaborations have actually had a release yet, it’s all hype at the moment but there’s no doubt this will happen, and it’s one that streetwear and sneaker heads worldwide will go crazy for.
Nike x CLOT VaporMax
Another collaboration in the works, this time one that’s confirmed is Chinese creative agency CLOT giving us their take on the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit. This isn’t the first time they’ve collaborated with Nike, with their Air Max 1 “Kiss of Death” being a collectors favourite. Coming in a killer all red colourway it’s one that’ll be sure to turn a few heads when you’re wearing them. The contrasting black laces finish off the look, making it an all round clean looking shoe.
Nike VaporMax: All You Need To Know
- Launching at the beginning of this year, it’s one of Nike’s newest silhouettes.
- Constructed with revolutionary materials and complex design process, they are extremely high performance.
- They were originally aimed at the athletic market, but sneaker lovers took a liking to them.
- New colourways are consistently releasing, and are fairly widely available.
- The VaporMax has been a huge success worldwide.
On That Note
If you’re looking for a new pair of trainers and want to be at the height of current trends, or by the same token if you’re after a new pair of running/gym shoes, the Nike Vapormax would be an ideal choice. You won’t have to pay ridiculous resell prices or queue up for hours on end to get your hands on a pair either, which is going to appeal to a lot of people who simply don’t have the time for that. The VaporMax has been Nike’s biggest success in 2017, and I can only see this continuing in the coming years, I have a feeling that these are a future classic.
Where to buy a pair of Nike VaporMax
Feature image from Pinterest