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Editorial: Nike Air Max Pre-Day LT

In the history of design and invention, there are some developments that are so immediately impactful that, from the moment their finished form is sent into the world, time can immediately be categorized into ‘before’ and ‘after’ said development.

In the history of design and invention, there are some developments that are so immediately impactful that, from the moment their finished form is sent into the world, time can immediately be categorized into ‘before’ and ‘after’ said development.

For instance, the fortunes of the oil lamp and candle making industries drastically varied before and after the advent of the electric light. In sneakers, one of the key, epoch defining developments was the introduction of the Air Max 1 in 1987. Once the public laid eyes on Visible Air cushioning for the first time, the standards of what defined a truly modern footwear design would be forever altered.

 

In the history of design and invention, there are some developments that are so immediately impactful that, from the moment their finished form is sent into the world, time can immediately be categorized into ‘before’ and ‘after’ said development. For instance, the fortunes of the oil lamp and candle making industries drastically varied before and after the advent of the electric light. In sneakers, one of the key, epoch defining developments was the introduction of the Air Max 1 in 1987. Once the public laid eyes on Visible Air cushioning for the first time, the standards of what defined a truly modern footwear design would be forever altered.

Of course, the Air Max 1 was just the beginning. Over the years, as each subsequent design pushed the boundaries of possibility further out from where the previous one had left off, the Air Max name became synonymous with technological innovation and aesthetic sensibility so far ahead of the curve, that the latest Air Max would be considered, essentially, the state of contemporary sneaker design itself. Although, as in any field in perpetual motion forward, performance footwear’s race towards the future can prove notoriously unsentimental when it comes to the past. In the old days, before there was widespread popular demand for classic models, outmoded designs that weren’t core models would simply be discontinued. As it stands today, the latest groundbreaking design can become tomorrow’s retro heritage classic in an instant.

 

For Air Max Day 2021, Nike break new ground by reimagining the past. Instead of fixed points on a wall chart, the history of innovation that has defined Nike is viewed as a fluid continuum, that can be manipulated at will. The end result of this process is the 1970s influenced Air Max Pre-Day.

The nylon mesh and suede overlay construction sported by so many ‘70s classics is replicated and modernized with a 100% recycled material upper, and synthetic suede overlay design. The foam midsole that revolutionized running shoe cushioning is maintained in the Air Max Pre-Day’s forefoot, while a large volume Visible Air heel unit organically incorporates a strikingly modern structure into the classic influences. Just as the developments of the ‘70s prefigured the future search for maximized cushioning and minimized weight, the Air Max Pre-Day’s use of sustainable materials sets down the markers for the future of footwear design.

Because the designs that have influenced the Pre-Day are, by modern standards, comparatively simple, their revolutionary philosophy is not always fully appreciated. As the very concept of recreational running was still finding a foothold amongst the general populace in those days, the kind of performance taken for granted as a baseline today had to be conceived of from scratch, then perfected, through trial and error, firsthand experience, and runner feedback. The Air Max Pre-Day takes the looks and spirit of the ‘70s, and slides them forward on the timeline, where they can be fully realized in a contemporary context.

This Air Max Day, the past and present are fully in your grasp. So write your own future, with the Air Max Pre-Day.

 

The Nike Air Max Pre-Day LT will be available online March 26, 2021 at 10am EST on a first come, first served basis.

Ricky Orng

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