Showcasing the efforts of Nike working through the pandemic to produce a sneaker with the most Air ever.
After 35 years of Air Max sneakers, Nike may have reached what could be considered the pinnacle of technology with the Air Max Scorpion. Early images have floated around the internet for some time, though an official unveiling has just occurred courtesy of The Swoosh.
The design process of the sneaker took place over the course of 18 months, encompassing a large portion of the pandemic that presented with it challenges for designers, engineers, and scientists, in terms of coordinating work. In order to actually get the sneaker to the public, the development team had to lean on VR design software and simulation tools that allowed members of the team to collaborate in real time on the Scorpion silhouette. Instead of creating samples, waiting for them to reach the lab, and then testing them for performance, Nike utilized Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and in-house testing of virtual prototypes that gave them the data they needed to refine the design while also reducing the environmental impact of producing physical samples.
As for the sneaker itself, Nike’s Flyknit tech is redesigned to feature a chenille finish thanks to its new construction method, though the midsole and outsole are the real highlights of this model. Having the most Air (in terms of pounds per square inch) of any sneaker to date, the stacked design provides a piston-like effect through point-loaded contact points between the foot and airbag. The outsoles traction pattern was optimized through software, and as an entire package, creates a unique underfoot sensation giving the wearer greater awareness of their movement. With all of these radical overhauls, The Swoosh is still sticking to its goal of “Move To Zero” with 20% recycled content by weight making up the materials of the shoe.
The Air Max Scorpion is set to debut on October 5th, 2022 in the Phantom colorway through Nike and select retailers online and in-store. Releasing in men’s sizing, the retail price is set at $250. For updates on the latest from The Swoosh and more in the sneaker and streetwear scene, keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app.
Air Max Scorpion “Phantom”
Images via Nike