I had to make a quick stop by the mall on Tuesday, and happened to spot a pair of the Platinum Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit. My initial question to the sales associate was geared toward the sales performance. And obviously the shoes were selling pretty fast and the store only had about two pairs left, but none were my size so I couldn’t even try the shoes on for a quick test. Nonetheless I picked them up and was interested in checking out the air pockets. The air units come in two piece and Nike did so to allow the shoes to be flexible. The plastic material that hosts the air is very sturdy and I will attest to the fact that the Vapormax probably holds the most amount of air I’ve ever seen in a shoe. I tried to squeeze the protective plastic containing the air, and I could literally feel the resistance every time I applied pressure- the pockets will not burst out easily since they are very tough and hefty.
The Platinum Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit features a knit upper with integrated flywires for durability, support and a dynamic fit. It took Nike about 5 to 7 years to engineer the vapormax; they are definitely going to be great for runners- well ventilated lightweight shoes with over the top cushioning. As much as I like them , I wasn’t blown away like I thought I would. They look to me like an upgraded Flyknit Racer without the phylon midsole. The $190 price point is a bit exaggerated. I’ll assume that the reason behind the $190 retail tag is the manufacturing of the air unit.
The “air pockets” are manufactured in a Nike owned Oregon Plant that cost 40.5 millons to build.
I still think that as great as the “visible air” technology is, there is a market shift now where non -athletes are looking for the same cushioning benefits the visible air offers but in a different aesthetic i.e. “the boost midsole”. I think the VaporMax was a good move by Nike but a greater and smarter move will be to tap into the Nike ZoomX Cushioning.
By the way, Finishline still has a few sizes of the Platifum VaporMax in stock, see link below for purchase purposes.