What is Nike Air?

The AIR technology present mainly in the Air Max lines, is nothing more and nothing less than a consistent / pressurized air that is placed inside a resistant and flexible bag, to create flexibility and elasticity without compromising the structure.
this is done using an aeronautical technique called rubber blow molding.
Created by M. Frank Rudy NIKE AIR Technology first appeared in 1978 on the Nike Air Tailwind model sneaker.

Who created the Nike Air?

Nike Air technology was created/developed by former NASA engineer M. Frank Rudy and had previously been used to create space helmets for the Apollo missions.

Rudy designed a hollow midsole in which he embedded dense polyurethane bags filled with gas. Thus creating the AIR.

What was the first Nike Air in history?

AIR technology was implemented from 1978 with the launch of Nike Air Tailwind.
So, Nike Air Tailwind was the first Nike shoe to receive AIR technology in the shoe and on its behalf!

How does Nike Air technology work?

For Air technology to work, Nike uses dense gases that can’t escape the polyurethane bag.

However, the bag still allows the transfer of gases to it (as if it traps air and does not let it escape), which means that the air unit will always be full.

Each air unit is placed in the midsole of the prototype shoes in different positions depending on where cushioning needs to be further emphasized.

Examples of AIR capsules

It is usually in the heel area, in order to provide greater protection against impacts and give the necessary cushioning that is needed to wear more softness and comfort.

With each step, pressure is applied to the air units, which absorb and release energy as you walk or run.

Benefits of AIR technology

Nike Air Force 270

Air technology has the advantage of providing cushioning and softness for an average shoe.

In addition, Air technology improves the athlete’s performance in different sports, providing lighter wear as it requires less energy to absorb impacts.

Therefore, it can offer specific performance benefits in different sports.

Air technology is still very versatile, cushioning is used in different ways and for different shoes.

For example: Air Force 1 shoes are equipped with circular soles and AIR units encapsulated in the heel for greater jumping and landing capacity on basketball courts.

In contrast, running silhouettes such as Air Max 95, 97.98 and Air VaporMax use AIR units located at the front of the foot and heel to cushion areas of high pressure during sport or daily use.

AIR cushioning provides superior impact protection to ensure muscles, joints, and tendons are not injured.

Nike Zoom Air: the technology of speed

Nike Zoom Air technology is the result of more than 10 years of research and development.
Today, it continues to provide the cushioning that makes a noticeable difference for athletes.
Zoom Air technology, when inserted into the shoe, guarantees the long-awaited feeling of quick response to steps.
The Zoom Air originally debuted in three different styles of footwear, namely the Nike Air Marauder football boot, the Nike Air Go LWP basketball shoe and, soon after, the Nike Air Zoom LWP racing model.

Since then, athletes have trained, competed and won in shoes that feature this high-speed responsive cushioning.
Zoom Air features elastic cotton fibers that are sewn inside a pressurized Nike Air unit.
Each time the athlete’s foot footwear touches the ground, the fibers are compressed to cushion the impact and then immediately return to their original state.
This generates an explosive impulse and a fast, high-powered response, the moment the foot is raised again.


I would like to humbly thank you for reading this article and showing interest in the history of our beloved sneakers!

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