Nike Air Max 2021



Hello, Sketchers.

I don’t (and speaking as someone about as far removed from footwear as one can get) understand the trend of the ENORMOUS sole. It seems like it’s everywhere.

AirMax shoes are cool because there’s an actual pocket of air under your foot (1987)-

So I think this new design highlights that in a really cool way. The video on the Nike website shows it flexing and it’s great.
The upper of this new one has some interesting textures.

Some other current Nike designs are truly freakish…

OK, for real though.

I get where this is coming from (lifestyle, not running) and it includes pretty much every current trend (last shape, track stitches, round laces, random geometric shapes, oversize type, loose “deconstructed” edges, translucent materials, etc.), but overall it feels cheap and not exciting.

The tooling is kind of interesting and I like the reveal of the large airbag and how they’ve separated the bag from the TPU chassis around it, but I think the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

The midsole shape and last shape look a bit inspired by a retro AM90 shape, but I feel the overall look would work better with a more modern and athletic profile. Maybe even work the sidewall shape better to fit the air bubble. Something like attached (excuse the sloppy liquify job).

All that being said, I’d be curious to see this in hand in real life to see how the tooling works around the airbag. The upper, rest of the midsole and outsole is forgettable.

What do you think Michael?


PS. all the other shoes above are lifestyle, with the exception of the Alphafly (white and pink) which is a real running shoe. Probably the best running shoe on the market currently.

Brother from another mother?


I remember these from ages ago.

I was thinking more along the lines of fashion/lifestyle “athletic” shoes with enormous soles.

It feels a lot of trendy sneaker shapes and textures are swimming in the wake of 2013/15 Yeezy releases.

What do you think @MD?


I need to check them out in person. I love the airbag execution. The proportions I think are in one with contemporary lifestyle products. The visual direction the tooling takes seems different than the visual direction of the upper. Contrast between the tooling and the upper can be a good source of tension in a design, but I’m not certain if that was the intent here. Minor detail, but I would have loved for the paint line in the tooling to come down a few mm in the mid foot to intersect the airbag opening. Right now it is almost tangent but not quite (because that is not possible in manufacturing). Another solution would have been to make a point at the upper forward edge of that airbag opening (the opening, not the bag obviously) so the paint line could cleanly intersect it in production. The airbag design and housing is pretty fantastic. That to me screams AIR MAX.

I think the 270 was a great design! Really almost perfect to my eyes. I just bought another pair and will do an unboxing review for the YouTubes.

Good catch on that paint line on the sidewall. I didn’t notice that but now that you mention it, Michael, I can’t unsee it. It looks like it’s the overlap of the TPU “cage” with the forefoot midsole, but definitely could have been resolved a bit nicer.

I 100% agree the 270 is amazing. Even the simple bias to the upper engineered mesh and varied size of holes is so well considered. I don’t find them super comfy on the foot, but I’ve chopped up many a pair to use for design reference. The last shape is also closer to what I was thinking could help the 2021 have a bit more shape.


Seems like a bit more toe spring and a lower toe box.

Maybe less ball girth too. Weird retro/lifestyle (Adidas ZX, Yeezy, etc.) last shape aside, more toe spring is always a good thing I think :wink:


Air Max but with nostalgia

Would rock those for sure.

The wacky details in the third pic of the original post are bizarre - and cool - and crazy - and in bad taste - and in good taste! It seems to me that NIKE is one of the few global brands that can take chances like this with absolutely no negative impact whatsoever. That’s an impressive feat and an example of the power of a juggernaut! (I live in the land of Under Armour, it’s everywhere here in Baltimore) but I remain a NIKE guy.

I was a fan of the AirMax 720. Though I didn’t get them.