Creating the Nike Air Max 720

Innovation isn’t always the only key to success in the trainer world, with a product portfolio as broad as Nikes, they wouldn’t be blamed for resting on the laurels, but with the fashion landscape in seemingly perpetual motion, they’ve turned to a little more air in order to rise above the competition. The resulting creation, the Nike Air Max 720 is a fresh evolution of one of Air Max’s most defining elements. The Nike Air unit first deployed over 30 years ago when in 1987 Tinker Hatfield conjured up the Nike Air Safari, the first pure lifestyle model to feature an Air unit, which at the time was situated in the heel. Fast forward to 2019, and the Nike Air Max 720, thanks to technological advancements, have become the first full-length Air Max unit promising to offer a level of comfort that previously hasn’t been possible from any lifestyle intended product.

The 720 Air Unit

Nike seems to be very proud of making a habit of outdoing themselves and to break their own records is a challenge they welcomely accept. The 720 is openly described as a predecessor to the Nike Air Max 270, a shoe that launched in February 2018 and at the time came equipped with the tallest Air unit you could buy anywhere, registering at 32mm high. The Nike Air Max 720, it’s plucky little brother refusing to be beaten has outgrown that record upping the ante with a height of 38mm. This translates for customers as the most spring that has been achieved from any Nike Air Unit giving the most significant heel volume displacement which in more straightforward terms means this new Nike model has got more bounce and delivers more comfort than any other you could feasibly find on the market.

Why is it called the Air Max 720?

The shoe’s numerical name ‘720’ refers to the degrees of visibility that is achieved on it, a full 360 degrees both horizontally and vertically means it acts like a cradle for your foot and that effect is its most telling attribute when trying to explain how its comfort levels are achieved. For me, this shoe acts as a shock absorber for every step you take, and its design, although perhaps more evolution than revolution, is clearly and obviously a result of 30 years of continued development. This shoe’s framework technically is something to me marvelled, but its aesthetic takes it even further from what we are used to seeing.

What is the Air Max 720 made of?

Composed of more than 75% recycled manufacturing waste and inspired by nature this shoe’s silhouette is unlike any we have seen, the swirling pattern present on the shoes upper lends itself perfectly to colour patterns projecting natural themes. With its flagship colourways named things like ‘Sea Forest’ and ‘Sunset’ and mostly of a two-tone blend, it creates a style for the shoe which actively promotes the thing it is trying to save with the materials it uses, our environment. No one can criticise Nike for that, even if the design aesthetic might seem for some more “out there” than perhaps would previously be entertained by a member of the Air Max family.

The future of Nike?

For me, the Nike Air Max 720 looks like progress, many will love the way it looks; sleek stealthy, and a little bit space age, and others might see it as an Air Max that merely has lost its way – a psychedelic looking Presto? The 270 that went too far? I think only time will tell if this shoe is a success in a greater context, as after all its competition going into 2019 is incredibly stiff; with the React Element 87 championing a similar natural theme with an all the more familiar skeleton is already flying off shelves. I for one applaud Nike for the Air Max 720 however, to continue to innovate, to dare to try something new is precisely why Nike is and will stay, at the top. For fans of this shoe, keep your eyes peeled, whispers of a collaboration with Undercover are circulation, just as the React Element 87 has previously linked up with the Japanese streetwear tycoon. The pictures that have circulated of the colourways that are touted for making a hardwood runway debut at Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2019 look incredible, taking the silhouette to an even more alien place with a star covered air unit and a set of vibrant colours to match.

New Air Max 720 colourways for 2019

Undercover’s rumoured collaboration with the space age Nike silhouette isn’t the only new release the Swoosh has in store for fans of the Air Max 720, we may have already seen a plethora of vibrant colours and creative themes find themselves painted across this shoe but it doesn’t look like Nike are running out of ideas any time soon as three new colourways have been announced for May 2019 which includes a ‘Volt’, ‘Obsidian’ and ‘Spirit Teal’ variants all of which offer their own distinctive appeal in an already eye-catching range.

Air Max 720/95 Heron Preston

The most exciting version of the Air Max 720 without a doubt is yet to come, however, as part of the global celebration of Air Max, Nike has teamed up with four game-changing creatives to introduce some new visions of Air Max to the public. One of these individuals is NYC-based Heron Preston, who follows up his capsule collection from February with a unique interpretation of the Air Max 720. Splicing DNA from the fabled Air Max 95 with the 720 skeleton, the resulting creation which arrives in various colourways is a jaw-dropping fusion of style and technical innovation. Honouring the new Max unit with a fully translucent upper made with the same “bubble” shell that has been a true hallmark of Nike’s worldwide Air Max movement and a panelling system akin to the Air Max 95 to create an aesthetic that quite literally looks all Air. The Air Max 720/95 arrives in no less than five colourways each more vibrant than the last reminiscent almost of stain glass windows or different coloured glass bottles. Either way, Heron Preston has shown the possibilities that can be achieved on the 720 silhouette and I have no doubt that soon collaborators will be queuing out the door to adapt it for themselves.

For all the latest on the upcoming Air Max 720s as well as a whole catalogue of other products which are available to buy and sell head over to Laced.