Nike has been a pioneer in cushioning technology since it launched the first Air Max in 1987. The iconic shoe featured a visible air unit in the heel that provided unparalleled comfort and shock absorption. Since then, Nike has continued to innovate and improve on the Air Max experience, introducing new models and features that cater to different types of athletes and consumers.

The latest addition to the Air Max family is the Air Max Dn, a shoe that boasts a new Dynamic Air cushioning system that differs from the traditional Air Max cushioning in terms of performance and durability. We spoke to Kathy Gomez, VP of NXT Cushioning, and Reggie Hunter, Product Director for Lifestyle Footwear, to learn more about the design and engineering behind the Air Max Dn.

The burning question: How does Dynamic Air cushioning set itself apart from the traditional Air Max cushioning in terms of performance and durability?

Kathy took the lead, explaining the intricate dance of airflow, dual pressure, and the structural wizardry of tubes and cylinders. Picture four tubes, two high-pressure chambers under the back of the heel flowing into each other, creating a soft landing that seamlessly transitions from heel to toe. It’s all about mimicking the foot’s natural movement, ensuring a comfy, protective ride that athletes can vibe with all day.

Switching gears to the aesthetics, I couldn’t help but notice the sleek design. Reggie shed light on the collaborative process between engineering and design, emphasizing that functionality takes the lead. “Our teams work together collaboratively and we always start with problems to solve and we solve those through function and engineering and design,” Hunter said. “When we create something that works, it’s pure, it’s inherently beautiful and then from that the entire package comes together.”

The Air Max Dn is a shoe that aims to appeal to the new generation of Gen Z consumers, who are looking for new experiences and self-expression. Gomez and Hunter shared how they incorporated the insights and feedback from their audience into the design and functionality of the shoe.

It’s interesting because when we started the project, we were really in that moment where we were working from home and living through Covid and that young generation was experiencing life through the lens of a phone screen, often in the four walls of their own home. So we saw that generation looking back to the past and wearing shoes like the Air Force One, Air Jordan 1, and what we felt was really compelling and that we needed to provide that generation with new experiences of their own and things that they could own,” Hunter said. “So I think as we started to unlock this idea of dynamic air, we felt compelled to be able to serve it as something that that new generation of Gen Z could call it their own Air Max,” he added.

Now, the intrigue deepens. Limited editions and collaborations? Kathy hinted at exciting partnerships but kept the details under wraps. The dynamic journey with Air Max DN is just beginning, promising more surprises leading up to the Paris Olympics and beyond.

Before wrapping up, we touched on Nike’s commitment to sustainability. Kathy emphasized that sustainability is in their DNA, with the Air Souls containing up to 75% recycled content. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about making stylish choices that also benefit the planet.

In the end, it’s a fusion of innovation, style, and a commitment to a sustainable future. The new Air Max DN isn’t just a shoe; it’s a testament to Nike’s evolution and a nod to the generations shaping its journey. Save the date for March 26th and get ready to feel an unreal new sensation of Air!