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The Nike Air Max Pre-Day Connects Generations of Innovation

March 16, 2021 - With a stance reminiscent of Nike’s jogging shoe golden era (think the Daybreak, produced from 1979 to 1981) and a radical, visible Nike Air heel unit, the Nike Air Max Pre-Day breaks new ground in Air. 

The shoe’s arresting aesthetic, a blend of the late-1970s and the 2020s, highlights a simplified design ethos that minimizes material waste with at least 20 percent recycled content by weight (the upper is 100 percent recycled polyester; the outsole about 13 percent Nike Grind Rubber) and positions the Air unit in an entirely new light. Fully exposed, the heel Air bag is the same one employed in current Air Max 1s, Air Max 90s, Air Jordan IIIs, IVs, Vs and VIs. 

The difference? Rather than only visible through a window, the full Air unit is now exposed between the midsole and outsole. 

Beyond the visual impact of the engineering, this articulation of the Air unit also supports a new underfoot sensation. Decreasing layers between foot and Air, and placing the unit between two hard surfaces, the Air Max Pre-Day achieves a more pronounced bounce with each walking stride. 

With that breakthrough, the shoe considers the dawn of Air and honors decades of Nike experimentation and innovation in the cushioning. While the Air-Sole debuted in the late ’70s with the Tailwind, its development as a Nike icon owes much to the continually progressive work of Air Manufacturing Innovation (Air MI). 

Air MI began life as Tetra Plastics, a St. Louis-area plastics manufacturer founded on four major principles: quality, service, innovation and engineering. Tetra started working with Nike on Air-Soles in 1981. In 1986, the firm developed the Visi-Air tubing that made the Air Max 1 possible and from 1989 to 1991 pioneered the blow molding of Air bags, a process that has allowed for increased cushioning in visible Air shoes. The relationship between the two parties matured into Nike’s full acquisition of Tetra in 1991.

The last three decades of Air MI have been characterized by a consistent stream of innovation. The evolution of Air is marked by breakthroughs in thermoforming, resulting in radical new Air bag shapes and advances in performance, and significant gains in sustainable manufacturing, such as the reuse of more than 90 percent of the waste from materials used for Air-Soles to make new, innovative cushioning systems.

In the Pre-Day, the promise of Nike Air registers yet another revolution. And rethinking the use of the popular visible Air unit offers a subtle reminder that a good idea can have several incarnations. 

The Nike Air Max Pre-Day releases March 26 via SNKRS and at select global retailers.

March 29, 2016 - Inspired by the Nike Air Force 1, the Nike LunarForce 1 G combines full-length Lunarlon cushioning with a waterproof leather upper and integrated traction using classic Nike Waffle lugs.

The Nike LunarForce 1 G is available April 1 on Nike.com.

March 29, 2016 - The print on the new KD8 young athletes' basketball shoe is inspired by the All-Star's favorite childhood snack.

March 28, 2016 - Last year Nike released the Air Max Zero, Tinker Hatfield's original Air Max design, which eventually became the Nike Air Max 1. Though the idea for the shoe was put to paper 29 years ago, its first real-life manifestation incorporated nearly three decades of Nike Air innovation. It may not have been the first Nike Air Max, but without it, the Nike Air Max 1 would not exist.

The Nike Air Max Zero Ultra returns March 28 in yellow with lightweight Ultra tooling at Nike.com.

March 26, 2016 - The Flyknit Racer is now available in the Fire and Ice colorway, inspired by the two keys to post-run recovery.

March 21, 2016 - Originally released over 20 years ago as a running shoe, the Air Max 95 now carries the classic "Persian Violet" colorway of the Air Max BW.

March 18, 2016 - The University of Connecticut Women’s team will debut this special KD8 Elite PE in the tournament.

March 14, 2016 - A rework of a classic 2002 color scheme, this version of Tinker Hatfield's iconic Air Max 1 combines elements of another Hatfield favorite, the Air Safari. 

The Nike Air Max Safari returns March 14 on Nike.com.

March 14, 2016 - The Nike Metcon 2  "Strong as Steel” collection represents three phases of steel, from red-hot liquid to forged metal to hardened alloy. This colorway is inspired by the strength of hardened alloy.

The third Nike Metcon 2 Amplify from the "Strong as Steel" collection arrives on March 21 at Nike.com.

March 09, 2016 - The pattern on the new LeBron XIII young athletes' basketball shoe is inspired by the All-Star's favorite cereal.