Nike lore maintains that designer Tinker Hatfield’s original inspiration for the Air Max came from the Centre Pompidou. In turn, the now-iconic silhouette inspired numerous offshoot designs, like the Air Max 90, which have subsequently inspired countless athletes. Rory McIlroy is among the many; it was the golfer’s love of the Air Max 90 that prompted Nike designers to adapt the style into a performance golf shoe.
“I wear Air Max casually off the golf course all the time,” McIlroy explains. “Making it into a golf shoe really brings something new to the golf course. Not only is it different and very cool but it also performs well, giving me the comfort, traction and stability that I need.”
These attributes result from the Nike Air Zoom 90 IT’s custom Zoom Air sole in the forefoot, which also provides lightweight, responsive cushioning. Meanwhile, the upper’s waterproof, one-piece bootie construction keeps the foot dry and locked in. A versatile rubber outsole with Nike Integrated Traction allows golfers to wear the shoe both on and off the course.
“I dress pretty casually off the course, so it’s nice to have options. If I want to go straight from the course to somewhere else, I can do it and not feel like I standout and look like a golfer,” McIlroy attests.
McIlroy debuted the shoe this week at the Players Championship. The Nike Air Zoom 90 IT will be available in the black/white colorway on May 13 and in white/black on June 1 at nike.com and select retailers.