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Nike Air VaporMax EVO: Celebrating Over 30 Years of Air Max Technology

Buying Guides

Melanie Kwok
April 5, 2021

Nike’s VaporMax Evo presents a hyper bold exploration of the VaporMax style, but at a closer look, the silhouette creatively fuses details inspired by classic models like the Air Max 90, Air Max 93 and the Air Max Plus.

Think about a pair of sneakers that puts together a collage of the best of Air Max technology reassembled into one model, and you get the Nike Air VaporMax EVO. This range showcases distinguishing features from icons in over 30 years of Air Max history like the Air Max 90, 93, 96, 97, Plus, 180 and many more.

All images via Nike and Hypebeas
All images via Nike and Hypebeast

Stripping down to bare Air Max technology and then reassembling them with years of innovation - the Nike Air VaporMax EVO brings together classic elements from different eras in perfect balance and harmony. Here, we look at a few colorways available for these sneakers.

Nike Air VaporMax EVO NRG “Collector’s Chest”

Taking inspiration from the hottest, most sought-after Air Max models from various eras, the Nike Air VaporMax EVO NRG “Collector’s Chest” is a beast that is full of surprises.

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The sneaker’s laterals are stitched with overlays sporting alternating designs and graphics, such as the prints from the Air Max Lunar 90 SP “Moon Landing/Apollo 11” on the mid panel on the left shoe, and an Air Max 90 “Duck Camo” overlay on the right. The front of the shoes are highlighted with faux pony hair from the Air Max 95 Premium “Black Pony Hair”. The tongue sports the Air Max 97 “Silver Bullet” iconic metallic silver panel.

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Bringing together all the greats and mashing it all together sounds like a bad idea, but it worked out perfectly in this pair, sold in a special box that combined a number of prints and patterns as well.

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Nike Air VaporMax EVO “Evolution of Icons”

Another remix of notable designs, the “Evolution of Icons” is a refreshing contemporary revisit to some of the classic icons as its name suggests.

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The silhouette and bold white forefoot of this pair is a nod to the Air Max 96 II, but is juxtaposed with a modern VaporMax sole unit. Similar to its multicoloured Gundam-like predecessor, its uppers and sides are mostly white overlaid with pops of navy blue, red, yellow, and black.

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The metallic silver Swoosh is outlined with a solid black, and cuts into an iridescent bronze quarter panel that starts from the top of the shoes. Following the other VaporMax EVO models, the heels are branded with an “EVO” badge and an oval Nike patch.

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Nike Air VaporMax EVO “Wolf Grey”

For those who prefer something more monochromatic and sleek, the Nike Air VaporMax EVO “Wolf Grey” colorway might just be for you.

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Again a hybrid of the retro Air Max 96 II, the design is a good blend of modern and classic elements. As with the rest of the models in the range, its uppers feature a breathable mesh base with neoprene and leather overlays.

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Mostly an icy Wolf Grey, this cool-toned pair is highlighted with Anthracite black, dark grey, and white. This strikingly silver pair is complete with a full-length VaporMax sole, a nod to the Air Max Plus, and VaporMax EVO branding on the heel and heel tabs.

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Sneakerheads should definitely grab a pair of the Nike Air VaporMax EVO and see if they can spot all the easter eggs and references. The Nike Air VaporMax EVO NRG “Collector’s Chest” is now available and retails at $200 USD. The Nike Air VaporMax EVO “Evolution of Icons” and “Wolf Grey” are set to be released soon this year at $215 USD.

Melanie is a contemporary art enthusiast, writer and cultural research strategist whose practice explores the areas inbetween art, design, commerce and the cult of collecting.