Energy-returning foams be all the rage right now, but air-based cushioning tech still remains the go-to in every sneakerhead’s closet. From its debut at the Honolulu Marathon in 1978 to the yet-to-be-released kicks of 2019, air technology in sneakers has come a long way over the past four decades.
Nike’s upcoming Air Max 720 is perhaps the biggest touchstone yet on that evolutionary path. Set for a debut early next year in both Swoosh and Jumpman silhouettes alike, the 720 holds the distinction of not only being a lifestyle-centric cushioning technology, but also the single biggest Air-Sole unit in the history of the Beaverton sportswear giant.
With the 720 right around the corner, we take a look back at some of the most important hallmarks in air-centric sneaker tech over the past 40 years.