Ridge walker

Wallpaper* visits Nike's London and Beaverton HQs for an exclusive scoop on the new Nike Air VaporMax

In the long list of Nike's iconic shoe designs, the Air Max 1 is probably the one that gets sneaker freaks most fully freaked out. Launched almost exactly 30 years ago to the day, Tinker Hatfield's design teasingly exposed, for the first time, Nike's Air technology.

The new Nike Air VaporMax, launched this month, takes Hatfield's design to its logical conclusion with a sole of precisely and painstakingly engineered air-pumped plastic and nothing but. All cushioning and structural support has been removed, leaving a transparent series of sculptural ridges and canyons. Nike see it as a new platform for even more radical innovation in its shoe design and manufacturing.

In this film, we visit some of the key players in the development of VaporMax at Nike HQ in Beaverton, Oregon; as well as zipping across the pond to London, to talk to Marc Newson, long-time Nike collaborator and designer of the limited edition NikeLab Air VaporMax.


Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.