BEHIND THE DESIGN
AIR FORCE 270
Nike’s rich heritage, made new. That was designer Dylan Petrenka’s overarching goal when crafting the bold Air Force 270. “We wanted to deliver all-day comfort,” he says, “but we also set out to redefine the look of Air.” That mission led the team to create a sneaker that features Nike’s highest volume Air bag to date, which is the same found on the innovative Air Max 270.
“A lot of the things we make in Sportswear are engineered to celebrate the history of Nike. When we set out to redefine the new aesthetic of Air with Nike Basketball heritage in mind, we had the shoes that it took to get to where we are now in mind. So, the Air Force Max and Air Force 180 were in the back of our minds as we looked to redefine the look of Air. But then, how do we make every feature of the shoe speak to Air? That was always the guiding design question,” says Petrenka.
When it came to extending the idea of Air throughout the sneaker’s aesthetic and fit, Petrenka and team carefully considered every detail. “Even the collar of the shoe is bolder, and the materials that were used on the inner booty are more dynamic and stretchy. We also broke down the layer to make it feel more fit and snug. We then modernized the lacing system with a TPU-molded eye stay, and the magnetic closure strap really takes it over the top.”
“We chose to build the shoe on a running last to make the fit more unique and current. In fact, the Air Force 270 and the Air Max 270 share the same last,” reveals Petrenka. The team’s “everything Air” ethos even extends to the Jewel Swoosh, which has a rounded, inflated aesthetic. “The Jewel Swoosh is one accent where we were looking at the past to inform what was new. It really came down to all the different details on how do we make this feel fresh,” Petrenka adds.
Finally, the Air Force 270 features a mix of leather, super soft nubuck and technical textiles that are suited for a snug fit. With more breathable materials featured around the foot than the heritage basketball sneakers the shoe references, the new model promotes the all-day comfort at the heart of the team’s original intent. In addition, while a free-floating, decoupled collar pad allows the ankle to move more freely within the shoe as well.