Since the original Nike Air Max released in 1987, Nike’s visible Air cushioning has been a staple in the sneaker game. Beyond that, the technology has been a driving force in bringing non-sneakerhead consumers into the mix through Nike’s creative marketing tactics. The Swoosh’s “Visible Air” was actually created by the The Father Of Nike Air: Marion Franklin Rudy.
One of the most interesting facts about Frank Rudy is that he actually patented “Air” back in 1980. While Rudy’s non-visible Air is the basis for nearly everything Nike has done over the past 40+ years, Tinker Hatfield’s inside-out twist turned highly-functional cushioning into the opportunity Nike needed to have in order to have the perfect neverending story to help guide new sneaker designs.
While the Nike Air Max line is a favorite for most sneakerheads like myself, the wearability of modern silhouettes seems to be beyond the comfort zone for enthusiasts, both in physical size and in price. For 2023, the Nike Air Max Scorpion is getting its most over-inflated aesthetic yet, in the form of the Chinese New Year colorway.
The Nike Air Max Scorpion 2023 is the latest in a long line of Air Max silhouettes that have become the canvas for the colorways we’ve come to love. Like its predecessors, the Air Max Scorpion has levelled up with more Air cushioning, but with the marbleized midsole and elevated height of the silhouette, it’s reaching a breaking point. From a cushioning stand point, the Air Max Scorpion is top tier, yet, there are two issues that keep it from truly becoming the people’s shoe that Air Max models before it have.
At $250, the price point of the Air Max Scorpion puts it well above the prices of other highly soughtafter sneaker releases. If you’re looking at a new pair of kicks and have to choose between the latest Air Jordan collaborations and an over-the-top Air Max model, most sneakerheads are going to wait for the Air Max to land on the back wall of their nearest Nike store at a discount price and go for the Jordan release.
Even moreso, the exaggerated size of the Air cushioning unit raises the entire sneaker to heights usually reserved for boots. Which raises the question, when does the “more Air with every new release” approach to designing Nike’s famous runners hit its limit? With each iteration, we’ve seen the Air Max line grow in age and in size. Although the physical challenges of bubbles bursting hasn’t really been an issue since many years ago, the latest release is pushing the limits of how far sneaker enthusiasts are willing to go with the Air Max line.
The good thing is a number of Air Max Scorpion colorways are now selling for below retail, so you can check them out in person without paying the premium price.