Nike Air VaporMax Plus History
Back in 1998, Nike designer Sean McDowell came up with a performance running shoe in addition to the Air Max line. Dubbed as the Nike Air Max Plus, its design was inspired by the Florida beaches, sunset, and palm trees. Compared to its predecessors in the Air Max line, it has bolder aesthetics with its brightly colored spray-faded upper enclosed by an external TPU skeleton, plastic toe cap, flat tube lacing, wedged shape, and the classic hexagonal “Tn” branding.
Backing up the Air Max Plus's captivating exterior is the then-newly debuted Tuned Air technology in the sole, in which Nike Air is combined with pods "tuned" individually per section for high-performance impact protection that the runners need. Because of this, the shoe also gained the name "Nike Air Max TN" or simply "Tn."
The Nike Air Max Plus turned out to be an instant hit and eventually a cultural phenomenon. Although designed to run in, its immense influence in the fashion scene cannot be denied. For almost two decades since it launched, the silhouette has not been showing any sign of slowing down in sales. Hundreds of colorways have been released for the model and even variations in constructions and materials with the likes of slip-on, leather editions, and Ultra versions.
To commemorate the Air Max Plus’s 20th anniversary, Nike released the Nike Air VaporMax Plus on January 25, 2018. This new and revolutionary silhouette combines the upper of the classic Max Plus with the new sole of one of the Swoosh's most advanced Air Max shoes, the 2017 model Nike Air VaporMax.
Debuted in several colorways and a $190 price tag, the Nike Air VaporMax Plus features a light neoprene upper with the Air Max Plus's signature TPU overlays. It also has a reflective 3M detailing along the center from the toe up to the tongue, a heel pull tab, and a “Vm Air” branding on the heel as a nod to the Air Max Plus’s signature hexagonal “Tn” branding. This familiar façade sits atop a full-length Nike Air VaporMax sole for lightweight cushioning and aggressive traction.
Notable Nike Air VaporMax Releases
The Nike Air VaporMax may be a newcomer in the sneaker industry, but it has been receiving countless colorways already since it launched in 2018. Here is a list of some of the most hyped and highly anticipated drops of the contemporary low-top Swoosh shoe.
Nike Air VaporMax Plus Triple Black
The Air VaporMax Plus in Triple Black colorway is one for the books with its highly recognizable Air Max Plus upper and VaporMax outsole combo, all dressed in a crisp monochromatic black color scheme. The neoprene upper provides a comfortable and lockdown fit, while the TPU overlays (a design element borrowed from the Air Max Plus) secure the foot and give added support. On the heel is a pop of VM Air logo in yellow/white. This black Nike Air VaporMax Plus for men released exclusively in men’s sizing on January 25, 2018, with a retail price of $190.
Nike Air VaporMax Plus Sunset
Also dropped on January 25, 2018, alongside the street-ready Triple Black colorway is the Nike Air VaporMax Plus Sunset. Nike followers are familiar with its color scheme as it was a nod to the OG Sunset colorway of the Air Max Plus back in the ‘90s. The neoprene upper exhibits yellow-to-orange gradient (hence the name sunset) with black overlays giving the perfect contrast to the brightly-hued base. The Air Max Plus-inspired upper sits atop an equally recognizable translucent black VaporMax sole unit. It also released at a retail price of $190, but the current resell price could go as high as $240.
Nike Air VaporMax Plus Triple White
The modernized hybrid Nike sneaker also comes in an all-white colorway through the Nike Air VaporMax Plus Triple White (White/ Pure Platinum) release. It made its debut on February 28, 2018, also for $190 a pair. Street-ready and versatile, the low-top Swoosh flaunts a clean-looking façade all thanks to its monochromatic white neoprene upper including the laces and heel tab, white TPU overlays, and translucent white VaporMax sole unit.
Nike Air VaporMax Plus Aluminum
Released on February 9, 2019, is the Nike Air VaporMax Plus in Aluminum (Black/Aluminum) colorway. The running-inspired sneaker displays an ombre-like, light grey to blue gradient neoprene upper finished off with solid black TPU overlays, laces, tongue branding, and a heel pull tab. The one-of-a-kind comfortable upper sits atop a blacked out VaporMax sole unit. Like other Air VaporMax Plus colorways released prior, the “Aluminum” version came with a $190 price tag.
Nike Air VaporMax Plus Midnight Navy Metallic Gold
The Nike Air VaporMax Plus in Midnight Navy Metallic Gold colorway is available in men's sizing for an initial retail price of $190. It was one of the first Air VaporMax Plus colorways that dropped in 2019 (it released officially on January 5, 2019). Unlike other favorite colorways of this hybrid kick, this one comes with a unique and more adventurous color scheme rather than a versatile, play-it-safe monochromatic hue.
The neoprene upper not only gives a sock-like snug fit, as its aesthetic is surely street style-approved in a premium deep blue hue with a matching tonal TPU quarter panel reinforcements. Metallic gold accents are seen on the miniature Swoosh below the collar and midsole, while a University Red VaporMax sole unit and heel tab complete the shoe's stylish flair.
Nike Air VaporMax Plus Rainbow
Though the Air VaporMax Plus silhouette started off with minimalistic, often monochromatic, colorway releases, it eventually also leaned into producing a fair share of brightly-hued and multi-colored gradient drops as well. One of these (and an eye-catchy pair to say the least) is the Nike Air VaporMax Plus Rainbow, a summer-ready rendition of this crowd’s favorite hybrid Swoosh. It released on April 26, 2018, at a retail price of $190 with White/ Neptune Green - Dynamic Yellow - Blue Nebula - Habanero Red as its official colorway.
The full-blown rainbow-themed VaporMax Plus shoe features a multi-colored gradient neoprene upper with hints of teal and blue on the heel that transitions to yellow on the midfoot, then vibrant habanero red toward the toe area. Sealing this off is a white midsole with a bit of yellow accent on the midfoot part and a translucent white or clear VaporMax sole unit. The TPU reinforcements on the upper match the sole, while the laces and heel tab come in white.
Nike Air VaporMax Plus Grape
Another exciting release of 2018 is the Nike Air VaporMax Plus sneakers in "Grape" colorway. It debuted on April 6 with a gradient theme that combines Fierce Purple, Aurora Green, White, and Black colors on the neoprene upper. Adding support and stability is a white exoskeleton AKA TPU quarter panel reinforcements that double as eyestays. The laces are also in white, matching the clean-looking midsole. The heel area, including the loop tab, appears in a contrasting grey hue, while the clear VaporMax sole unit completes the look.