Born in Ohio in 1925, Marion Franklin Rudy (that's him, below) was an aerospace engineer, and left his career in the late ’60s to pursue creative solutions for other industries. Among his more audacious ideas: placing tiny air bags in the soles of athletic shoes to soften impact. He pitched his air-bag Nike Air VaporMax Mujer innovation to 23 shoe companies; all rejected him. Then, in 1977, he presented his vision to Phil Knight. The Nike co-founder took an air-cushioned prototype for a test run around the Beaverton campus, and returned to his office intrigued — Rudy’s shoe had an unprecedentedly smooth ride. Nike had found Air.Air, of course, is rooted Nike Air Max 1 Womens in running. The first shoe to feature Air cushioning was 1978’s Tailwind, a running shoe. Before the concept of creating Nike Air VaporMax Damen hype was even a thing, the Nike marketing staff decided to release a limited number of Tailwind shoes prior to a broader launch. Shoemakers at Nike’s first R&D lab in Exeter, New Hampshire, cranked out 250 pairs of the highly technical shoe, which were sent to six Hawaiian running stores for the Honolulu Marathon. The shoes sold out within 24 hours, despite an unprecedented $50 retail price.
It wasn’t just hype that kept Air on runners’ feet. Also in 1978, researchers at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville asked 10 runners to run on a treadmill in the Tailwind. They found that the athletes used less energy running in the Air shoes than running in conventional running shoes.
Runners and science had validated Air. What was left in the mid-’80s was to capture Adidas Superstar Femme the attention of even more joggers. That’s when design, coupled with ample Nike Air Max 90 Mujer Rosa audacity, came in. Here's what Tinker Hatfield, the iconic designer behind the Air Max 1
Nike had risen to the pinnacle of sports design during the ’70s with a straightforward, utilitarian approach to product — all-purpose and high-performance shoes that had never been made before. At some point in the ’80s, that sort of plateaued. People were looking for something Adidas Superstar Femme different, not just in what Nike was doing, but all around the world.
Music was changing. Disco had gone away. I'm not even going to describe how it was shifting, because I had three little daughters at the time, and I wasn't listening to much music. But I knew some weird stuff was going on.
The same thing was happening in art and design. The mid-’80s was a period of transition from a more formalized hierarchy to a looser, street-based, more inspirational form. We at Nike were part of Adidas Ultra Boost Femme that wave, and I just happened to be a designer doing it from a footwear perspective when nobody else was.
It was a happy accident that the transition was happening just as Nike was losing a little mojo. There was a bigger appetite for trying something new and different, and that was squarely connected to the creative sparks all around us.
Those Nike Air VaporMax Femme creative sparks led to visible Air and other innovations, set the stage for 30 years of reinvention of Nike’s most ubiquitous cushioning platform and, perhaps most Nike Air VaporMax Mujer importantly, truly connected sport engineering and design culture for the first time.