Nike Air Max 360 Basketball, 2006
While the game of basketball was certainly evolving into a faster, up-and-down game, there was still a player who earned his paycheck with his back to the basket and under the boards. Max Air was always the platform for those athletes who appreciated some assistance on their return to terra firma. Behind the scenes, a brief to apply a variation of the Air Max 360’s running bag to a basketball shoe created multiple challenges. Engineers scrutinized the cage to evolve it from linear movement to the lateral movement demands of basketball. Pillar placement necessitated extra alterations as well in order to ensure support where it mattered. The Nike Air Max 360’s ultimate triumph was in taking away the midsole completely, but where the 360 project also excelled was in instigating even more specific basketball-centric innovation along similar lines. The LeBron 7’s carefully-honed full-length Air application, free of obstructions, was created on the 360 assignment’s learnings to reinforce Nike Basketball’s dominance.