Real talk, we love the Nike Air Max 270 React like a newborn baby fresh from the stork. Nike Sportswear been killin’ it with a full roster of React based bangers for almost two years with models like the React Element 55, Element 87, ISPA [line], and Presto React; and the AM 270 React carries on that trend with pride. Lets dive into what makes Nike’s latest Air Max iteration so special.
Design Inspiration and Technology
Similarities between the Air Max 270 and the 270 React are subtlety obvious if that’s a thing. The ankle height, tongue, pull tab and use of mini Swooshes appear on both models; but the AM 270 React utilizes a much more complex upper. I’m sure you can see the ’90s vibes across the upper with modern overlays emulating those of the Air Max 92s and 98s of the sneaker world. It’s super hard to pin the direct inspiration so tell us what you think on Instagram!
Obviously, the shoe’s two defining features are the 270 Air Bubble on the heel and the React foam, both of which stand as some of Nike’s most advanced technologies. But there’s a third technological advancement hidden in plain sight – the upper! The Air Max 270 React’s designer, Dylan Raasch, describes it best, “Instead of a no-sew or stitched on panels, the Air Max 270 React is built with a bar tack technique inspired by the Element React 87. This creates the floating eye stay aesthetic.”
What does that actually mean? Well, the purpose of bar tack stitching is to reinforce areas of high stress on a garment (like pants pockets and buttonholes). So the AM 270 React used that process to not only create floating eye stays, but to also secure the region and prevent the eye stays from ripping out upon lacing.
Shades of Sneaker Greatness
Nike came super correct in the colors department with the Air Max 270 React. Straight up, both mens and women’s flagship color ways are dummy fire – it’s always nice when big brands show equal love to the ladies in these situations. The AM 270 React team could’ve easily rehashed the mens colorways, but instead they created an equally fantastic women’s exclusive.
All together, the AM 270 React’s development team made sure all colorways were created thoughtfully. Each colorway translates a specific artistic style or movement in its blocking and hues to create wearable pieces of art. Nike describes their inspiration best (via their press release on the Air Max 270 React), “The lead launch colorway, for example, heralds the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus’s founding by recalling the school’s formal studies of asymmetrical balance. Other colorways highlight explorations of geometric compositions, mid-century-inspired color blocking, San Francisco psychedelia and more.” It really looks like Nike Sportswear is pushing high class colorway development when you take the Presto React into consideration too.
We frequently preach how badly the sneaker game needs to keep innovating on the Sneaker History Podcast, and the Air Max React 270 did exactly that – innovated. We’d be in a dark place in footwear if the Air Max line’s best days were back in the 1990s, so it’s important that Nike keeps dropping new designs alongside heritage models like the Air Max 1 & 90. A dramatic shift in shape and construction has swept over the sneaker world since 2012 with shoes becoming increasingly curvaceous, flexible and responsive. With that in mind, find us another shoe that features such a clean, minimalist, design with exceptional shape and top-of-the-line cushioning, we dare you (if you say the Yeezy then just go home (lol)).
On a parting note we want to commend Nike for debuting the Air Max 270 React on the feet of the USWNT (Women’s Soccer team AKA The 2019 World Cup Champions! It’s been seven years since Nike had a major, non-ball sport shoe have a high profile, globally publicized, release. Think back to 2012 and the Flyknit Trainer and how Nike used the Olympic Games to debut the (now classic) trainer. The Air Max 270 React is right there on that same level due to the historic dominance of the USWNT in the World Cup. Long live the AM 270 React!