The new Nike Vapormax is a pretty damn cool shoe.
An extra-thin, sock-like Flyknit upper sitting on top of what Nike claims is the most advanced Air unit yet? A Comme Des Garcons collab version? A lightweight, sleek style? Dope women’s colorways (the picture at the top of the article is actually a women’s pair)? Yeah, they’re set up to be a pretty big and important pair in 2017.
But as we all know, adidas is still running things … and one of their most popular shoes, the Ultra Boost, has a lot in common with the Vapormax. They’re both $180. They both feature a woven upper. They both proudly represent their company’s latest and greatest technologies. We don’t think it’s a reach at all to say that the Vapormax is supposed to be an Ultra Boost competitor. But can it succeed?
In short, we think the answer is yes. But it is an uphill battle.
To beat the Ultra Boost at its own high-end, premium lifestyle/running shoe game, the Vapormax needs to be able to do a couple things. It needs to be able to cross over into the fashion world, which it has with the Comme Des Garcons collab we mentioned at the beginning of this article. It has to have an appealing aesthetic, which it certainly does. And it has to infiltrate street culture … which it hasn’t done just yet, although the most fashion-forward sneakerheads are warming up to it.
The Vapormax will succeed or fail in competing with the Ultra Boost depending on how it does as a lifestyle shoe. Sure, Nike Running nuts will buy their pairs and the athleasure set will provide business as well … but can it cross over into the fashion mainstream? Only time will tell, but initial results are favorable. Don’t be surprised if you see these popping up in OutfitGrids or street style shoots. They appear to be a very wearable shoe.
Plus, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone, right? Anything that pushes the envelope and forces competitors to innovate more is cool with us.
What do you think of the Vapormax? Are you a fan? Do you think it can compete with adidas and the Ultra Boost? Hit us up and let us know in the comments or on Twitter, check our Facebook page for daily updates, and, as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram for all the fire sneaker pictures you can handle.