No technology is more closely associated with Nike than Air. After an inventor named Frank Rudy approached Phil Knight to place air bags inside shoes back in 1977, the Nike co-founder went for a test run and the rest, as they say, is history. Air has been omnipresent for Nike in the past 30 years, and nowadays the innovation is invented, reinvented and perfected at two separate facilities, one of which is located in St. Charles, Missouri, and the other just a short walk from Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The Nike Air Manufacturing Innovation building, along with its Midwest counterpart, have combined to produce 3.5bn Nike Air units. It takes a workforce of 1,300 highly skilled people operating around the clock, each playing a critical role in fine-tuning Air technology for precision performance at a microscopic level. For the first time ever, Nike is pulling back the curtain on the process in a new video, “Fresh Air from Oregon.” Enjoy it below.
Where Air is invented, reinvented and perfected