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Nike Presents a Running Retrospective of Zoom Air

How the once groundbreaking technology has evolved
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Image via: Nike

Image via: Nike

In conjunction with the announced return of the Air Zoom Talaria, Nike presents a retrospective of Zoom Air, a technology first introduced to the world back in 1995. It initially appeared on the Nike Air Zoom LWP running shoe, featuring fabric strands tactically positioned in the forefoot for toe propulsion and an Air unit at the heel for shock absortption. One year later, the ultra-responsive cushioning of Zoom Air emerged in full force on the Nike Air Zoom Alpha, featuring four bottom-loaded, anatomically-positioned pods for full-length, toe-to-heel benefits. That shoe was followed in 1997 by the Air Zoom Spiridon, utilizing a Phylon midsole, resilient Duralon forefoot and podular Zoom Air setup. Of course, the most groundbreaking aspect of the shoe was its upper, featuring extremly lightweight mesh with shiny statement branding on the sides and a supplementary miniature Swoosh at the forefoot. 

The Spiridon's cult status would extend to its successor as well, the Air Zoom Talaria, named after the mythical winged sandals worn by Hermes and designed by a team helmed by Tinker Hatfield. The shoe's vibrant neon yellow color palette was complemented by a boldly sculpted midsole, anchored by a bottom-loaded, three-quarter-length Zoom Air unit, visible through a transparent outsole. In 1999, the Nike Air Zoom Citizen showcased larger, springier visible rear and forefoot Zoom Air units, and in 2003, the updated Nike Air Zoom Spiridon introduced caged Zoom Air, with an oversized visible heel unit encased in a Pebax cage.

Each representing a significant step in the evolution of Nike Zoom Air, the historic running silhouettes are presented in the gallery below.