A handful of Nike’s most popular shoes are about to come out of retirement. The classic Air Force 1, Dunk and Air Max 90 models will be in stores for the holidays. But they won’t entirely be like the original sneakers.
Nike will use a thermo-molding technique called Vac Tech to press the materials of the shoes into form rather than the traditional stitching. The thermo-molding technique is a vacuum compression method that forms all the layers of the shoe together without seams or stitching on the upper portions.
Advantages to the Vac Tech method are weight and durability. The pressed layers make the shoe stand up against wear. The lack of stitched layers means threads won’t fray and layers of material won’t start to pull apart. The compressed fabric also lends itself to a lighter shoe.
A single piece of material, or several layers molded seamlessly together, can also make a more comfortable shoe. No seams means no bumps in the construction to rub against spots on your foot to cause irritation and possibly blisters.