No matter who it’s for, Nike’s new silhouette is super cool.
I’ve never wished for smaller feet. My size 9.5s are perfectly fine most days. But lately, I’ve been having visions of cramming my toes together or lopping them off entirely. Because, while Nike has already released several new sneakers in the new year, like the Air Max 720 or Vapormax 2019, the Air Max Dia is the best of the bunch. It is also, nominally, a women’s shoe.
The Dia was designed by a collective of four female Nike employees—a designer, engineer, developer and product manager—and there are a quartet of symbolic dots on the heel of the shoe. And the Dia itself is an all-star team in shoe form, pooling together the best of the best to create something unstoppable. The Moon Racer graciously passed down a smoothed-out version of its cushy marshmallow-puff sole. The translucent skin on the Dia’s upper is a cousin of what’s seen on the Shoe of the Year, the Element React 87. (“A vessel to show personality through sock choice,” Nike writes of the see-through Nexkin). Then there’s the Dia’s perfectly sized Air unit that loops around the heel of the shoe like a pretty brake light—bigger than the subtle window on the Air Max 1 but not over-oxygenated like the Air Max 720.
And what’s happening as Nike pours more resources into its women’s business is perhaps obvious: great sneakers are now coming out of that side of the business. Because for the most part sneakers are sneakers are sneakers, it’s easy to ignore the advertising, shuffle over to the women’s side of the store, and grab a pair (if they come in your size). The Dia is simply a really good shoe. John Elliott, who debuted the Dia on his site, says, “The transparent nature of the toe box was what attracted me to the Air Max Dia. I think that material is visually what people want right now because it lets you customize the shoe with a sock… And because the Dia incorporates big Air into the silhouette, it lends itself pretty easily to both a men’s and women’s aesthetic.”