Nike celebrates today (March 26) their 35th Anniversary of the design that made it one of the most iconic sneakers in history. To recognise Air Max Day and Nike’s tradition, we have picked our favourite sneakers which have continually inspired the legacy of Air Max sneakers.
Here are our top 5 picks:
5th Place: Air Max 180
Released in 1991, Nike’s lightweight Air Max 90 was designed by Tinker Hatfield and Brice Kilgore. It was Nike’s first silhouette to feature 180 degrees of air bubble, with the bold urethane outsole bonded to the air unit, signifying the first time Nike Air would literally contact the street floor with each step.
Nike’s Air 180 is probably one of the under appreciated shoes in the lineage of Air Max lineage, but it’s had a great 2018 after a range of tonal colourways were released.
4th Place: Air Max 95
To offer something never seen before, Sergio Lozano looked to the design of human anatomy for the AM95 by introducing a lacing system inspired by a set of ribs with mesh and synthetic suede uppers. As well as being the world’s first visible forefoot Air, a small Swoosh confirmed the style, creating an aesthetic which has made it a streetwear icon ever since, moulded for maximum support.
3rd Place: Air Max 1
One of Nike’s most popular silhouettes, 1987 saw the arrival of the Air Max 1 where Nike Air technology was born. Tinker Hatfield decided to design a shoe with its air bubble on show which changed the game forever. As bright colour palettes and eye-catching designs became more desirable, the shoe’s patented air cushioning encapsulated everything as the first Air Max sneaker.
Many new colorways, sneaker collaborations, and modernised versions of the Air Max 1 are expected to release throughout this year, celebrating with a trio drop on Air Max Day.
In 1988, one year after the release of Air Max 1 – ‘Just Do It’, one of the world’s most recognisable slogans was etched into history. (Air Max 1 White)
2nd Place: Air Max 97
In runner up position, we see the AM97 which was designed originally by Christian Tresser. The sneaker’s OG “Metallic Silver” colorway took after one of the designer’s love for mountain biking. Thanks to a new blow-moulding technique, full-length, visible Air cushioning was envisioned in the Air Max 97 design.
Regarded as one of the most comfortable sneakers in market, the futuristic-looking synthetic upper and lacing system represents all that Nike stands for – speed, style and athletics.
1st Place: Air Max 90
Our winner was designed once again by Tinker Hatfield in 1990. Originally nicknamed the Air Max III, the Air Max 90 pioneered sneaker design. Its enlarged air bubble, shape and vibrant colourways reflect a retro aesthetic. Today, the sneaker continues to be one of Nike’s greatest contributions to modern footwear over 30 years later.
A true collector and sneakerhead should never be without at least one AM90.
Happy Air Max Day. What did you think of our Top 5?