The concept of “Air” in Nike soles wasn’t new, but the 1987 Air Max 1 was the first time the technology was showcased with a visible unit. Designed for runners, the Air Max 1 was created for speed and impact with lightweight and well-cushioned construction. The beloved AM1 remains as a Nike Sportswear piece, often customized and re-modeled with new fabrics and unique colour combinations for casual purposes.


Known for his work with Michael Jordan, designer Tinker Hatfield created the 1990 Air Max 90, formerly known as the Air Max III — with quickness in mind. The shapes and patterns are constructed to convey speed, while remaining aesthetically appealing for daring colour combinations. Once the eye-popping infrared was injected into the AM90, the sneaker has remained a prime piece for collaborations with Nike.


In the mid-90s Nike decided to create shoes that would match the style of the best NBA players. It was the era of such players as Penny Hardaway or Scottie Pippen, who distinguished themselves with speed, agility and versatility. Designed to provide maximum support and cushioning in fast, dynamic gameplay, Nike has decided to restore the three most popular models of this line, from 1995, 1996 and 1997.


This iconic silhouette was derived from the biological wonders of the human body. The waffle pattern of the striking panel adds durability to the shoe, these leather kicks an unmistakable addition to the Air Max collection. The Air Max 95 was the ultimate fashion staple in Japan back in the day, making its way into manga strips, only the coolest characters proudly lacing them on.


The Nike Air Classic BW is a running sneaker in Nike’s Air Max family of design, making its debut in 1991 under the original moniker the Nike Air Max IV. The model was renamed for its retro release as the Nike Air Classic BW (Big Window). The most popular colourway for the Nike Air Classic BW is the ‘Persian Violet’.


The Air Max Thea has a slimmer body and possibly the smallest air window of all the Air Max models. With a multitude of colourways, the recent releases have already clinched the status of an iconic shoe, being the most popular Air Max silhouette for women.


Sporting an Air Max 1 Ultra sole unit found on the new Air Max 1 Ultra Moire, Hyperfuse overlays run across monofilament yarn mesh panels to ensure support despite a lightweight construction. The shoe is a testament to Nike’s legacy of innovation, while maintaining its strong connection with its heritage in performance footwear throughout the years.


The Air Max 97 was designed with the runner entirely in mind. The full-length visible air unit provides enough cushioning to comfort high-impact runners, and keep casual wearers feeling light on their feet, too. The AM97 maintained the layered look from the AM95, but offers a sleek look with its metallic coloring. And the 3M stripe wrapping around the shoe gives the sneaker even more flash.


The Air 180 gets its name from the “50% larger” air unit that is visible throughout a 180 degrees of rotation, meaning a partially transparent outsole. While the 180’s upper was mostly a varying shade of white, the shoe was also known for the vibrant pops of colour that usually surrounds the visible air, as well as the heel counter and tongue branding.


In its early days, Nike was victimized by its own massive success when the Air Max 98 releases were less than overwhelming. The previous year’s Air Max release, the lauded 97, had been all anyone could talk about from Milan to NYC. As a result, the 98 was greeted with little more than “eh” reactions. With the celebration of the 20th anniversary this year, Nike revitalized the silhouette in a major way especially with the reintroduction of the “Gundam” and Tour Yellow iteration after 20 years.



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