It’s Air Max Day on Thursday – when Nike drops its latest cult trainer and sneaker nerds bow down and give thanks. Trainer boffin and AM enthusiast Jonathan Cook introduces the latest, very special, addition to the line.
This Thursday March 26 is ‘Air Max Day’, an opportunity for the growing ranks of trainer obsessives to unite and ‘wear their Air’. Does a style of sneaker really merit its own commemorative day? In the case of the AM, yes it does. When launched in 1987, with its ‘visible-air’ bubble, the Air Max 1 was revolutionary. Inspired by Paris’s Pompidou Centre, its insideout construction inaugurated a now iconic range, with a new version released each year. On Thursday, Nike is giving footwear fetishists something that may well break the internet – or at least eBay: the release of the Air Max Zero. Based on 1980s sketches of a prototype Air Max by legendary designer Tinker Hatfield, the Zero is described by Nike as ‘The one before the 1’. Aficionados will want to know that the Zero has a similar mid-sole to the AM1 while making use of modern tape and fuse construction. It’s a landmark in the history of trainers. Get in quickly.
Return of the Max: a nerd’s history of the air bubble shoe
Air Max 1
The first shoe to feature visible air and originally available in just two colourways, this modern classic now comes in everything from Liberty print to snakeskin.
Air Max 90
Nearly as popular as the AM1, the 90 has a bulkier shape and was originally issued with eye-popping flashes of ‘infrared’ pink – now a sought-after cult classic.
Air Max 93
Recently reissued after years in the Nike vaults, the 93 is pure ’90s, with a slim silhouette, mid-top height and full wraparound bubble. A geek’s favourite.
Air Max 95
The futuristic 95 was once referred to as the ‘110’ due to its then extortionate price, and is said to be the most common footprint at UK crime scenes.
Air Max 97
Taking the futurism of the 95 to new heights, this spaceship of a shoe had a visible-window stretching across almost its full length. Rarely reissued, so a hit on eBay.
Air Max Thea
2014’s stripped-back, low-profile silhouette and wedged mid-sole was designed for girls – but that hasn’t stopped plenty of guys trying to squeeze them on.
Air Max Tavas
Nike listened to all the men jealously eyeing the Thea and fashioned this retro profile from a stitchless upper with the latest in fabrics and technology.
The Air Max 2015 is everything that Nike does well in one shoe. With the entire mid-sole made of visible air and a stitchless upper, the 2015 already looks classic.
Find out more at www.nike.com/airmax.