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Nike Air Max – Legend of the Sneaker Game

The Air Max sneaker is probably one of the most popular shoes of all time. Whether you’re a true sneaker enthusiast or you don’t really think much of the whole fashion trend, most people probably know the Air Max models.

Really every new release has a massive impact on the whole scene and always shakes up the world of footwear. In fact, Air Max sneakers are so popular that even 20 years after their initial release, fresh colourways are still coming out and the shoes are generating a lot of hype. It seems as if they will never die out. The various models differ not only in their looks and the technologies used, but also in the individual stories behind the different shoes. With all the releases of the last few years, it is quite difficult to keep track of them all, which is why we would like to show you the most hyped models here.

Nike Air Max - One Name, Many Models

  • The legendary Nike Air Max 1 first saw the light of day in 1987. The forefather of the Air Max, Tinker Hatfield, found his inspiration for the design of the shoe in the Centre Pompidou, which he saw during a visit to Paris. Hatfield, as a learned architect, was immediately intrigued by the building's exterior structure, which gives the Centre Pompidou the appearance of having been turned inside out. Tinker wanted to apply this unusual design approach to the Air Max 1, which ultimately led to the birth of the distinctive, visible Air sole.
  • In 1990, the Nike Air Max 90 was released, which is considered the immediate successor to the Air Max 1. For this model, it was very important to Tinker Hatfield that the popular Air sole was even more visible. The sneaker was therefore given a continuous line pattern and red accents on the heel to make the large "air window" even more visible.
  • One year later, the Nike Air Max 180 celebrated its debut. This time, however, the sneaker took a slightly different path, with Tinker Hatfield bringing the creator of the Air Force 1 on board for the design. The collaboration with Bruce Kilgore ultimately resulted in the 180° visible Air sole, which makes the sneaker look even more special than its predecessors. By the way, the model recently celebrated a hyped comeback!
  • Shortly afterwards, the famous Nike Air Max 93 was released in 1993. This continued the trend of its predecessors and made even more of the visible Air sole visible. The almost completely transparent heel was again extremely well received.
  • Let's jump back a few years from the AM93 to 1997, when the infamous Nike Air Max 97 was released and attracted a lot of attention. After all these years, the Air sole already covers most of the shoe, creating a very distinctive silhouette.
  • A year later, the Nike Air Max 98 was released, which took the so-called "Air Bag" to a new level. They moved away from the design motif of the high-speed train and equipped the upper with even more mesh and leather, which makes the AM98 look much bulkier than its predecessors.
  • In the same year, Nike dropped the incredibly unique Air Max Plus, which in a way stole the show from the AM98. The unusual upper with the wave-like overlay made the model stand out from the competition.
  • The year 2006 also plays a major role in the history of the Air Max. At that time, the Nike Air Max 360 dared to have a fully visible Air sole. After all these years of the progressive "Air sole", it was only a question of time.

Nike Air Max - No End in Sight

Our little insight into the history of the Air Max is, of course, by no means complete, but the incredible development of the series should definitely have become apparent. Even after more than 30 years since its initial release, the Air Max is still experiencing boundless hype. In the meantime, however, it's mainly the new bombs like the Nike Air Max 720 or the Nike Air Max 270 that are shaking up the sneaker game with their unique design. One thing is for sure: The Air Max will be with us for a few more years. To make sure you don't miss any of these sexy releases in the future, subscribe to our newsletter or download our Grailify app directly.