It’s been 30 years since Nike introduced visible Air cushioning to the world, and while it took years to perfect the groundbreaking technology, there is no denying that the Air Max series changed the sneaker world forever.
Throughout the last three decades, Nike has introduced various cushioning technologies in their sneakers, but few of them have had Adidas Gazelle Dames the staying power of the exposed (and constantly re-worked) Air-Sole unit that brought the Air Max line to life. What began as a revolutionary performance mechanism soon became Adidas Gazelle Donna a household name and an iconic symbol of street style. Think about it: While most sneakers tend to excel in one particular area, the versatility and continuous advancements of the Air Max range managed to win over competitive runners, weekend warriors and fickle sneaker enthusiasts.
As Nike gets ready to celebrate the fourth annual Air Max Day on March 26, 2017, the future is looking brighter than ever. But, before we get to that...read on for a brief history of Nike’s beloved Air Max series highlighting some of the sneaker's major milestones.
On March 26, 1987, Nike launched one of their most groundbreaking designs, the Nike Air Max 1. Known now to Nike Air Max 97 Womens some as the Air Max 87 and to others as the Air Max 1, this was the first sneaker to feature a visible Air cushioning unit in the heel of the shoe.
Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris Inspired Adidas NMD Mujer by the skeletal structure of Renzo Piano’s avant-garde Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, architect-turned-sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield came up with the idea of exposing the Air unit favored by Nike since the 1970s. Initially, the sneaker was a little too much for the marketing department at Nike HQ—after all how could they sell a shoe with a hole in the side of it? But, the revolutionary design was pushed forward and Hatfield, along with Mark Parker, ultimately set the direction for countless future designs
Nike’s TV campaign at the time Nike Air Force Mujer (which featured the Beatles' song "Revolution," the first time a Beatles song had been used in a Nike Internationalist Femme television commercial) encouraged wearers to “do something,” while print advertisements hyped the brand’s first-ever visible Air unit. Of course, the ads were also quick to highlight that the Air unit was three times bigger than the units found in previous sneakers, hence the name “Air Max.” This increased Air volume meant a more cushioned landing for runners as they hit the ground, but it didn’t hurt that the sneaker looked pretty damn cool.
Three years later, a “more air equals higher performance” attitude was taken on by the sneaker design team—once again led by Hatfield—as Nike released the innovative Air Max 90.
Nike Air Max - 1990 advertisement The updated silhouette aimed at taking the wearer up and up and away with a larger volume Adidas Eqt Support Adv Womens of encapsulated Air than its predecessors.
For runners, this meant increased comfort, but Adidas Gazelle Womens on the streets, new trends were brewing. Head-turning bold colours, including an in-your-face red (which would later become known as "infrared"), ribbed plastic panels and fluid lines drew serious attention to the sneakers.