Nike‘s Air Max range is rather extensive, some have proved far more popular than others, while many have become staples of streetwear in the UK and around the World. In 1987, Tinker Hatfield unveiled his latest creation, the Nike Air Max, which we call the Air Max 1 today. However, we should be talking more about, Marion Franklin Rudy who came up with the concept of “Air”. He was an aeronautical engineer who came up with the idea of “a cushioning system based on an inert gas encapsulated in polyurethane plastic”. From that moment, “Nike” and “Air” have been synonymous.
We are going to give you a run down of the five most popular Air Max styles to be released.
Air Max 1
You can’t talk about the Air Max without adding this to the list. The Air Max 1, the OG. This shoe redefined Nike and helped them cement their place as one of the top sportswear brands in the World. Possibly the more recognisable of all the Air Max’s it’s the one that started it all and remains a design classic, the OG white, red and grey colourway was re-released in 2017 as part of the 30th anniversary of the trainer. The re-release was made not only in the same colours but the same material’s and tooling. One that every Nike fan or collector should have.
Air Max 90
Dropping plenty of memorable colourways, the Air Max 90 made with a bigger “Air” unit was another design triumph from the team at Nike. The 90 was a lot more bold and chunky than it’s previous counterparts, but has become an classic over the years. The “Infrared” colourway is perhaps the most well remembered but there are countless colours that have adorned this much loved trainer. Nike have recently added flyknit to the lineup creating a lightweight and modern addition to the classic Air sole unit, blending past and present into one very unique trainer.
Air Max 95
The first introduction of the forefoot air unit, the Air Max 95 was a big player in the US Rap and hip-hop scene, being name checked in songs and worn in music videos, which gave rise to it’s popularity not only in America but around the World. The 95 was very popular in Asia, particular Japan where they would sell out as soon as they hit the shelves, influencing a reselling market. The 95 wasn’t only popular among those interested in style, it was heralded as the running shoe it was designed to be. The bold new design was so fresh and unseen before it gave Nike an edge in the sports footwear market as practical and fashionable. Perhaps the shoe that made the Air Max’s legacy.
Air Max 97
Marking the debut of the full length Air-Unit, the 97 was and still is such an iconic look, the Air Max 97 is a trainer that you can pinpoint to 90s fashion being worn by celebrities around the World. The ever popular 97 made its triumphant return in 2016 with the re-release of the incredible Silver Bullet and 2017 has seen an array of new colorways, including new styles such as the Ultra and Wool range. Perhaps the stand out by it’s styling of the Air Max range, the 97 was so different and ahead of it’s time, it turned heads when first released and still can today.
The biggest change in years with the Air Max’s and it was a welcome one. Not since the models of the 90s was there a game changer like this. The 97 introduced the full length Air Max bubble, the VaporMax decided, let’s just make the whole thing bubbles. Making this the most flexible Air Max trainer ever (as the video below demonstrates), Nike showed they are still pushing the boundaries on technology with every passing year. While it was an ambitious look for the brand from Beaverton but as time goes on, the VaporMax is becoming ever popular among the new crop street style wearers. The styling of the VaporMax is definitely something that will get people talking, perhaps one that will take a little time for people to come around too, but those on the hype train are well aboard!
There you have it, there are the top five most popular Air Max styles, do you agree with our picks? It wasn’t easy as there have been so many memorable styles. We hope you enjoyed our little read through. If you are looking for a new pair yourself, here at Aphrodite Clothing we stock a range of Nike Air Max Trainers.