Nike Air Max Day 2022: History of classic sneakers, new shoe releases
This week we celebrate Air Max Day (March 26), a day that since 2014 has been designed to give some love to the long-running Air Max series which, along with the Air Jordan line, helped revolutionize the basketball game. sneakers and making Nike the company we know today. Nike itself produced a mini-documentary in 2020 to celebrate the line:
We also mark the 35th anniversary of the shoe that started it all for the Air Max line – the Air Max 1. The Air Max 1 is a shoe that made Air visible to the world for the first time, asking the question: Is see really believe?
The story of this iconic silhouette begins with a trip to Paris for GOAT of sneaker design, Tinker Hatfield.
Quick tangent: It’s crazy that one man designed so many iconic sneakers that we all still crave today and pay big bucks in the aftermarket for sneakers. Hatfield is responsible for:
- Air Jordan 3-15 (apart from the Air Jordan 15most of the iconic Js that are still being reissued 30 years later, with the notable exception of the Air Jordan 1)
- Air Max 1
- Air Max 90
- Nike Huarache (a very underrated sneaker that is extremely comfortable, don’t sleep on it)
- aerial trainer
- Air Tech Challenge II
- Nike Air Mag (yes, the lace-up sneakers from “Back to the Future II”!)
Hatfield is so famous he has his own Netflix Documentary. But I digress.
Nike is celebrating Air Max Day this year with a trio of region-exclusive Air Max 1 releases. Here in North America, we had the opportunity to purchase the Air Max 1 “Blueprint” at 10 a.m. on March 26 for a retail price of $160. If like me you took an L on the Nike SNKRS app, they are available on sites like StockX and GOAT …if you’re willing to pay.
Notions also released their third recent Air Max 1 collaboration, dubbed “Far Out,” on Air Max Day exclusively at Concepts outlets and online for a retail price of $170. The collaboration sold out quickly, but fear not, as it’s also available (for a price) on the secondary market from StockX and GOAT.
Nike also announced in an episode of SNKRS Live on the SNKRS app on Friday that the “Big Bubble” Air Max 1inspired by a 1986 prototype, will be released in 2023.
As for the inspiration for the Air Max 1, Hatfield was in Paris and visited the famous Centre Pompidou in Paris. The building is famous for its “upside down” design and inspiration struck Hatfield to show people the Nike Air technology the company had been using since the 1970s starting with the Air Tailwind. It had the dual benefit of allowing for a larger air bag than previously possible due to its ability to expand outward on heel strike.
Sounds like a slam dunk idea, right? Believe it or not, no!
Apparently, some of Nike’s old guard feared that making the Air bubble visible would lead some consumers to worry that the bubble would burst and subsequently hurt sales. There were even some within the company who wanted to license Hatfield for the concept, which would have stripped us of all of the designs listed above. Luckily for us, Nike and sneaker history, fellow designer Peter Moore – the man behind the iconic Air Jordan 1 – is said to have helped protect Hatfield and fellow designer and future Nike CEO Mark Parker, who joined Hatfield. on the project.
That wouldn’t be the end of the controversy, however. The shoe will be released on March 26, 1987 and it was a success. It was a success thanks in part to a commercial from the famous advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy with the list of athletes from Nike with “Revolution” from the Beatles below. Of course, Apple Records was less than thrilled with the announcement, saying they hadn’t granted permission to use the song and sued Nike. The case was settled out of court but eventually opened the door to ads featuring famous music, yet another piece of history for this Nike icon.
The Air Max 1 has sold thousands of pairs of sneakers over the past 35 years and spawned the best-selling Air Max line, including icons such as the Air Max 90, Air Max 95 and Air Max 90. Air Max 97. It has also been featured in pop culture, appearing on the feet of Peter Parker himself in the 2019s “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”
Perhaps most notably, in recent years the shoe has become a popular choice for collaborations. In the modern sneaker game, collaborations are key to having a hot sneaker and the Air Max 1 had no shortage of hot collaborations. From atmosphere for parra for Patta for Notions, this shoe remains relevant for a new generation of consumers. The shoe was even supposed to have a collaboration with the hottest name in the game, Travis Scott. However, this release was delayed and not rescheduled after the Astroworld tragedy in November 2021.
I leave you with this amazing 3D billboard that Nike unveiled in Japan to celebrate Air Max Day.
If you have any questions or just want to talk about sneakers hit me up on Twitter – my username is @a_silva32. Good luck hunting for the latest iteration of this historic model on Air Max Day!