Nike Air Max Day 2022 Sneaker Launch Information – WWD
Since 2014, Nike has celebrated Air Max Day to commemorate the innovation behind and lasting cultural impact of its iconic Air Max sneakers. Luckily for fans, the annual event is back – bringing with it, according to tradition, a host of highly anticipated releases.
This year’s holiday marks the 35th anniversary of the Air Max One, aka the cult classic style responsible for putting Nike’s revolutionary Air cushioning technology on the map. As such, The Swoosh released three new iterations of the OG silhouette: the “Blueprint,” a North America-exclusive version featuring a mesh upper with blue suede overlays; “Lumière,” a women’s-only style released exclusively in Europe that features dangling charms that name the annual date Air Max Day; and “Wabisabi”, launched only in Latin America and Asia-Pacific. This latest shoe has a mesh upper offset by earth-tone suede panels as well as a “cracked” design in the midsole and outsole that pays homage to the Japanese tradition of appreciating imperfections.
Also debuting is the Air Max Motif, a modern update made with recycled materials and a larger air window, and an emerald-colored version of the men’s Air Max 97 SE to honor the Air Max milestone. .
While the Air Max Day drops tend to sell out quickly, there are a range of other amazing Air Max styles that are regularly available on Nike.com and currently yours. From the old school Air Max 90 to the recently released Air Max Dawn, there’s an option to suit every need and aesthetic. Keep scrolling to shop some of our favorites from the collection.
Nike Air Max 90
Looking for a cool street sneaker to amp up your style game? Look no further than the Air Max 90. The legendary performance shoe turned lifestyle shoe has signature Max cushioning to bounce back with every step, plus an iconic Waffle sole to keep you stable. Stitched overlays and TPU accents add to their classic appeal. Grab the pair in versatile white or opt for a pop of color for something bolder.
Nike Air Max 90
Nike Air Max Dawn
If you need a sneaker to pound the pavement, try Nike’s Air Max Dawn. Released just earlier this year, it offers a sporty heritage look with plenty of performance features including a low profile Air sole unit, plush midsole padding and a heel clip for added security. To top it off, the style also does better for the environment, as it’s made with at least 20% recycled materials. We love it in this cheerful pink and green version that will add character to simple outfits.
Nike Air Max Dawn
Nike Air Max 270
An extra-large Air Unit in the Air Max 270 ensures your feet will stay happy for hours, whether you’re running errands or strolling around town to meet friends. For even more comfort, the sock-like upper is breathable and designed to feel like a second skin.
Nike Air Max 270
Nike Air Max before the day
Alert: One of last year’s Air Max Day drops can still be yours. The pointed Air Max Pre-Day running sneakers feature an updated Air window that is both eye-catching and adds optimal softness. These are also made with 20% recycled materials for an eco-friendly touch.
Nike Air Max before the day
The history of Air Max sneakers
Defined by its revolutionary Airbag technology, Nike’s Air Max line has become the brand’s most popular franchise to date since its launch over 40 years ago. You’ve probably seen Air Maxes on the feet of countless celebrities and influencers, with new models, colorways and style collaborations being launched all the time.
Its story begins with NASA aeronautical engineer Frank Rudy, who began placing tiny bags of high-density gas inside shoes to absorb shock. Convinced that this system was the solution to many runners’ foot pain, Rudy took his idea to several athletic companies in 1960, only to face rejection until he found a willing partner in Nike nearly a decade later. In 1978, the Swoosh released its first shoe, called Tailwind, featuring new Air Max technology. The shoe was created in a limited version for the Honolulu Marathon and was released more widely in 1979.
The line really took off in 1987, however, with the advent of the Air Max One. Designed by Nike’s Tinker Hatfield, it exposed the Air unit in the heel for the first time. In the 90s, other iconic takes became staples of streetwear and hip-hop culture around the world. And in recent years, the line has continued to earn a place in sneakerheads’ closets with a series of fashion-forward updates that underscore Nike’s commitment to developing cutting-edge performance technologies and materials.
Types of Air Max sneakers
While there have been countless Air Max sneaker iterations over the decades, the Air Max One is arguably the most popular in Swoosh history. However, other notable models include:
- Nike Air Max 90: Released in 1990 after the debut of the Air Max One, this style featured more heel airflow and eyelets of varying widths. It was originally dubbed the Air Max Three, but later renamed in the 2000s with the release of retro versions of the shoe. Always a hugely popular silhouette, it was even reworked by the late Virgil Abloh for Off-White – a style that sold out within minutes of its drop.
- Nike Air Max 180: This early 1991 had a larger air bag (providing 180 degrees of visibility) and was displayed directly in the outsole, rather than the midsole as was the tradition. Famous, Michael Jordan wore the shoe at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
- Nike Air Max BWAlso released in 1991, the Air Max BW offered a similar look to the Air Max 90 but made the visible Air unit even larger (aptly, “BW” stands for “Bigger Window”). The style became a favorite among the underground hip-hop scene in London and Paris, notably worn by rappers Skepta and Dizzee Rascal. More recently, the BW has been updated with an integral air bag in the sole, inspired by that of the Air Max 97.
- Nike Air Max 93: Launched in 1993, this style features a 270 degree airbag that covers the back of the heel and extends slightly to the sliders. The Air unit has also been updated with color hues, and the silhouette has become beloved for its fitted, form-fitting neoprene collar.
- Nike Air Max 95: A clear departure from previous Air Max models, this 1995 launch was the first to offer visible Air units in both the heel and forefoot. Created by Sergio Lozano, the bold design also features a striking wavy pattern inspired by elements of nature and human anatomy. The style was re-released several times in the late 90s by popular demand and has remained a customer favorite ever since.
- Nike Air Max 97: The brainchild of Christian Tressler, this shoe takes on the wavy upper design theme of the Air Max 95 in an ultra-clean silhouette. Often referred to as the “Silver Bullet,” the shoe was partly inspired by a silver bullet train, but its original colorway is actually designed to embody the silver finish of mountain bikes. These days, everyone from Bella Hadid to Diplo can be seen rocking the style.
- Nike Air Max 98: Although this silhouette was initially a flop when it debuted in 1998, a buzzing collaboration with Supreme in 2016 brought it back into the limelight. The eye-catching style features a full-length Air sole and a mixed-material upper with patent leather accents.
- Nike Air Max Plus: Also launched in 1998, the Nike Air Max 180 introduced Tuned Air, a system of individual airbags calibrated to different PSI to create ultra-lightweight and responsive cushioning. On the upper, the wavy details are inspired by palm trees and the gradient color recalls a sunset that designer Sean McDowell encountered during a trip to Florida. The shoe was an instant hit when it first hit shelves, garnering a stellar fanbase in London.
- Nike Air Max 360: Instead of using foam in the midsole, this style features a 360 degree air unit for maximum shock absorption from all angles. Although the model was not a best-seller after its release in 2016, its revolutionary technology continues to inform the designs of other more popular sports-focused models.
- Nike Air Max: Taking the 360 degree approach one step further, the VaporMax is the first shoe in the line to have the Air Unit feature as the sole of the shoe. Like its predecessor, the performance-oriented style has no foam in the midsole. However, it adopts a breathable Flyknit upper that not only molds to the wearer’s foot but is also attached directly to the sole to create a unique ground feel. A successful iteration, this 2017 debut was even worn by Kate Middleton to play tennis.
- Nike Air Max 270: Currently a staple among Gen Z consumers, the Nike Air Max 270 debuted in 2018 as the brand’s first lifestyle shoe with Air Unit technology. It draws inspiration from the Air Max 93 and 180 and features a chunky 270-degree Air unit in the heel to meet the demands of everyday activity.
- Nike Air Max 720: A year later, Nike released their latest Air Max model, which features the tallest Air unit in the line to date. Also a lifestyle shoe, the 720 is a chunky, comfortable silhouette done in a range of trippy, nature-inspired colorways. This silhouette is so popular that it’s currently sold out on Nike’s website.