Nike Air Max Shoes
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Before Air Max became a staple of streetwear, the iconic Air bubble was an invisible piece of technology in Nike’s footwear. Despite its proven durability, Nike was afraid that if they revealed the Air bubble, customers would think it was easily puncturable and stop trusting the brand. However, the future of Air Max would change forever with legendary shoe designer Tinker Hatfield.
The Start of it All: Nike Air Max 1
The genesis of Air Max was inspired by, of all things, Parisian architecture. Tinker Hatfield was visiting the Centre Georges Pompidou, a modern art museum in the heart of Paris. The building appeared to be turned inside out: scaffolding and support structures, typically buried within a façade, lined the outside of the building, and a tubular staircase ran diagonally up the exterior. It was vulnerable, rebellious, and it threw away convention. Hatfield left Paris with an idea for the Air Max 1.
Back at Nike headquarters, Hatfield showed executives his designs for a shoe with the midsole cut away to reveal an enlarged Air pod. The designs started mayhem. Half of the company thought it would ruin Nike, while the other half thought it was revolutionary. But Hatfield stuck to his designs and eventually the Air Max 1 hit the market.
A New Era of Air
The Air Max 1 was a home run. People loved the visible Air pods, and the shoe flew off the shelves. It wasn’t long before customers were demanding more Air. Air Max soon went from a single silhouette to a series of shoes, with new designs every year. Soon the Nike Air Max 90 came out, a classic in the Air Max lineup. Hatfield incorporated the visible Air pod into his Air Jordan III design, which is arguably the greatest Jordan sneaker ever made.
But it wasn’t until the Nike Air Max 95 that the line of shoes saw another truly revolutionary development. Designed by Sergio Lozano, the shoe takes its inspiration from the human anatomy. The textures and lines resembled ribs and tendons and debuted in a black and neon yellow colorway. It was a shoe meant to stand out. Combined with the first ever Nike Air units in the forefoot, Lozano had created an Air Max sneaker unlike anything that anyone had ever seen.
Just two years later, the Nike Air Max 97 hit the streets. The undulating lines on the upper and full-length Air unit shook the sneaker world once again. With Air Max craze at an all-time high, it was official: Air Max was the king of sneakers.
Discover Your Air.
Today, Air Max’s revolutionary spirit is alive and well. Nike keeps pushing the boundaries of street style and their Air pods, delivering new designs and bigger Air moments year after year. Silhouettes like the Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit 2, Nike Air Max 270, Nike Air Max Dia, and the Nike Air Max 720 are taking Air Max to bold new places. With its long, storied past and multitude of styles, there’s an Air Max sneaker for everyone. Go discover your Air.
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