Nike celebrates the 30th birthday of the Nike Air Max today with an official Nike Air Max Day. In 1979 M. Frank Rudy came up with the air technology featured in a Tailwind running shoe. The refreshing cushion technology still is the most famous characteristic of the brand. Chances are big you’ve owned a pair of Nike Air Max in a previous life.
About 30 years ago Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman started the sports brand Nike. Almost a year later the first Air Max dropped, better known as the Nike Air Max 1 OG. The first Air Max Nike sneaker with air cushion technology was born, and things went really fast after that. Many types of Air Maxes followed, with the latest one known as the Air Max 270. It looks like Nike is unstoppable with over 70 types of Air Maxes designed and made in the past 30 years.
Air Cushion Technology
Nike came up with the Air Cushion Technology in 1979. The start of a revolution in sportsgear and a hype in the sneakerworld. The technology consists of pressurized air inside a bag in the sole of the shoe. Nike ensures that the cushion reduces the force of impact when working out. Due to the air in the midsole, the sneakers are lightweight, versatile, cushioning and durable. And that’s exactly what made the iconic Air Max so popular.
One of the most popular Nike Air Maxes is the Nike Air Max 1 OG. The OG was the first shoe Nike ever made and re-released in 2017 as a part of the anniversary campaign. Another historical version of the Air Max 1 was the HOA, which released in 2005 and 2009. Next to Air Max ones, the collaboration with Virgil Abloh for Off-White was one of a kind. Nike teamed up and made ten types of sneakers, such as the Air Max 90, 97 and a VaporMax. The most wanted on the list must be the Nike Air Max 1 Atmos, which was designed by the Japanese streetwear and sneaker boutique Atmos in 2006.
Nike Air VaporMax Moc 2 x Acronym
NikeLab has been working together with Errolson Hugh from Acronym for three years, and this year they gave him the chance to design a VaporMax for Air Max Day. Hugh usually reworks shoes to improve the technical aspects, but this time he did something different. “We’ve added an elastic tongue and got rid of the laces. Apart from that, we couldn’t add more functionality to the VaporMax so we used this as a visual project.” Hugh added a unique camoprint based on the logo of Acronym.
Nike: ON AIR
Every year, Nike launches a reworked Air Max for Air Max Day to celebrate the shoe. This year, the Nike Air Max X Atmos Animal Pack re-released. Next to celebrating the past, Nike is focusing on the future by giving metropoles the chance to design their own version of the shoe. The contest, called Nike: ON AIR, is held in Paris, London, New York, Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai. Competitors make a design as a dedication to their city, and the design will be on nike.com/onair for a worldwide vote. Nike will produce and sell the winning designs of the contest.
Photo Credit: Nike