So what makes the Air Max so great?

Words by

Veronica Stanford

I think we can all agree that 2015 was the year of the sneaker. And we’re pretty sure that 2016 will quickly steal that title.

Thankfully pairing runners and jeans is no longer a cardinal sin and we can all revel in the fact that in 2016 we can look #phresh, all while being comfortable and practical at the same time.

So in an ode to our love of sneakers, we’re taking it back to where it all started. It’s a little look back at one of the most iconic sneakers to date. The Air Max. 


In 1987 Nike designer Tinker Hatfield came up with the design for the Air Max 1. it would be the first shoe to showcase visible air technology, through a transparent ‘bubble’ in the shoe’s sole. He was inspired by the Pompidou Centre building in Paris (known for its ‘inside out’ architecture). Hatfield has since said the idea was so unpopular to some, a few of his colleagues tried to get him fired during the design process.

Icon status

The Air Max was the first shoe to take Nike’s air sole technology and make it visible. This design presented something entirely different to what was already on the market and made the shoe instantly recognisable. The original silhouette was the ultimate combination of a sport and street shoe, and proved so popular that 30 years later it is one of Nike’s most loved styles.


Over the past 29 years, the Nike Air Max has been released in 10 different styles. Yep, 10. It started with the Air Max 1 in 1987, all the way to the Air Max Zero in 2015.

Nike has also presented us the ability to customise the Air Max, giving you the exact look and comfort to suit your style. So arguably there is an unlimited amount of Air Max styles. Because Nike is a legend and knows how to cater to individuals.

Greatest moment

If you’re still doubting the ‘icon’ status of the Nike Max, keep reading love. In 2014, Nike decided that the Air Max had become so iconic, it deserved its own holiday. March 26, of every year, is now solely dedicated to the shoe. The day is marked with Air Max Con, an event in three cities around the world comprising of music, live art installations, athlete appearances, limited-edition releases and more.

It's also the running shoe of choice for Obama, which is reason enough in our books. Pretty. Damn. Iconic.


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