Every revolution has to start somewhere. In 1987, Nike Air wasn’t a new concept. In fact, it was already being used in many of the brand’s performance shoes. But, as the saying goes, seeing is believing.
The Pompidou Centre in Paris, France is home to an enormous public library, museum of modern art, and center for music research. But more than that, the building is known for its inside-out design. The way the Centre uses its inner workings and mechanics as design elements inspired Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield. He saw how the Pompidou Centre had revolutionized the architecture world, and he had similar plans for the running shoe industry.
And so, the Air Max 1 was born. For the first time, customers could see their shoe’s technology in action and understand how it was working to make them better. And they loved it. Nike took visible Max Air and hit the ground running — and over the past 29 years, they haven’t missed a step.
Never have sport and casual style come together as they did during the creation of Air Max. In honor of Air Max Day, here are some of our favorites.
For our first pick, we’re starting at the beginning… kind of. The Nike Air Max 1 Ultra is a new remix of this cult classic. Don’t be afraid — all the style elements of the original are here to stay, just on a more breathable, lightweight frame. Now you can wear your favorite Nike style all day long without ever breaking a sweat.
Released in 1990, the Air Max 90 was only the second shoe to sport Tinker Hatfield’s visible Max Air bag. The shoe’s design elements are meant for those who feel the need for speed, with sharp angles and ribbing symbolizing forward motion. There’s no better way to finish off your look than with a clean, black and white sneaker.
Size matters, and that’s why Tinker Hatfield went all out on the “big window” of the Air Max BW. Released in 1991, it featured a beefed-up silhouette, more Max Air, and more plush cushioning with every step. For Air Max Day, we’ve chosen the ultimate color — Persian Violet — considered by sneakerheads to be THE most popular color of any Air Max shoe. Ever.
If you’re looking to add a throwback style to your shoe collection, the Air Max 95 is a great place to start. Designed by Sergio Lozano, the original shoe inspo took cues from the sinews and tendons of the human foot. The result? A shoe drastically different than anything the Air Max line had seen before. And an instant classic.
If we can learn anything from the Air Max 95, it’s that change is good. That’s why we’re loving these next two options.
The Air Max 90 Ultra and Air Max BW Ultra are new takes on old-school cool. Nike Ultra is bringing a breath of fresh air — literally — to some of your favorite OG styles by adding breathable new uppers and more lightweight midsoles. We broke it all down for you here, but don’t just take our word for it.
This Air Max 90 Ultra keeps the sought-after Infrared color of the original, so you can rock this style staple in a more comfortable, lightweight way than ever before.
With its bold design lines and maxed-out cushioning, the Air Max BW lent itself perfectly to the casual world. That, combined with new Ultra construction, makes the BW the perfect choice for the warmer months ahead.
While the most classic Air Max styles have long since traded in their running roots for a more laid-back life, there are still performance shoes that use Max Air. We think speed and style should go hand in hand, so here are the Air Max running shoes we think embody the best combination of performance and looks.
The time for spring cleaning is upon us, and nothing says fresh like a sparkling pair of all-white kicks. That’s why Nike created the Spring White Pack.
This spotless Air Max 2016, available in both men’s and women’s sizes, is perfect for runners and casual wearers alike. A visible, full-length Air-Sole unit cushions on impact and ups your style game. Flywire cables through the laces provide runners with customizable lockdown, so they can feel secure over any distance, while a breathable mesh upper allows cooling airflow to keep all-day wearers feeling dry and fresh.
Looking for a newer take on the Air Max line? Then this pristine Air Max Sequent is the shoe for you. With a visible Max Air bag in the heel and a breathable white mesh upper, the Sequent is another great way to clean up your shoe game.
Year after year, the core Air Max line has brought together performance running tech features with classic, everyday style to create shoes for everyone to enjoy. Though these two ideas seem very different, the combination has created some of Nike’s most iconic shoes. Bringing together opposite ideas to create one cohesive, complete feeling is also the inspiration behind this Air Max 2015 color.
The Dos Angeles color celebrates the city of Los Angeles, but the bigger idea behind the shoe is the duality found in everyday life. Light and dark, motivated and laid-back, working hard and playing hard — whatever the combination, our complicated natures deserve to be honored.
What better way to do that than with this pair of Air Max 2015s? Lace ’em up for a run on days when nothing can slow you down, or kick back and relax, using them as a finishing touch to any outfit.
Nike continues to play with the idea of light and dark in their Equinox Pack. These three Air Max shoes are for guys only, and take their inspiration from the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, or the two times a year when day and night are almost the same length — equal parts light and dark.
The shoes in the Equinox pack are the Air Max 2016, Air Max Sequent, and Air Max Excellerate 4. The Excellerate 4 combines the Flywire cables of the 2016 and the heel Max Air bag of the Sequent to create a comfortable, stylish shoe that can keep up as you move from class to work to your evening run.
And there you have it — Eastbay’s top picks for Air Max Day 2016. We believe in getting the best to be your best, and there’s no question that the Air Max line is just that.
But today, we don’t just want to tell you what we stand for. It’s Air Max Day, after all, and like we said before, seeing is believing. So here’s a look at how Eastbay employees are celebrating Air Max Day 2016.
For a closer look at how Eastbay is celebrating Air Max Day, plus behind-the-scenes info on our athletes, shoes, and catalogs, follow OfficialEastbay on Snapchat.