Sneakerheads adopted Air Maxes as a lifestyle staple long ago

Despite this technical approach, the Pre-Day manages to retain a heritage sensibility. That’s definitely one of my favourites. The project initially got legs because one of our East Coast friends is a huge Deadhead. He was like, ‘Yo, I got the connect. We should smoke some weed in the park together and brainstorm.’ Long before the visible Air unit arrived on the scene, Nike had been cushioning the soles of their shoes with the gaseous goodness. Frank Rudy was the man who had the idea of putting air in a shoe, his inspiration for this came from the work he was doing for NASA. Frank was an aeronautical engineer employed by the space program when he approached Nike with his idea. We’re not too sure if NASA would allow that kind of tech sharing these days. Sneakerheads adopted Air Maxes as a lifestyle staple long ago, and Nike finally alluded to this with the first-ever Air Max that was intended specifically for casual wear from the get-go. Standing a whopping 32mm tall, the Air Max unit in the kicks paid homage to those employed by the likes of the Air Max 180 and Air Max 93, while Nike further emphasised maximum cushioned comfort with a new-school-meets-old-school upper that was decidedly modern while also nodding to the classics. In 2020, while Nike celebrated 30 years of the Air Max 90, they took the DNA from their iconic silhouette and crafted the futuristic Air Max 2090.

While keeping some of the OG features of the AM90 – such as the heel logo, cassette, mudguard and cropped Swoosh – they completely upgraded the Air unit by adding a 200 per cent larger window than what you’d been used to. More flexibility was also added, taking the OG tread lines and updating it for performance use in 2020. And because the Air Max 90 was inspired by Italian sports cars, the first few Air Max 2090 colourways took cues from ‘the future of transportation’. Underfoot, the midsole boasts a wavy design and the heel has been scooped out to reveal the actual Air bubble. This is then lined with a series of rubber spikes, and it’s finished off with an embroidered candle – a graphic that’s usually reserved for Abloh’s more artistic endeavours. If you want the Nike Air Footscape Woven ‘Cow Print’ in your rotation, it’s set to re-release sometime this Autumn. Launching at Nike and select retailers globally, they’ll set you back £130. Crafted from a ‘Sail’ leather construction that’s been upgraded for this particular release, the Swoosh has been dressed in a shaggy texture and painted in a ‘Pale Vanilla’ and ‘Black’ colour combo. This fabric extends towards the tongue tag, ankle, and collar area, where you’ll also find the AJ1’s signature winged basketball graphic debossed in a soft yellow colour.

While 1991’s Air Max BW built on the success of the Air Max 90, the year’s Air Max 180 took things in an entirely different direction as Hatfield teamed up with Air Force 1 creator Bruce Kilgore. Their resulting collaboration was highlighted by a seemingly absurd 180-degrees of visible Air-Sole cushioning, making the silhouette ripe for an advertisement campaign that tapped a bevy of legendary cartoonists, special effects masters, and movie directors. So I think a lot of the collaborations were trying to educate and reintroduce fun stories from the past. After months of nothing but rumours, rumours, and downright lies, the hotly-anticipated Air Jordan 6 ‘Toro’ has now been officially confirmed. The sequel to the Air Jordan 5 ‘Toro’ that dropped as part of 2009’s wildly-hyped ‘Raging Bull’ Pack, this fiery colourway nods to Michael Jordan’s 13 season tenure with the Chicago Bulls. After dropping the vaycay-ready ‘Turks and Caicos Spring Break’ collection earlier this season, Drake has now taken the wraps off of the Nocta x Nike Hot Step Air Terra ‘Snakeskin.’

Straying away from his usual monotone colour palettes, the rapper’s sixth take on this chunky silhouette is maybe the wildest yet – and it’s a big departure from the classic court sneakers that have dominated the last few months. Air Max designs are built for speed. What else is fast? Bullet trains. As folk lore goes, the Air Max 97 was designed with a Japanese bullet train in mind, hence the ‘Silver Bullet’ moniker given to the OG colourway. But recently, Nike ‘Behind the Design’ states otherwise. The mind behind the 97, Christian Tresser, explains the layered uppers are representative of ripples of water in a pond, and that the silver colouration was actually inspired by the ‘metal finishes like aluminum and polished titanium’ on BMX bikes. Go figure! The one before the one, this shoe demonstrates that sometimes you just need to step away from an idea to clear your head — even if it takes 29 years. The Air Max Zero was created after the team at Nike uncovered a sketch Tinker Hatfield had done when thinking about the Air Max 1. Dismissed at the time for being too innovative for the general public, the shoe dropped in 2015 to an audience who were finally ready.


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