Words and photos by Overkill.
Who hasn’t heard of Nike’s flagship Air Max 90, the Infrared? 1990 was the year this shoe was born and till now it still enjoys a cult status. Marc Leuschner, Owner of Overkill Shop, Well known Collector and shoe lover tells us his own Air Max story:
The Air Max 90 OG ‘Radient Red aka Infrared’ is one of my all time favourites from the Air Max family. My passion for Air Max began in the year 2000 at the age of 14. After collecting enough savings, along with my best mate at the time, I was able to purchase my first Air Max: the Air Max 97 in a silver colourway. This was currently the most expensive model from the Air Max collection which at 300,- DM was almost unattainable, but i managed to make it happen and wear that ‘Grail’ on my feet – my first Air Max! At the time, owning rare footwear was a must if you wanted to stand out from the crowd. ‘The best are the rarest’ and ‘What costs nothing is also worth nothing’ were once the main principles in the Berlin Sneaker scene. So now I was infected! infected by the sneaker collecting disease!
While the Air Max 97 broke my Air Max duck it was the Air Max 180 and Air Max 90 models that my made my heart beat the most. In the year 2002 it finally happened: The first retro model of the Air Max ‘Infrared’ came on the German market! As a teenager this shoe was an absolute ‘must have’. The shape and the colourway, similar to the original model that once made me crazy! Finally it was possible to jump back on the 1990 Air Max Trend bandwagon! So it was in 2002 that i had my first pair of Air Max 90’s in my hands. Finally with this cult-shoe on my feet i could tear up the streets of Berlin in style.
At the time I was part of the Football & Ice Hockey Scene where it was vital to carry only the best of the best. Most importantly expensive, rare and hard to get. The people I looked up to wore Air Max 180 and Air Max 90 and shared the exact same status symbol with the motto ‘only the best of the best will do’. The Air Max 90 Infrared was for the coming years my party shoe! Together we dashed from disco to disco and smashed up every party we went to! My faithful party companion still lives to this day but after countless drunken nights and endless wash cycles he has now retired.
In 2005, as part of the ‘History of Air’ Air Max Series, the Air Max 90 HOA was released. In my eyes the best Nike Re-issue of all time. The quality and the shape were simply perfect. My personal favourite the Air Max 90 Saga! I still carry the HOA on my feet till this day. This shoe is a benchmark for success!
The Infrared has evolved into a cult shoe over the years. Much to my delight there are now a variety of retro’s out there that enable the younger generation, like me back in the day, to keep the trend going strong. I always liked it classic but also colourful, crisp, bright and able to stand out from the crowd. The Infrared is all of this is one. For me an ‘All time Classic’. I still get the same feeling today as I did the first time slipping on my 2005 Air Max 90 HOA, bringing a big smile to my face. Known as the Air Max III until 2000, when it was reissued taking its name from the year of its launch year. The original colourway of white/black/cool grey with infrared was chosen to exaggerate the thickness of the sole air cushion.