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The All-Time Greatest Nike Air Max 95s: Part 1

Date: March 21 2019

By: T.S. FOX

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Nearly 25 years since its debut, the Air Max 95 remains a fan-favourite amongst the storied Air Max lineup.

Released just as the market for running sneakers was cooling down, thanks to basketball kicks jumping to new heights, Sergio Lozano's design managed to recapture the magic of past Air Maxes by offering something provocative and never-before seen. Not only did the silhouette take inspiration from human anatomy with nods to ribs, vertebrae, muscles and skin, the AM95 also introduced the world to visible forefoot Air for the very first time. A mini Swoosh capped things off as a punctuation mark, and an instant classic was born — one that was quickly adopted on the streets of New York City and London, and one who's unapologetic aesthetic has made it a streetwear icon ever since.

Below we take a look back at some of our favourite Air Max 95s to hit shelves since the shoe's 1995 launch in the first part of our AM95 retrospective.

Neon Nike Air Max 95 Best Feature

Nike Air Max 95 'Neon' (1995)

More than two and a half decades have passed since the Air Max 95's debut and the OG 'Neon' colourway is still the look most associated with the kicks. Like the OG red Air Max 1, or the 'Silver Bullet' Air Max 97, the 'Neon' AM95 was a bonafide classic from the get-go as designer Sergio Lozano utilised neon green accents to highlight the greyscale look of the bold anatomy-inspired design. The green also did well to highlight the AM95's introduction of Nike's brand new visible forefoot Air.

Comet Red Nike Air Max 95 Best Feature

Nike Air Max 95 'Comet Red' (1995)

The iconic 'Neon' colourway may be the one most associated with the Air Max 95, but it's by no means the silhouette's only OG look. Personally, we're big fans of the underrated 'Comet Red' colourway, which echoed the greyscale look of the 'Neon' execution, but with more emphasis on the white. The 'Comet Red' accents were the clear highlight, though, and took care of the branding, nylon lace loops, and visible Max Air units.

Powerwall Green Nike Air Max 95 Best Feature

Nike Air Max 95 'Powerwall' (2006)

The Swoosh's 'Powerwall' series is home to some of the brand's most sought-after Air Maxes. Released over the course of 2005 and 2006, the series was the hallmark of the History of Air celebration in the lead-up to the release of the cushy and groundbreaking Air Max 360. 2006's bold Air Max 95s are arguably the best of the bunch, thanks to their grassy green upper and flawless combination of contrasting white and 'Volt' accents.

Atmos Viotech Nike Air Max 95 Best Feature

atmos x Nike Air Max 95 'Viotech' (2003)

2003's 'Viotech' pack helped to make Japanese-based sneaker stalwart atmos a household name amongst sneakerheads across the globe. Maybe the best-ever AM95 colourway outside of the unimpeachable 'Neon' OG, the 'Viotech' colab — which also included an all-time great Air Max 1 — took its name from its regal purple accents and employed shades of brown with white contrasts and a splash of gold.

Persian Violet Nike Air Max 95 Best Feature

Nike Air Max 95 'Persian Violet' (2016)

Who doesn't love to see an iconic colourway applied to another classic silhouette? 2016's 'Persian Violet' drop is a perfect illustration of the idea as Nike took the Air Max BW's OG colourway and applied it to the Air Max 95's wavy panels. The formula was successful enough that the Swoosh even reworked the look with alternate colour-blocking the following year, but we're partial to the predominately black version from 2016.

Silver Bullet Nike Air Max 95 Best Feature

Nike Air Max 95 'Silver Bullet' (2017)

Like 2016's 'Persian Violet' release, 2017's 'Silver Bullet' drop saw the Air Max 95 flawlessly dressed in another timeless colourway from the storied Air Max lineup. Whereas 2016's drop channelled the Air Max BW, 2017's 'Silver Bullet' saw the AM95 paired with the Air Max 97's original bullet train-inspired make-up.

Doernbecher 2007 Nike Air Max 95 Best Feature

Nike Air Max 95 'Doernbecher' (2007)

Since 2003, Nike's Doernbecher Freestyle releases have raised over $20 million for Oregon's Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation through the sale of limited-edition designs created by the patients themselves. 2007's Air Max 95 was designed by a then-15-year-old patient named Mike Armstrong as he recovered from a heart valve replacement. The special AM95s donned a patriotic motif as a nod to Mike's brother, who was stationed in Iraq at the time. The Captain America—like red, white and blue design sold out in a heartbeat, and was eventually reissued in 2013 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the program.

Japanese Country Camo Nike Air Max 95 Best Feature
British Country Camo Nike Air Max 95 Best Feature

Nike Air Max 95 'Country Camo' (2013)

Camouflage ruled the worlds of streetwear and sportswear in the early 2010s, so 2013's 'Country Camo' Air Maxes dropped at the perfect time as Nike paid tribute to the countries and cultures that have made Air Maxes so iconic. The pack's Air Max 95s took cues from the British and Japanese camo patterns of the early 90s and — like the rest of the collection — rocked lightweight, seamless unibody construction thanks to the use of the Swoosh's Hyperfuse tech.

Zipper Nike Air Max 95 Best Feature

Nike Air Max 95 'Z' (2001)

Given today's penchant for ugly, maximalist designs, it's shocking that Nike have yet to revisit the zippered version of the Air Max 95. Released in 2001, the Air Max 95 Z added a zippered leather shroud to the original silhouette and, depending on your stance, either a) streamlined the look of the OG while adding a futuristic edge, or b) ruined the original by ignoring some of its signature design elements: especially the neoprene tongue and nylon lace loops.

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