Colourway Corral: Air Max 90 ‘Infrared’
There are a few favourites that come to mind when we think of classic kicks from Nike. The ‘Bred’ Air Jordan 1, ‘Silver Bullet’ Air Max 97, ‘Anniversary Red’ Air Max 1, and of course, the ‘Infrared’ Air Max 90.
The iconic colour combos coming from Team Swoosh almost always have unique back-stories, carefully chosen to highlight signature parts of their designated shoe.
Officially given the colour code #FF2247, ‘Infrared’ was first used in 1990 to highlight the then futuristic technology that was Air. Now, decades later, sneakerheads are still in love with kicks ranging from the Air Force 1 all the way to the Air Jordan 6 rocking the in-your-face ‘Infrared’. However, arguably the most iconic of all the models to get the beloved dressing is the Air Max 90. With multiple retros and killer reinterpretations, we thought we would peruse the history of the Air Max 90 ‘Infrared’ to show you the best it’s had to offer over the past few years.
Air Max 90 ‘Infrared’
Three years after the Air Max 1 released, the Air Max 90 burst onto the scene. It was an instant classic, allowing Nike to trap more Air than ever before, and elevating the wearer to a whole new level. Brewing major hype, and gaining hectic traction, the neck-breaking AM90 built a serious name for itself on the street. The ‘Infrared’ colour pop, created to highlight the larger Air unit, was originally dubbed ‘Hyvent Orange’ when it made its debut. It then copped a variety of names, including ‘MX Orange’ in 2002, ‘Infrared’ (which was the first time it was used) in 2003, and ‘HOA’ in 2005. After all that change and uncertainty, Nike settled on ‘Infrared’ for the 2008, 2011 and 2016 releases.
2008 Air Max 90 ‘Infrared Premium Ostrich’
In 2008, we were blessed with a few pairs of the ‘Infrared’ Air Max 90. Amongst the throng, one that stood out from the others was the ‘Premium Ostrich’. Given the deluxe treatment, luxury materials made it to the uppers, sporting a beautiful ostrich skin mudguard, premium leather, and plastic detailing on the ‘Infrared’ highlight. The details were low-key, yet they really set themselves apart from the OGs.
2013 atmos x Air Max 90 ‘Duck Camo’
At a time when Nike started to hold back their collaborative work, Japanese sneaker retailer atmos thrived. And although they’ve dropped a ton of collaborative work over the years, one that still stands tall to this day is the Air Max 90 ‘Duck Camo’. As the name suggests, they took the classic AM90 and splashed camo across the uppers. Elsewhere, they decided to keep the white midsole and laces, plus the all-important ‘Infrared’ detailing.
2014 Air Max 90 ‘Infrared Denim’
Rumoured to be an atmos collaboration, we later found out this was all Nike. Team Swoosh went hard on these, utilising the Air Max 90 tooling to the enth degree. Featuring bleached denim, black snake skin plastered on the branding, and ‘Infrared’ hits. Do we need to say more?
2006 Air Max 90/360 ‘One Time Only’
Dropping back in 2006, this was the first ever hybrid release of the Air Max 90. The upper was taken from the OG and slapped on top of the then-new Air Max 360 sole unit. They dropped as part of Nike’s ‘One Time Only’ pack which helped ring in the release of the AM360.
2012 Air Max 90 ‘Hyperfuse Infrared’
One of many Hyperfuse hybrids that released back in 2011, these Air Max 90s were originally as exclusive as can be, and were given to guests of the Crooked Tongues BBQ back in the day. Alongside some merch and a colourful box label, we thought they would never hit shelves. However, a year later, they did see a wider release.
2012 Air Max 90 ‘Vintage Infrared’
Nike must have thought there were too many pristine Air Max 90s running around the street. So, to add a sprinkle of flavour, they created a ‘vintage’ version of their favourite AM90. They arrived in 2012 with all the usual details, however, the sole was slightly yellowed, exuding that aged look that us sneaker enthusiasts love.
2016 Air Max 90 Flyknit ‘Infrared’
In 2016, Nike took a number of their models and reworked them in Flyknit. Of course, they had to tap the Air Max 90 ‘Infrared’. It was blessed with grey and white knit uppers and, at the time, they were very hard to pass up.
2014 Air Max 90 Sneakerboot ‘Infrared’
Who remembers Nike’s Air Max 90 sneakerboot? We sure wish we didn’t. Back in 2014, over at Beaverton, they were in the lab cooking up a sneakerboot collection, and the Air Max 90 ‘Infrared’ was dubbed cool enough to join the party. Using ‘Infrared’ detailing, we see the 90 dressed in a ‘Wolf Grey’ colour scheme with an accentuated heel tab and tongue.
2013 Air Max Lunar90 3.0 ‘Infrared’
Looking like an Air Max from the future, the silver 90 was decked out with a Lunar sole, yet was still kept relatively classic with ‘Infrared’ accents.
2014 Air Max 90 ‘Leather Infrared’
Dropping on Valentine’s Day in 2014, these released as somewhat of a homage, commemorating almost 30 years of Air Max. Given the usual Air Max 90 colours, they were given a new sole and a mostly white leather upper.
2013 Air Max 90 Tape ‘Infrared’
Yet another Hyperfuse iteration sporting the classic ‘Infrared’ steez, but the difference was reflective tape running throughout the upper.
2014 Air Max 90 Jacquard ‘Infrared’
These beauties were blessed with the jacquard treatment. The upper consisted of mostly black and white, while ‘Infrared’ hits helped break it up, adding that extra pop of colour.
2017 Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit ‘Infrared’
As a way to help begin the 2017 Air Max Day celebrations in style, Team Swoosh thought they should make a sequel to the OG Flyknit iteration. Hence, the Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit was born.
2016 Air Max 90 Ultra SE ‘Infrared’
Making its way to stores in 2016, the Air Max 90 Ultra SE took the colours straight from the classic. Team Swoosh then completely revamped it, switching up the materials and incorporating padding throughout the whole thing.
2013 Air Max 90 ‘Engineered Mesh Infrared’
Celebrating the 23rd anniversary of their Air Max 90, Nike decided to bring back the OG ‘Infrared’ with a twist.They decked out the whole upper in a brand new mesh material, definitely breaking necks on release day.
2015 Air Max 90 25th anniversary
Six celebratory pairs released for the Air Max 90’s 25th birthday. Despite the fact that they’re all loud and in-your-face, they make sure that the ‘Infrared’ is boosted as the main feature. ‘Cork’, ‘Paisley’, ‘Snakeskin’, ‘Crocskin’, ‘Velvet’ and ‘Hyper Jade’ pairs all made it to shelves in 2015. Which drop was your favourite?