Five Nike Air Max 1 Colourways You Need In Your Collection

Nike Air Max 1 atmos Elephant Close

Everybody should already have at least one pair of Nike Air Max 1s in their collection. With over 30 years of colourways to choose from, it can be a little difficult to pick out the essential releases. Here’s some advice: don’t go further back than the past five or so years, as the older the release is, the harder it can be to find. Not to mention many of the all-time greatest colourways are now largely only suitable for display purposes. So, whether it’s introducing an AM1 into the rotation, or plugging a few gaps, here are the pairs to pursue.

The OG: Air Max 1 ‘Anniversary’ (2017)

There’s a compelling case for OG sneaker colourways to be readily available all the time. 2017’s ‘Anniversary’ AM1 retro was the closest release to making that desire a reality, with a considerable global abundance thanks to multiple restocks. And after all, if there’s one AM1 colourway everybody should own, it’s the original! Furthermore, this edition brought back crowd-pleasing details including tongue piping, revised shape, and OG packaging. Pairs are still out and about, making them fairly easy to cop – for now!

The Hot New Colab: Patta x Air Max 1 ‘Monarch’ (2021)

Japan’s atmos may have bragging rights to having the very first Air Max 1 collaboration almost 20 years ago, but Amsterdam’s Patta are currently wearing the crown for hottest new AM1 SMU of 2021. Many sneakerheads have caught ‘The Wave’ recently; some rode in on the hype, while others have been carried by the stream of Patta’s work for years. Either way, the wavy mudguard, signature mini Swoosh and tight OG-style ‘Monarch’ colourway are a welcome splash to the usual AM1 formula. Get them while they’re hot!

The Classic Colab: atmos x Air Max 1 ‘Elephant’ (2017)

2017’s Air Max 1 releases not only brought back the OG ‘Anniversary’, it was also the 10th anniversary of atmos’ ‘Elephant’ colab. Those hip to the AM1 a decade prior had worn their 2007 OGs to the ground and were keen to re-up, while newcomers were instantly drawn by the iconic elephant print mudguard and jade green patent Swoosh. It might take a bit of hunting to find a pair now, but they’re out there. Rarer still is the ‘Air Max 1 x Air Jordan 3’ version, which adds an ice sole and elephant print insoles with extra Jumpman branding.

The Oddity: Air Max 90/1 (2018)

The Air Max 1 has been subject to all kinds of experiments (to varying degrees of success), and this 2018 release actually harks back to the very first kick concoction out of the Nike lab. An Air Max 1 upper fused to an Air Max 90 – simply named the Air Max 90/1 – first appeared circa 1992 as a best-of-both-worlds design, and remains a niche release among hardcore collectors. If anything, they’re certainly an interesting conversation piece. On a more practical note, the all-leather upper also makes these a viable wet-weather AM1 option.

The One-Of-One: Air Max 1 By You (2021)

Nike created the Nike By You (formerly Nike iD) program to enable sneakerheads to design unique colourways not currently on the market, and also to personalise their pairs with custom initials. The program is quite powerful now in helping visualise the final product, but it’s best to order desired designs ASAP as colour and material options periodically change. There is something quite rewarding about making a colourway that possibly no one else might have – making them all the more special. Get started and play around with Nike By You right now! Availability will vary depending on region.

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