ARTICLE BY Minh Vuong

Nike Air Max Sneakers That Haven’t Been Retroed

Nike Air Max2 OG 1994

Retros, reissues, remasters – and whatever else they’re called – are the bread and butter of Nike’s market dominance, especially when it comes to their Air Max catalogue. Some models have been part of the rotation for over 30 years, while others lay dormant until an unexpected return decades later. Despite the Swoosh’s penchant for digging up the Air archive and unearthing plenty of old favourites, there are still a number of seemingly forgotten pairs yet to return. Here’s a few of them.

NIke Air Max Racer OG 1995

Air Max Racer (1995)

In the modern era, brands will try to get some legs out of a new model they’ve invested millions in developing and manufacturing by ensuring it stays in the assortment for at least a couple of seasons. This wasn’t the case for the Air Max Racer, which left about as quickly as it arrived in circa 1995. Sleek and slim is effectively the antithesis of Air Max, so the model was an interesting misstep for Nike, who had kicked off a sneaker tech arms war with their iconic technology. However, in spite of its hypothesised market performance, it remains a niche among collectors.

NIke Air Max2 OG 1994

Air Max2 (1994)

When Nike brought back the Air Max2 Light in 2018, some hoped this would mark the impending return of its full-cream Air Max2 sibling, which didn’t end up happening. However, given that the Swoosh proceeded to absolutely flood the market with Lights over the next two years – effectively relegating the collector classic to sales racks worldwide – maybe it was a good thing the Air Max2 stayed in the archive. In the event Nike do want to bring it back, the ingredients to do so are there, and hopefully it’s done so under the ‘Recrafted’ banner.,

Nike Air Max 360 OG 2006

Air Max 360 (2006)

How long does a shoe have to wait before it’s considered ‘old’? Some may remember the Air Max 360 when it debuted in 2006 – 16 years ago. So, the model that was technically the first to have a full-length foamless Air bag (albeit still in a plastic carrier structure) is now in its prickly teenager stage, and ready to prove its maturity. Nike teased the 360’s return when they put it atop a VaporMax sole, representing the technological passing of the baton. However, purists do like an unadulterated reissue, so, in that case, it’s never been retroed.

Nike Air Max Glare
Image Credit: 1pawros (eBay)

Air Max Glare (2001)

What came first: Juicy Couture tracksuits or the Nike Air Max Glare? It seems these 2001 creations are forever locked into a chicken or the egg scenario, and cultural historians 20-plus years later can only agree that they are the perfect pairing. The Air Max Glare was a women’s runner that not only had a slew of contemporary tech like huge heel Air units and Phylite foam, buta dazzling textile upper that had reflective shards when light hit at the right ankle. With the lights off, it just straight up looks like velvet. And they haven’t been seen since.

Nike Shox Experience+ 2

Shox Experience+ 2 (2009)

Hold on, isn’t this a Shox shoe? Yes, but the heel columns are filled with Max Air! This obscurity was a fitting sendoff to the 2000s by combining the greatest performance technology of the decade: Cushlon, Zoom Air, Nike+, Shox, and of course, Max Air (Nike uses the term interchangeably with Air Max). The unique Shox/Air columns are one of the most unique applications of the tech ever, but they also certainly look like they’re from the late 2000s. That’s why they probably won’t be coming back any time soon in lieu of superior designs and tech. But one can dream.

Need more Nike Air Max? Here's what we'd like to see from Air Max Day 2022.

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