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A Brief History of the OG Nike Air Max Tailwind Series

Hero Iv Nike Air Max Tailwind 4 FeatureHero Iv Nike Air Max Tailwind 4 Feature

The increased attention on more niche bubble-soled sneakers beyond the flagship Air Max lines has rightfully put attention back on the series. While it's occasionally regarded as an afterthought of the extensive running catalogue, this definitely wasn't always the case.

First introduced in 1978, and officially released to the masses in 1979, the original Tailwind holds the distinction of being the Swoosh shoe that introduced the world to Air sole cushioning. This effectively laid the groundwork for a large portion of the brand's footwear strategy in the decades that followed. In 1992, the Tailwind received visible Air cushioning and, a few short years later, they would join the venerable Air Max lineup. Once the turn of the new millennium had arrived, the Tailwind was considered to be both a proper performance and style alternative to Nike's annual flagship Air Max release.

Looking back over 20 years later, 1999's Air Max Tailwind IV may as well have been called the Air Max 99. The first Tailwind to offer both heel and forefoot Air cushioning, the Air Max Plus–adjacent IV also showcased the Swoosh runner's boldest upper yet, making the shoe an obvious go-to for both the running and sportswear obsessed.

Now, with the recent Skepta x Nike Air Max Tailwind V Plus collaboration, the original Tailwind lineup is back in the spotlight. It's time to take a quick look back at the Air Max Tailwind series.

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