The Best Ever Nike Air Max Day Moments
Once again, Nike’s annual celebration of all things Air is here! Air Max Day has become a much-loved part of the sneaker calendar, not only for the introduction of the newest Air Max models, but for the returns of icons of the past.
Since 2016, Nike have unveiled some of their most intriguing designs to the world on March 26, and this year is no different. While still in its relative infancy, Air Max Day has already built its own unique legacy, bringing the latest big bubbled evolutions and homages to the sneaker world.
Here’s a look back at some of best sneaker moments from Air Max Day.
Starting at 1
On March 26 in 1987, the Air Max 1 was introduced to the world, and a revolutionary sneaker lineage was born. Introducing a window into the sole, the legendary runner brought the previously invisible Nike Air cushioning into plain sight. Over the years, that bubble has only gotten bigger.
Celebrating decades of ‘Air superiority’, Nike marked the first Air Max Day with the release of the original Air Max, with a special ‘Volt’ sole. The limited edition colourway brought together elements of old and new, along with a 3.26-emblazoned tongue tab.
Kicking things off with the 1 that started it all made total sense.
Created in 2002 by Hiroshi Fujiwara, Tinker Hatfield, and Mark Parker, Nike’s now-defunct HTM line was responsible for the brand’s most underrated sneakers. For Air Max Day 2016, each member designed a special edition Max, delivering some of the most futuristic and progressive designs we’ve seen to date.
Tinker Hatfield’s HTM Air Max 90 Ultra SuperFly combined elements of the Air Max 90 Ultra and Mercurial SuperFly football boot, while former Nike CEO Mark Parker redesigned the Air Classic BW into the Air Max MP Ultra, which made use of Flyknit and Hyperfuse tape. Rounding out the trio, long-time collaborator Hiroshi Fujiwara transformed the Nike LD-1000 into the HTM Air Max LD-Zero H, incorporating a full-length Air Max sole down below.
Sean and the ‘Revolutionairs’
For 2017, Air Max Day culminated in the announcement of the winner for the ‘Vote Forward’ campaign. For the event, Nike invited a dozen creatives from all over the world – dubbed the ‘Revolutionairs’ – to World Headquarters in Beaverton, bestowing them the task of reimagining a new Air Max style.
The 12 Revolutionairs were Alexandra Hackett (London), Artemy Lebedev (Moscow), Bunyamin Aydin (Istanbul), Celement Balvoine (Amsterdam), Fabikr (Seoul), Kyle Ng (Los Angeles), Lourdes Villagómez (Mexico City), Naotaka Konno (Tokyo), Shangguan Zhe (Shanghai), Tianzhou Chen (Beijing), Venus X (New York) and, of course, Sean Wotherspoon (Los Angeles).
Creating a corduroy Air Max 97 x Air Max 1 hybrid, Wotherspoon took out the campaign with his Air Max 1/97. To this day, the sneaker remains one of the most sought-after Air Max Day releases of all time.
The following year, Nike took things up a notch, bringing together thousands of creatives for the ‘On Air’ contest. Held in workshops in New York City, London, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo, the competition allowed locals to dream up designs inspired by their communities. Eventually, six winners were chosen: the Air Max 98 ‘La Mezcla’ by Gabrielle Serrano, Air Max 97 ‘Neon Seoul’ by Gwang Shin, Air Max 97 ‘London Summer of Love’ by Jasmine Lasode, Air Max 1 ‘Tokyo Maze’ by Yuta Takuman, Air VaporMax Plus ‘Paris Works in Progress’ by Lou Matheron, and the Air Max 97 ‘SH Kaleidoscope’ by Cash Ru.
‘There are attributes in the shoes this year that I would have never even considered, like introducing tools to encourage consumer modularity or pushing the boundaries of material usage,’ said Dylan Raasch, Senior Creative Director of Nike Air Max. ‘These concepts prove that there are always new ways to approach design.’ It’s no wonder these Maxes continue to fetch big coin on the secondary market.
Be sure to check out the Sneaker Freaker staffers’ favourite Air Max sneakers of all time, here.