The Best Women’s Air Max 1s (So Far)
The sneakerspace can move pretty fast, and if you don’t stop to look around once in a while, it’s easy to forget that some epic releases even existed. This is particularly true when it comes to an iconic Nike model like the Air Max 1. Since 1987, the AM1 has had stacks of weird and wonderful iterations, but trying to cop an OG pair will, to no surprise, cost you a pretty penny or two! So before any more time passes – in no particular order – we’re taking a look back at the best women’s Nike Air Max 1 releases so far.
Nike Air Max 1 ‘Winter Ski’ Pack
Throwing back to 2008 is the Nike Air Max 1 ‘Winter Ski’ pack. Featuring a duo of AM1s, Nike were inspired by the aesthetic of gaudy 1980s ski outfits. Like much of that decade’s wild fashion, particularly when it came to physical activities like snow sports, outfits were typically bright and boldly colourful. As a result, tones like Alabaster and Dragon Red dressed up one of the iterations pictured above. Underneath, the outsoles were decked out to match the uppers. Just don’t wear these out on the slopes!
Nike Air Max 1 ‘Tartan Plaid’
Another 2008 classic was the women’s Nike Air Max 1 ‘Tartan Plaid’. Tartan plaid is a fabric that goes hand in hand with the sneakerspace, and Nike have applied it to a range of their premier models over the years. On this 08 AM1, that hero fabric can be seen across the uppers, met with black leather mudguards and outsoles to match. Fun fact: ten years on, in 2018, Nike paid homage to the inaugural ‘Tartan Plaid’ AM1 with another women’s iteration, featuring a mixture of tartan plaid and black.
Nike Air Max 1 ‘Vachetta’ Pack
Vachetta leather is a welcome addition to a pair of sneakers any day of the week, and it was a match made in heaven on the women’s Air Max 1 ‘Vachetta’ Pack! The collection, released in 2013, included three pairs, and each colourway was wrapped in Vachetta leather from heel to toe. Up top, they featured mint, yellow or pink – with the colour of choice shading in everything from the Swoosh to the laces, tongues, heel tabs and lining. Does the ‘Vachetta’ Pack have you craving ice cream?
Nike Air Max 1 ‘La Ville Lumière’
Nike released a three-pack of Air Max 1s for Air Max Day 2022, two of which were women’s dedicated pairs! Included in the drop was the ‘La Ville Lumière’ aka ‘The City of Lights’. Interestingly, the colourway name was actually more than a simple nod to the French capital. It calls out a piece of Nike history, as Tinker Hatfield found his inspiration for the Air Max 1 after viewing the Pompidou Centre on a trip to Paris.
In terms of design, the ‘La Ville Lumière’ features iridescent detailing on its synthetic heel, quarter, eyestays and forefoot overlay. The rest of the top half comprises mesh, suede and leather, while a bold ‘3.26’ hit on each navy blue tongue nods to Air Max Day.
Nike Air Max 1 ‘Wabi-Sabi’
The Nike Air Max 1 ‘Wabi Sabi’ was intentionally imperfect! As part of the Air Max Day 2022 drop, the release drew inspiration from the ancient Japanese wabi-sabi practice, an acceptance of transience and imperfection, spotlighting the small errors that give hand-crafted items their beauty.
On the ‘Wabi Sabi’, this was translated with the application of the leather and suede overlays that sit atop its canvas upper, each of which was secured by thick white stitching along with warped mini Swooshes on the lateral forefoot. Further detail can be noticed in the red ‘XXXV’ hit chain-stitched on the lateral heel – a gesture to the Air Max 1’s 35th anniversary.
Nike Air Max 1 ‘Liquid Metal’ Pack
Nike looked to a duo of precious metals for Air Max 1 inspiration in 2013, leading them to release the ‘Liquid Metal’ pack for a women’s release. While the pairs initially released in 2013, Team Swoosh decided to drop them once again in 2014 due to popular demand. For the second time around, Nike dropped them in both a men‘s and women’s size run, adding speckle detailing onto the midsoles, which were previously plain cream. Nike, acknowledging the periodic table, emblazoned the respective chemical elements, Au and Ag, on each of the tongue labels.
Nike Air Max 1 ‘Safari’
For most sneaker people, hearing the words ‘Safari’ and Nike Air Max 1 in the same sentence makes you think of the OG atmos x Nike Air Max 1 ‘Safari’ from 2002. Of course, the AM1 and the wild pattern have a storied history together, and this year, Nike decided to attribute the namesake texture to a women’s iteration! Looking at the 2022 ‘Safari’, certain similarities to the atmos OG can be identified. The women’s ‘Safari’ features the print on the mudguard and a mini Swoosh on the lateral side, and the embroidered Swoosh on the heel in place of the Nike Air branding. Elsewhere, the colour palette has been altered for a modern touch.
Nike Air Max 1 ‘Best Friend’
Nike saluted humankind’s longstanding canine companionship with the Air Max 1 ‘Best Friend’. A subtle play on the phrase ‘man’s best friend’, the colourway uses various elements to call out your favourite pupper. The most notable of these embellishments arrived on the mudguards, which used a duo of patterns that nod to the bandanas fit for dogs. The uppers featured leather and various furry textiles, shouting out the variety of coats found across dog breeds. Of course, the volt green references a dog’s most faithful toy: the tennis ball!
Liberty x Nike Air Max 1 Spring/Summer Collection
Nike’s partnership with fabric experts Liberty goes way back. In 2014, Team Swoosh dropped a mega collaboration with the British brand for a spring/summer collection. The pack featured an extensive range of silhouettes, including everything from the Roshe Run to the Air Max 90, Blazer High, Dunk Sky High, Internationalist and the Air Max 1 featured above. Across the silhouettes, various Liberty motifs were used, including the 1970s Lora Willow pattern, 1930s Anoosha print and late-19th century Crown paisley print. The sneakers were also dropped with an accompanying apparel capsule.
Nike Air Max 1 ‘Tour Yellow’
One of the most hyped Nike Air Max 1s of 2022 is undoubtedly the ‘Tour Yellow’. First revealed in the middle of the year, Nike decided to head back to the basics, dressing up the AM1 in its classic design but with a bold new colour: hot yellow. This AM1 is constructed with tumbled leather on the uppers and features a zesty yellow on the Swoosh, mudguards, and most notably, the Air Max bubbles – reminding many how far Nike have come since 1987.
Nike Air Max 1 ‘Olympics Five Rings’
Sometimes a sneaker colour palette just looks good, and sometimes there’s a greater inspiration behind it. That’s exactly what happened with Nike’s Air Max 1 ‘Olympic Five Rings’. For many years, Nike have looked to the global multi-sport competition for colourways, and in 2008, they did it once again for a women’s Air Max 1 colourway. The ‘Olympic Five Rings’ boasts a simple yet effective makeup that pays homage to each colour of the Olympic rings: blue, yellow, black, green and red.
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Nike Air Max 1 ‘Great Indoors’
In the lead-up to Air Max Day 2023, Nike dropped women’s iterations of the Air Max 1. Among them was a crazy makeup, incorporating animal prints, interesting textiles and striking hues. Dubbed the ‘Tiger Swoosh’ and officially known as the ‘Great Indoors’, they came with plenty of detail to observe, from the cow-like splatter on the mudguard to the red paisley print canvas on the heel panel and tonal white floral fabric on the toe box. Additional colour was also added via the light blue outsole and creamy midsole, and the Air unit was given an amber hue for extra subtle contrasting.
Nike Air Max 1 Safari ‘Summit White’
The Air Max 1 is no stranger to the ‘Safari’ print. In fact, saying they go hand in hand is an understatement. Lately, women’s-skewed Air Max 1s have been getting lots of ‘Safari’ treatment, with a pair dropping just last year. For 2023, Nike backed it up with another rendition, this time in ‘Summit White’. Manufactured with a classic mix of tumbled leather and mesh, the pale visuals featured the titular ‘Summit White’, plus hits of ‘Phantom’, ‘Sail’, ‘Photon Dust’, ‘Light Smoke Grey’, and ‘Cobalt Bliss’.
Nike Air Max 1 LX ‘Obsidian’
The women’s Nike Air Max 1 ‘Obsidian’ first surfaced in August 2023. When it comes to the famed ‘Obsidian’ colourway, it’s been several years since it’s taken centre stage, but Nike have made sure to change that. Featuring the hue of topic across the nubuck overlays, the pairs also wear a classic makeup of grey tumbled leather and white mesh underlays. Making it land closer to its OG counterparts is the 2000s-era Nike branding found on the tongue tags and heels. Pairs landed at select global retailers, selling out quickly too. If one thing’s for sure, it’s that ‘Obsidian’ is still as loved as ever in 2023.